From the fields to Francistown
Following one of the wettest rainy seasons in recent years, farmers up and down the country have enjoyed impressive yields.
Sweet reeds, groundnuts, maize, and watermelon in particular have flourished.
The good yields have resulted in an abundance of field crops available for purchase on the streets of Francistown, perfect for pedestrians looking for a healthy snack.
The Voice’s CHRISTINAH MOTLHABANE caught up with four traders who make a living from the fruit of the land.
Last year I told myself that I am going to plough for sale and this January my field did not disappoint me.
I yielded too many sweet reeds, which I sold and made a lot of profit.
My field is at Matshelagabedi and when the sweet reeds finished I ordered from other farmers in the area.
This is the last batch I will sell because the season is coming to an end; as you can see they now have worms and others are drying up.
Selling sweet reeds really boosted me as I managed to pay bills, bought food for my family, and paid insurance with the money I made. I sell a sweet reed at P2 and P3 after ordering 30 for P20.
This is my sixth-month selling maize.
I used to order at Tobane Farms but it is finished there so now I order from Molapo Estates.
60 cobs go for P240 and I cook and sell for P8 each so it’s quite a tidy profit.
The business has been difficult and competition is high as many people have ventured into selling maize.
However, of late there has been a shortage of maize – in fact, today I haven’t seen anyone else selling, it’s only me!
I also sell sweet potatoes, which I order at Pandamatenga for P17 bag and sell for P25 bag.
This is the business I have been doing for the past four years.
I sell watermelons, sweet reeds, sweet potatoes, and pumpkins.
Depending on the season, I also sell tomatoes, morogo, and onions.
I buy my stock from Ramokgonami, Tumasera, Seleka and Lerala.
I get a Dyna full of watermelons for P1, 500 and make a profit of P3, 000.
Even though many people are selling field crops nowadays, it has not affected me as I have my loyal customers who have been coming to me for years.
Sometimes I supply hotels with pumpkins and those having weddings order from me.
With the way things are I envision carrying on in this line of business for years to come; indeed, I will be happy to!
I started selling groundnuts in 2002 and order from people who buy in Zambia.
They sell 50kg at P600.
Although I cannot reveal the profit I make just know I can sustain myself from the proceeds!
In the past, I used to make a lot of money from groundnuts but now everyone is selling so I only continue because half bread is better than nothing.