Competition winners urged to support communities

Competition winners urged to support communities

As the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries’ 2018 Female Entrepreneur Awards competition draws to a close later this month, last year’s national winner has urged candidates to share their success with their communities.

Kedidimetse Rossy Rakgoale, a poultry farmer near Hartbeesfontein in North West, told Farmer’s Weekly that her win last year had enabled her to grow her business despite numerous challenges.

She had also created four new jobs for people in her community by increasing her staff complement from 14 to 18 people.

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Several provincial winners in the competition have been already announced, while the national awards will be presented at an awards ceremony that will take place in East London on 23 August.

This year’s theme is “Women economic empowerment: a priority in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sector”.

The department said in a statement that the awards recognised “the efforts and contribution of women, young females and women with disabilities for the role they play in food security, poverty alleviation, job creation and economic growth in the sector”.

Awards are presented in several categories, with provincial winners competing in the national finals where an overall national winner will be announced.

The Free State winners were announced in Kroonstad recently, with the overall winner being Palesa Moahloli, a smallholder beef cattle farmer near Boshof in the Lejwelleputswa District.

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Moahloli owns a family business, CPM Farming Cooperative, and farms on two farms of more than 1 300ha in size. She hopes to grow her Bonsmara/Brangus herd of about 90 breeding animals to commercial level, and has also diversified into a piggery, which is currently stocked with 30 sows.

She said the provincial win had already opened doors to great things for her, and was serving to motivate her even more.

“I want to become a recognised commercial farmer,” she said.