Mr Tshianeo Walter Mathidi with the Enterprise Development Farmer of the Year award given to him by Potato SA. Photo supplied.

High honour for local farmer Tshianeo Mathidi


The former president of the Limpopo branch of the African Farmers’ Association of South Africa (AFASA), Mr Tshianeo Walter Mathidi, has added another accolade to his long list of achievements. The farmer from Thohoyandou was named the Enterprise Development Farmer of the Year by Potato SA.

The award was handed over during Potato SA’s Transformation Symposium, which is held every two years. The function took place at Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg on 15 February.

Mathidi, who owns a 980-hectare farm near Vivo, was very excited about the latest recognition he received, but he explained that the journey had not been an easy one. “I started farming with potatoes in 2021 with the assistance of a Presidential Stimulus Package. I had to retire from all farmer organisations’ positions to focus on the farming activities. I wanted to be successful and specialise in one commodity,” he said.

Mathidi explained that Potato SA included him in their developing farmers’ five-year programme, which entailed a potato-seed subsidy, mentorship, and other relevant training. In 2022, Mathidi was elected as chairperson of the Developing Farmers Union in the central region, which includes Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Northwest, and Limpopo. “Through this position, I became a member of the Potato South Africa Board and also served on the transformation and research committees,” he explained.

The main aim of the Development Farmer of the Year competition is to showcase the top farmers who graduated from developing farmer to commercial through production and business-document compliance. “In 2024, four farmers qualified to be fully commercial, and I am a finalist for 2024. I am overwhelmed. The award is motivating enough, and it gave me more strength to help other farmers succeed. I am so humbled,” Mathidi said.



Date:02 March 2024

By: Elmon Tshikhudo

Elmon Tshikhudo started off as a photographer. He developed an interest in writing and started submitting articles to local as well as national publications. He became part of the Limpopo Mirror family in 2005 and was a permanent part of the news team until 2019.

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