One of the province’s representatives at the national Female Entrepreneur Awards, Thojane Organic Farming, was voted the best subsistence producer of the year and won R150000 in prize money.Picture: Supplied
One of the province’s representatives at the national Female Entrepreneur Awards, Thojane Organic Farming, was voted the best subsistence producer of the year and won R150000 in prize money.
This was announced on Friday night during the final competitions held at Saint George Hotel in Pretoria.
The project won R75000 at the provincial leg of the competition a week ago and winning at national level has given a huge boost to the growth of the farming enterprise.
Project manager Kenalemang Kgoroeadira started Thojane Organic Farming in 2009 in Phokeng, near Rustenburg.
Thojane Organic Farming produces herbs such as rose geranium, rosemary, thyme, lemon verbena, lemongrass, yarrow, mint, garlic, parsley and lavender. They also produce a variety of vegetables on a 2ha plot.
Kgoroeadira said: “The project now has five members, three women and two youths, and we sell our produce at the local schools’ feeding schemes and supermarkets.
“We also employ six permanent locals, while an additional five are employed on a seasonal basis.”
Agriculture MEC Desbo Mohono congratulated Kgoroeadira and her team for putting the province on the map.
She said members of Thojane Organic Farming had shown desire and passion to positively contribute towards household food security, healthy lifestyles, job creation and economic development and they deserved recognition and encouragement.
“We will as a department continue to work with other key stakeholders to ensure that this, and other women-managed projects, are supported and empowered to produce quality and nutritious products,” Mohono said.
“This award represents the vision women of this province have on agriculture and food security.”
The best subsistence producer category caters for beginners in the sector, who are expected to demonstrate innovation in improving production, responsible use of production inputs, understanding of improved farming methods, job creation and economic development.
Thojane Organic Farming was participating in this competition for the first time.
Three other provincial award winners, Chaneng Farming and Primary Cooperative for the Blind, Barui-Driehoek Cooperative and Abea Phakoe, a farm worker, also represented the province at the national competition, although they could not make it to Pretoria.
The female entrepreneurial awards competition has been running since 1999. It is a partnership between the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, provincial departments of agriculture and Total SA.
The programme was conceptualised to encourage and increase the participation of women, youth and people with disabilities in the sector.