After 2 years of working in his own Veterinary Practice in the Eastern Suburbs of Pretoria, Dr. Pieter Scholtz decided he had enough of the city life and began his search for a farm in the Hoedspruit area. In August 1993 he sold his practice and a month later, he found a farm called Driekhoek for sale. He made a deal with the owner, Oom Pottie, to help with finance and bought his first farm.
Pieter had the idea of planting sweet potatoes and exporting it to various markets but required a steady income in order to get his dream off the ground, so he operated a veterinary practice from his farm. In 1994, he began expanding his business to planting potatoes, butternut’s, tomatoes and gem squash. He set up his own mango tree nursery and planted his first citrus trees, diversifying his business. Over the next few years, Pieter purchased all the adjacent land as it came onto the market to gradually expand his business with a specific focus on growing vegetables and expanding his citrus farming.
In April 2012, Pieter purchased Mariepskop Estate – the second largest mango farm in South Africa – from Westfalia. As part of the transaction, he bought 50% shares in Bavaria Packers, consisting of a mango drying plant and a citrus and mango pack house.
Currently, Blydevallei produces 5000 tons of mangoes and close to 1 million cartons of lemons, oranges and grapefruit. This fruit is sent to international destinations across the globe, including the UK, Europe, China, Korea, Japan, Middle East, Russia and the Baltics states.
His passion for wildlife never faded throughout the years, and in 2001 Blydevallei Game Breeders was established. The company is currently breeding with disease-free Buffalo, Nyalas and exotic game including Roan, Sable and Red Duiker.
Pieter is a partner in Brakrivier Bavaria, a 4500 ha game farm in the Musina area, and together with 2 partners developed Massingir Safaries LDA. An 8000 ha game farm in Mozambique and the first official game farm bordering the Limpopo Transfrontier Park.
Pieter did not let his entrepreneur skills keep him to farming. In 2005, he established Southern Spirit Properties, a property development company, and completed several projects along the years, including residential and commercial developments.