From an early age, Tshepiso Mametja, owner of Maswele Farming, learned what it takes to be a farmer. During school holidays she used sell mangoes her family produced on a communal farm. Today she still works shoulder to shoulder with her parents, gaining from their knowledge and experience while guiding them into the future when it comes to fresh ideas and modern technology.
Lindiwe Sithole, host of African Farming Season 2, visits the Mametjas in Limpopo to see first-hand how they manage a variety of vegetable crops, cattle and small livestock. It is clear that Tshepiso has a lot on her plate, but the diverse challenges of such a mixed-farming operation can be met with the help of mechanisation solutions.
Albert Coetzee, Export Director of Rovic Africa, says the way Tshepiso farm excites him. “I think she has made a good choice in farming with so many different vegetables. She can’t go wrong, as we all love a good plate of veggies, and the nation has to eat!”
He says good soil preparation can set one up for failure or success, especially as far
s as small-scale vegetable farming is concerned. Proper soil preparation is one of the most important steps in ensuring a fruitful vegetable crop at the end of the season. It addresses two important issues – to help vegetables with the adequate supply of nutrients and to create a soil structure that allows plants to grow properly by absorbing those nutrients.
Coetzee says the products Rovic Africa sells can make a small-scale farmer’s job a lot easier: the machinery provides efficient and reliable performance as well as versatility in a wide range of working conditions, meeting diverse seedbed preparation challenges.
“These machines can be customised for use in various soils and applications by choosing different attachments to do different land preparations,” he explains. “Farmers can use one attachment for the land preparation on one crop and then change the attachment to make raised seedbeds for another crop.”
He says the company also sells a DIY irrigation kit designed for small-scale producers. Rovic Africa offers a unique retail concept to enhance and make it easier for customers to take on DIY irrigation projects. “This option allows small-scale farmers to irrigate their land without having to buy expensive equipment. We also sell a handy knapsack sprayer to apply herbicides and pesticides.”