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Young farmer Khathutshelo Matika, who wants to increase his fruit production, stands at his avocado plantation. Photo supplied.

Farmer Matika is happy, but needs more land for production

 

As a young boy, Khathutshelo Matika would be compelled by his father, Mr William Matika, to go to the family’s small farm at Vondo. The little boy from Phiphidi outside Thohoyandou interpreted that as punishment. Little did he know that he was being trained to be a successful farmer later in life.

Today, the now grown-up Matika is a fast-emerging farmer with a 10-hectare farm where he cultivates avocados, litchis, and macadamias. Apart from fruit farming, he also allocates a portion of his land to vegetables. He is also engaged in research on bees and fish.

“I have come a long way. I still remember when my father would compel me to go to the fields. That was training in disguise. When he passed away in 2015, I was already managing the farm as he formally passed it over to me in 2012. I have experimented with different fruits and vegetables. I understand the highs and lows of this trade. I know how to invest a lot of money in this business and not get anything in return, but I have not given up,” he said.

According to Matika, farming involves trial and error. “I have attended countless courses at different institutions like Stellenbosch University, Madzivhandila College, the Department of Agriculture, and the Agriculture Research Council, among others. I have developed a passion for avocado production. The soil and climate on my farm are suitable for avocado production. I have an early harvest that gives me an advantage in the market. I sell before the other major producers do, and I cannot keep up with the demand. The issue I have now is that of land. There is no more space to grow more fruit trees to meet the demand. I am stuck. Land is now at the top of my shopping list,” Matika said.

He expressed gratitude to all who contributed to his success story, including commercial farmers at Levubu who exposed him to the market. In return, he is assisting other upcoming farmers in various aspects of farming.

For more information and assistance, Matika can be contacted at 076-3765074 (call only) and 079-2962183 (WhatsApp only).

 

 

Date:18 May 2024

By: Elmon Tshikhudo

Elmon Tshikhudo started off as a photographer. He developed an interest in writing and started submitting articles to local as well as national publications. He became part of the Limpopo Mirror family in 2005 and was a permanent part of the news team until 2019. He currently writes on a freelance basis, covering human rights issues, court news and entertainment.

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