Mbabane: Baluleka Mohale and Rose Maseko are 2020 Adult Woman Farmer and Youth Woman Farmer of the Year respectively winners respectively.
The two winners have received prizes worth over E200 000 to assist them grow their agricultural ventures.
The winners were crowned by the Minister of Agriculture Jabulani Mabuza at Riders Ranch on Thursday.
Speaking during the awards ceremony the minister thanked the women and youth farmers who have made a great contribution to the agricultural industry. “Your work is highly recognized and appreciated.”
The minister noted that the road to the winners was a tough one since there were about 210 entrants of the competition this year, made up of 171 adults and 39 young people.
After being announced winner the 2020 adult Woman Farmer of the Year Baluleka Mohale, said she was very happy. She said although it was not easy but it was all down to determination. “I encourage women and young women that there is life in agriculture, let us pursue it”, she said.
The 2020 Youth Woman Farmer of the Year Rose Maseko said she started her farming journey in 2019. “Yes there are challenges in farming but there is success but you need to plan properly, have a crop plan and be market led.”
The Woman Farmer of the Year Competition was established in 2007 by the Paiva family and is an initiative supported by Government. The competition seeks to identify, recognize, celebrate and nurture Eswatini women and youth farmers into a sustainable agricultural businesses.
To promote, advance and encourage the participation of Swazi women in the agricultural sector through competitions, workshops, lecturers, seminars, trade shows, and agricultural exhibitions.
It is also to provide a forum for Swazi women involved in agriculture sector at whatsoever level, to source finance, exchange skills, to network and to source markets for their products
The competition is open to all woman farmers involved in agricultural enterprising throughout Eswatini and a team of selected judges visit the entrant homesteads to assess their enterprises and livelihoods.