Young farmer wins awards from FEED

This article was written by trees.co.za for Farmer Eco-Enterprise Development (FEED) AFRICA.

We wanted to share with you great news in the development of sustainable farming in South Africa.

A young farmer from Bronkhorstspruit has won two awards for her role in sustainable farming in Gauteng.

A young female farmer, Sphiwe Machika (28), from Rethabiseng in Bronkhorstspruit has won the Provincial Female Farmer of the Year Award and the National Female Entrepreneur of the Year Award for her excellent work at Rethabiseng Sustainable farm.

Sustainable farming is the efficient production of safe, high quality agricultural products, in a way that protects and improves the natural environment, the social and economic conditions of farmers, their employees and local communities, and safeguards the health and welfare of all farmed species. The Rethabiseng Sustainable farm is funded by Afrisam and aims to provide sustainable economic growth and diversification in the community where Afrisam operates

Sphiwe Machika started off as a packer for Kandustrial Soild Door in 2004, and in 2012 heard of an opportunity at Rethabiseng Sustainable Farm where she worked in the fields. A few months later she was put in charge of the chickens where she became responsible for feeding, monitoring growth, maintaining hygiene and selling. Her excellent behaviour, discipline and work ethic led to her name being submitted by the cooperative for the Best Young Farmer of the Year Competition. Following her success at this level, she was subsequently nominated for the Provincial Female Farmer of the Year Award and the National Female Entrepreneur Award, where she was victorious once again

When asked what all this meant to her, she replied, ‘I think I was just lucky. I never knew my work here would take me to this level. I want to invest some of my prize money for my daughter so that she can have a better education. I wish to have my chicken farm and continue to use the skills that I learnt at Rethabiseng Sustainable Farming project, thanks to Afrisam and Food & Trees for Africa’.

Farmer Eco-Enterprise Development (FEED) AFRICA, is pioneering non profit Food & Trees for Africa’s latest programme. Already five farms have been established and over 280 emerging organic farmers are receiving training, mentorship, operational support and marketing assistance.

Rethabiseng is the first of Food & Trees for Africa’s FEED farms and is an innovative project that is part of AfriSam’s investment into community enterprise development under the mantle of their Social & Labour Plan. The project is aimed at providing sustainable economic development and diversification in the communities where AfriSam operates.