- Many South African women have taken up the challenge and ventured into the largely male-dominated industry of farming
- From cattle to poultry, pigs and vegetable crops, female powerhouses have maximised the opportunity to start their own agricultural enterprises
- Briefly News looks at four inspiring ladies who are doing well for themselves and who spoke about their highs and lows in the business
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Women are breaking into every sector and making it clear that they are capable of doing many things that society felt only men could. Women in agriculture have a powerful story to tell – one of stewardship, resilience and leadership.
Briefly News compiled the stories of four amazing women who are making their mark in the farming industry, creating job opportunities and helping feed many families nutritious produce across the country.
Limpopo farmer blossoms as she makes waves in the farming sector
Cynthia Matome (30), born in the village of Gemarke in the Bochum township in Limpopo, has become an inspirational female farmer in her province as she makes waves with her successful agricultural business.
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The young farmer grew up observing and assisting her father on his farm, which is where her passion for farming was ignited. Matome's family also created an environment for her to become anything she wanted, and she especially wanted to be her own boss.
“I raise bosses, not children who will be job seekers,” her father would say.
This attitude propelled the farmer to work towards becoming her own boss. What pushed her the most was when her family’s farm endeavours came to an end, leaving them in a dire situation. It was then that her father decided to go to the city of Johannesburg to look for a job.
Meet Ntsako Shipalana, an inspiring young female poultry farmer who has created employment for 3 other people
At that point, Matome knew that with a diploma in ornamental horticulture she obtained through the University of South Africa (UNISA), she could confidently go back home to start her own business successfully, according to Farmers For Change.
Former domestic worker slays poultry farming sector
An innovative woman from the Bronkhorstspruit in Gauteng is making big moves in the agricultural sector after only starting her business in 2018.
Khethiwe Maseko functioned as a domestic worker and hairdresser to make ends meet before Sasol’s ‘I-AM-PRENEUR’ campaign started in her community in 2017, Vuk'uzenzele reported.
She then decided to participate in Sasol’s 12-month accelerator entrepreneurial programme and received seed funding of R15 000, which she used to start her poultry farm called Gugulam Poultry House, Polity reported.
According to The South African, the innovative entrepreneur started off with only 50 chickens and has more than 300 now, with her business well-known in her community.
She previously told Vuk'uzenzele that she wants to grow her business and become a full-fledged commercial farmer.
“I raise broiler chickens from one day old until they are ready at six weeks. The increase in production has been an impressive improvement. I now want to get into major commercial farming, as I have grown through experience,” she shared.
Female farmer explains how she got into the business, gives advice to young girls
Cattle farmer @Keneilwe_farmerette caught netizens’ attention when she took some snaps with her squad – which turns out to be her cows.
Speaking to Briefly News, she revealed that her father's best friend was a farmer and she followed him everywhere. Growing up, she never thought that she'd become a farmer, but she had learned so much that it came naturally to her.
@Keneilwe_farmerette believes there is still a lot of negativity around women in the workplace, especially those who succeed as CEOs and farmers. She feels that working in a male-dominated environment forces her to prove herself or go the extra mile because she is a woman.
"Working in a male-dominated industry, you always have to prove yourself or go an extra mile just because you are a woman. I stand tall and proud of the path I’ve chosen, it’s my passion and no stigma will stand in my way."
@Keneilwe_farmerette wants to become a commercial farmer and create a foundation to help other farmers and youth succeed and grow. She also hopes to train students and provide employment.
Self-taught KZN farmer & business student inspires Mzansi with thriving agricultural enterprise
A 25-year-old lady from a small town called Kranskop in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) has wowed South Africans with her fantastic agricultural skills and tenacity as a young entrepreneur. Sinethemba Ngoako is a self-taught vegetable farmer who grows produce such as cabbages, potatoes, and peppers.
While the young lady only started farming two years ago in 2020, her enterprise has grown significantly, with the determined lady already supplying stores and feeding schemes with her products, Food for Mzansi wrote.
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The young lady is also multifaceted and studies business management at the University of South Africa (Unisa), where she learns important skills that help her manage the organisation.
Sinethemba notes that she was raised by her grandparents, with her mother sadly passing away when she was only three.
“My grandfather used to grow and sell vegetables to the neighbours so we could have something to eat.”
But things were tough for the young lady and shortly after she started farming, disaster struck, with the neighbour’s cattle destroying her cabbages when she went to Johannesburg for a few short days:
“The experience set me back, and I was just starting my farming journey. To start this business, I used money that was set aside for my studies, and this really tore me apart. I never cried that much.”
But Sinethemba thankfully bounced back and is now an award-winning self-taught farmer, Greytown Gazette reported.
Inspiring female Mzansi farmer shares wise words to aspiring lady farmers
In another story, Briefly News had the honour of chatting to Kea Motsemme, a gorgeous Mzansi woman who is also a farmer. Owning her status as a female farmer who has chosen hard work over babies, Kea most certainly turned heads. This woman is breaking patriarchal boundaries!
Kea breeds pigs and poultry and also grows crops. She is a strong woman who wants other ladies to know they are capable of anything.
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Source: Briefly News