Young farmer and female farmer workshop finalised in Mopani District
15 Apr 2010
While the whole country is doing the countdown on FIFA World Cup, the women and youth in the Agricultural, Fisheries and Forestry sector are also counting down days to the female entrepreneur and young and aspirant farmer of the year.
These events are held annually during the Women’s Month in August and Youth Month in June. The female farmer of the year was incepted by the Department of Agriculture in 1999 to encourage and increase the participation of women in agriculture as a business and ensuring food security in the country. The young aspirant farmer of the year awards is a provincial initiative that is aimed at encouraging young farmers to participate in farming activities.
To ensure that the event is smoothly organised, the representatives from the communication services head office conducted a workshop with the Manager of advisory services Mr Philetus Nyandane and the project coordinators within the Mopani District on 14 April 2010 to discuss issues concerning the events.
Being hands on, officials from head office communication services gave detailed and informative presentations for young and aspirant farmer of the year and the Department of Agriculture Fisheries Forestry (DAFF) and female entrepreneur of the year. Amongst the communication officials was Deputy Manager Events Ms Sharlotte Selolo. In her presentations she outlined the categories and the prizes to be won for both competitions.
Presentations would have been meaningless had Ms Selolo not mentioned the criteria for categories. Under female entrepreneurs Selolo said that for female Entrepreneurs to be eligible to enter the competition, they must have their own businesses. In case of partnerships, the women ownership should be 80 percent and in case of the trust, 80 percent of the trustees must be women and active. She also said that people who have been receiving government funding in top entrepreneur categories for the past three years are not eligible to enter.
Under young and aspirant farmer of the year she said farmers must be in their own right between the ages of 18 and 35. The project must be owned by 90 percent of young farmers in case of groups. They must be able to produce to sell either to the national markets, exports markets or trade at nationally recognised outlets. They must also demonstrate good sense and innovation in financial management and show commitment to care for the natural resources and ensure sustainability of these resources.
The issue that was debated seriously was the one concerning the amount of money allocated in the aspirant young farmer of the year awards. District Officials were concerned about the gap of the prizes between district and provincial. In the District categories, a winner walks away with R5 000 whereas the provincial one walks away with R300 000. The district officials wanted this allocation of prizes to be reviewed since there was no balance.
After all was said and done, few suggestions and recommendations were made. Amongst others was that operational officers from the municipalities and the district level should be included during the planning and policy making processes for the two competitions. It was also suggested that in case where a school project is an overall winner for the competition, the department should give the school infrastructure support so as to promote Agriculture and encourage the youth.
Districts awards and events of young farmer will be held from 31 May to 11 June and the provincial event in the second week of July due to the 2010 world cup, Selolo outlined.
Issued by: Department of Agriculture, Limpopo Provincial Government
15 April 2010
Source: Department of Agriculture, Limpopo Provincial Government (http://www.lda.gov.za/)
Issued by: Limpopo Provincial Government
15 Apr 2010
[ Top ]