Limpopo MEC for agriculture and land affairs Mme Dikeledi Magadzi on Saturday honoured women who have achieved in agriculture.
These were the women who stopped at nothing to change their lives and those of their communities, according to Magadzi. The department invited women across Limpopo to enter a competition where they would be judged on what and how much they had done to fight poverty in their homes and in their communities.
The ceremony was held at Bolivia Lodge, outside Polokwane, on Saturday night. Magadzi said during the ceremony that the competition endeavours to give women across the country a platform to showcase their work in agriculture and promote their participation in the mainstream economy. "Most importantly, the competition seeks to recognise women's contribution towards wealth creation, poverty alleviation and increasing their visibility in the agricultural fraternity," she said. According to Magadzi, women are expected to plant a homestead garden, which allows them to grow their vegetables in their own backyard.
They can also come together and establish a project to produce food to generate income in an effort to fight poverty and participate fully in the mainstream economy.
"The Women Farmer of the Year competition is ran based on four categories: Top produce for export market, top producer for national market, top producer for informal market and top produce for household market. Women are required to be farmers in their own right or belong to a group that farms. The project must be 90percent owned by unemployed women who produce fresh produce attractive to the market," said Magadzi.
Makgoro Mannya of the Ditubatse Business Enterprise in Tzaneen surprised many when she scooped the overall winner of the 2007 Limpopo Female Farmer of the Year award.
The enterprise is a partnership between her and Kgwadu Ramokgopa in the greater Tzaneen municipality of the Mopani District. The enterprise specialises in homemade atchaar. Because of the demand for atchaar in the province and beyond the province's borders, the two women bought a mango farm in the Tzaneen area.
They received a loan from Landbank in which they bought a farm of 440 hectares. The farm also grows litchis, avocados and guavas. Since the purchase of the farm last year, about 86 permanent and 40 seasonal jobs were created through the enterprise. Winners received R50000 per category while first and second runner-ups received R25000 and R15000 each respectively.