At just 10 years old, Rahill Sodha is successfully turning his family’s six-hectare smallholding from a weekend retreat into a thriving agricultural enterprise. His talent extends from growing vegetables, and cultivating crops, to caring for cattle and when it comes to tackling the demanding tasks around the farm, Rahill’s choice of outdoor equipment is Husqvarna.
“We had three older models of brushcutter on the farm, but I couldn’t use them for very long because they were too heavy,” Rahill explains. “When my Dad said we could go to NAMPO this year, I decided to ask him if I could have a brushcutter but one that was much lighter.”
Rahill’s father, Ashith Sodha, says that for the past couple of years instead of asking for the typical gifts favoured by young boys, Rahill has opted for farm equipment. “We gave him a budget and by the time we were ready to go to the show, he knew exactly what he wanted.”
A discerning buyer, Rahill had done his homework and had opted for a petrol-operated Husqvarna brushcutter as its robust and reliable, yet affordable. “The petrol-operated model is good quality at a reasonable price.”
The only doubt that Rahill had was the weight of the machine so when they got to NAMPO, his first stop was the Husqvarna stand and he wasn’t disappointed. He didn’t buy the brushcutter right away as he wanted to see what else was available on show, but he eventually returned and made his purchase.
“I am really happy with the brushcutter as its light so I can use it for a long time. Right now, I am using it to prepare some fields where I will be planting mielies and soya in September,” says Rahill.
Crop cultivation is his latest venture on the farm and Ashith explains that as with most of the projects his son has already tackled, they learn what they don’t know online. The success, however, comes down to Rahill’s natural talent. “Even when he was a toddler, Rahill was interested in the garden,” reveals his proud dad. “We are fortunate to have a beautiful garden at our home and as soon as he was old enough, we started planting flowers and then vegetables such as spinach and onions. Rahill’s love for the land just grew from there.”
It was during the COVID pandemic that the family discovered Rahill’s talent for farming. During lockdown, Ashith started taking Rahill and his twin sisters to the family smallholding, a half-hour drive from their Kyalami home in Gauteng. Initially, they planted seeds but at Rahill’s insistence, this grew into a much larger venture.
Today, their half-acre vegetable patch thrives, providing a variety of produce including butternut, green beans, tomatoes, spinach and cabbage. Rahill’s vegetables sustain the entire family, and any surplus is donated to local charities. Over the past three years, they have also acquired three Brahman cattle – one of which had a calf while two others are pregnant – adding animal husbandry to Rahill’s growing list of farming skills.
“We have no farmers in our family so Rahill’s success is his own. He has lived his life with his hands in the soil and we are fortunate that we have been able to create an environment to nurture his talent,” says Ashith.
Rahill’s dream for the future is to follow in his family’s footsteps and go into business but he is determined that he will also keep farming. “I am hoping that I will be able to make money so I can buy a bigger farm when I am older. I will work during the week and farm on weekends.”
Regarding his choice of tools, Rahill’s affinity for quality outdoor equipment is evident and he says that Husqvarna will remain at the top of his list.