One of the youngest female farmers in Limpopo, Mahlatse Matlakana employs four people from her local Ga-Kibi Village on an 8-hectare green pepper farm.
Now 21, Mahlatse took to farming at just 15. Her green pepper farming business, Wozilex, is a 100% youth and women-owned SMME.
Meet 21-year-old Mahlatse Matlakana who began farming as a part-time job at the age of 15 and today she has an eight-hectare green pepper farming project right here in Limpopo. She produces green peppers for 4 national food wholesalers. pic.twitter.com/H6iG8CBhWS
— Tumelo Mapaa (@DjNewSouthAfric) April 6, 2019
Recently, she began receiving mentorship and support from a renewable energy company to help her expand her farming enterprise.
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 Matthew Ledwaba of Nsete Primary Co-Operative have visited each other’s farming projects to impart and gain knowledge regarding an 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.”
So 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. ”
“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.