Combining a passion for agriculture, a vision to deliver fresh produce locally and an entrepreneurial spirit, is the winning formula behind Mahlatse Matlakana’s business, Wozilex, a 100% youth-women owned SMME. Mahlatse is now being mentored and supported to help her further build a sustainable farming enterprise.
Renowned in the Limpopo Province as one of the youngest female farmers, who took to farming at the very young age of 15, Mahlatse employs four people from her local community of Ga-Kibi Village in Blouberg Municipality, and farms an 8-hectare green pepper farm.
Soutpan Solar Power, in the Vivo area of Limpopo, recently stepped in to provide business development support, by partnering Mahlatse with an established and successful farmer based in Polokwane. Mahlatse and Mr Matthew Ledwaba of Nsete Primary Co-Operative, have visited each other’s farming projects to impart and gain knowledge regarding improvement to planting techniques, methods to ensure adequate fertiliser usage, and other key agricultural and sustainable business practices.
“Whilst Mahlatse is passionate about her business she needed assistance to ensure sustainability, which is why this synergy is a perfect example of a skills transfer and how youth and experience can be a recipe for success,” said Harrisinah Theka, Economic Development Officer for Soutpan Solar Power.
This project addresses many key drivers in our country, including youth development and employment and food security, which is a complex challenge as it sits amid a myriad of social problems that need to be addressed. ”
The World Food Programme (WFP) defines people as being food secure when “they have availability and adequate access at all times to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life”. To attain this, food firstly needs to be available.
“This mentorship programme forms part of Soutpan Solar Power’s Enterprise Development strategy, and is focused on the support of local small and medium black-owned companies, with a particular backing of local black woman-owned enterprises,” added Harrisinah Theka who is also the Economic Development Officer of De Aar Solar Power. The solar farm’s beneficiary communities include: Vivo, Ga-Mochemi Village, Germark Village, Ga-Maphoto Village, Senwabarwana, Indermark, Avon, Gamachaba, Mohodi, Vienna Village, and Driekoppies.