Bcom Economics student ventures into fresh produce supplying business

Read time: 2 mins

Tulani Qwesha, a UFH third-year Bachelor of Commerce in Economics student was not willing to wait until after graduation to start living his dream of being a successful businessman. As such, the 22-year-old from Nqamakhwe has ventured into the business of supplying fresh produce to local food retailers.

When he found a gap in the market, he seized the opportunity and started his business called, Buxton Farm Fresh.

It all started last year when he revisited his childhood dream of becoming a vegetable farmer – a dream he says was inspired by his late grandfather.

“Growing up, I admired watching my late grandfather tend to the vegetable garden on our homestead. I knew from a young age that in order to eat, we needed to work the soil.”

“Last year I went back home and revived my late grandfather’s garden and planted some vegetable seedlings. After harvesting and selling my first crop to locals, I did some research and spoke to fruit and vegetable sellers and found that there was a business opportunity to supply and deliver produce from local farmers and fresh produce markets to the retailer.”

Tulani who is also a member of the UFH Enactus says in his quest to become a successful businessman, he has participated in business management training programmes, this includes a programme funded by the National Youth Development Agency.

He also looks up to current successful businessmen for inspiration, such as Patrice Motsepe the founder and chairman of African Rainbow Minerals who became a billionaire in 2008 and Keith Ngesi, former Buffalo City Metro spokesperson who started his own radio station- Keith Ngesi Radio.

“They [Motsepe and Ngesi] are my role models and from them, I have learned that if you have an idea, don’t wait, if you have the opportunity - implement it,” he said.

So passionate is he about crop farming, Tulani has found spaces within his student residence to do soil experiments for growing lettuce and spinach.

“My intention is to grow my own produce to supply to retailers and in order to achieve this I need capital to acquire the tools and resources such as an irrigation system, hence my current business venture.”

For now, he has found lettuce to be the most lucrative. “Lettuce is always in demand. If you look at restaurants, this vegetable is used for consumption and to decorate food,” he explained.

Advising aspiring entrepreneurs, Tulani: “Do things in desperation mode and be deliberate about what you want and then go for it.”