By Bonang Masolotate
Ramotswa — ‘Money does not grow on trees’, so goes an English saying, denoting that money is a limited resource that cannot be harvested from a backyard tree.
The proverb, though explaining the unfortunate truth about money behaviour, does not rule out the possibility of making money out of trees, which is being done by those in the backyard nursery business.
They are the masters of growing trees to make money.
“Yes there is money in nursery business,” said the elderly Ms Angelina Orora of Tlokweng in an interview.
In her late 60s, the elderly woman one of those who have found treasure in the business of selling trees for a living since 2014.
The backyard business, is her sole source of income in her retirement age.
Her home is a habitant to over 2000 trees, all awaiting buyers.
“If you have a car, this business is your purse. You cannot go wrong,” Ms Orora attested at the recent Tlokweng Sub-district open market day.
Although nursery business would somewhat look uninspiring, the need for trees could never be overemphasised.
Home owners and landscapers are often on the lookout for mature trees to provide shades in years to come.
Hence nowadays, it has become common to see stacks of trees along major road sides, luring potential buyers.
“This business is seasonal, there are times when it is dull and when it is booming,” stated 52-year-old Ms Thabo Magogoba, who started in 2015.
Ever since her early retirement from a commercial bank, Ms Magogoba has never been in a haste for a new job, owing to her love for nursery.
Her backyard in Tlokweng is home to about 400 trees and she is motivated to see the figure going up, so as to have a better market share.
According to her, it is only passion, dedication and love for trees which are outmost ingredients to make it in the emerging nursery business.
The duo’s stories of the promising trade are collaborated by 59-year-old Ms Joyce Nkwe of Tlokweng who started the business in 2016 and has never looked back.
Like most of those in the business, she credits the department of forestry and natural resources for persistence in the business.
She said the industry has been growing over the years and they have recently started the Plant Tree Association to aid them to speak for the industry as a united voice.
However, she regretted that despite documented shortage of employment opportunities, especially among young people, nursery seems not to be adequately attractive to young people.
Furthermore, Ms Nkwe said the startup investment is minimal as trees are either grown from seeds or propagated from cuttings from a mother plant.
Either planting for shades, flowers or herbs, the trio, although working individually, are among those who have taken upon themselves to tap into the little known market.
Apart from the beauty that come with a tree and its longevity, the three women of Tlokweng concur that trees have saved their lives and continue to make them happy as they put food on the table.
Source : BOPA