At just 19 years of age, a North West resident is already a successful farmer.
Being exposed to animals from birth paved the way for one of South Africa’s youngest farmers, Thabo Herman Dithakgwe.
At just 19 years of age, he runs a successful agricultural business called Nasi Ditha Farming, Wildlife and Projects in Vryburg in North West.
The business started with a donation of a pregnant heifer from his father – also a farmer – in 2014, and today he owns a herd of cows, flock of sheep and over 50 goats, which he sells to local buyers in Pomfret and Morokweng.
“When the heifer gave birth to a bull calf, I waited for it to grow and sold it to a local farmer. I used the money to buy more cows,” he explained.
He comes from a family of farmers and was inspired by his father and late grandfather.
He said his family became part of a communal farm called Constable Farm, after his father and uncles won a land claim under Barolong Boo Maiketso Communal Property Association from the government in 2015.
He went on to register his own company last year whiles he was doing matric, although he already had livestock of his own by then.
“My family has been very supportive of what I do… I was raised in a family of farmers. Even my aunts, uncles and grandparents have always been into farming. I used to visit my grandparent’s farm when I was just a toddler and I grew up loving pets as well. I am just a farm boy,” he added.
Dithakgwe is currently doing a mixed farming course at the Potchefstroom College of Agriculture.
His livestock includes Bonsmara cattle and mixed cattle, Boerbok goats and a few indigenous goats, as well as a cross-breed of Van Rooy and Dorper sheep.
His business is also gradually growing into construction projects such as the building of animal handling facilities, including kraals.
“I have a team of cousins who were unemployed and they assist me with construction jobs,” he said.
So far, he has managed to create two permanent jobs on the farm. One employee manages small livestock and the other manages cattle.
He aspires to grow the business and be able to employ over 1 000 people in his community.