From Farm Labourer To Million-dollar Farmer… Story Of Patrick Matadi (32)

A 32-year-old farmer from Mashonaland West, who worked as a farm labourer from a young age, last year pocketed close to US$1 million from his crops.

Patrick Matadi is utilising a rented farm in Lions’ Den and during the current summer cropping season, he has planted 45 hectares of tobacco and 18 hectares of maize.

He is in the process of putting 40 hectares under sugar beans.

Matadi said his father died while he was a toddler and his family was so poor that they could not afford to pay his school fees.

As a result, he had to work as a labourer on Igava Farm in Marondera, Mashonaland East Province, to help put food on the table.

Speaking to The Sunday Mail during a tour of his farming operations, Matadi said he was assisted by the late former Harare mayor, Solomon Tavengwa. He said:

When the late former Harare mayor, Cde Solomon Tavengwa, saw my passion for agriculture while working for him on his Marondera farm, he gave me five bags of tobacco fertiliser. That is when I started growing tobacco.

At the age of 18, Matadi, with the help of his mother and their neighbour, who had a tractor, rented a piece of land and had a successful season on a half-hectare field. He said:

I planted three hectares of tobacco and got good rewards that enabled me to save for the next season.

He eventually found land to rent in Lion’s Den, Mashonaland West Province, and now owns three tractors, centre pivots and other machinery. Said Matadi:

This season, I wanted to put over 100ha of tobacco and add over 50ha of maize, then 50ha of beans, but I encountered challenges because the land is not mine.

There are some jealous neighbours who always threaten to sabotage my crops.

Mhangura Member of Parliament Precious Chinhamo Masango (ZANU PF) said Matadi is an example to young people that farming is a business. She said:

I want to urge youths to learn from this young man. He is a good example to many that agriculture is a big business.

He is a good man. Recently, we had high-ranking officials in the area and he contributed three beasts for the occasion.

If it was not for agriculture, he would not have afforded that.

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