Benjamin du Preez is optimistic about the way his fruit trees are coming up at his farm in Sesheke, Western Province. Du Preez is nurturing the first-ever orchard, not just in Sesheke, but in the entire south-west of Zambia.
At his 88 hectare farm on the banks of the Zambezi River, Du Preez is cultivating lemons, oranges, pecan nuts and nartjies (satsumas). While South Africa is known for citrus fruits, Mr du Preez is determined to do better on the sand soils of Western Province. He is trying out different varieties of oranges and nartjies in every season from rain-fed to irrigated ones.
Mr du Preez wants to ensure that the farm has fruits throughout the year to create sustainable jobs year-round. The farm currently has 3,000 trees of nartjies on 15 hectares. He intends to plant 10,000 more trees next month.