Mbabane: Zintombi Dlamini-Sikhondze, a nursery farmer from Siphofaneni has been announced as Adult woman farmer of the year while Vuyisile Lauretta Bhembe-Mwelase, a nursery, piggery, poultry, and vegetable farmer from Nkhaba was been crowned the 2021 Youth Woman Farmer of the Year.
Dlamini-Sikhondze took home prizes worth E145 997 while Bhembe-Mwelase took home prizes worth E74 739 during an event held at Riders Ranch in Sidvokodvo today.
Speaking at the Riders Ranch the minister of Agriculture Jabulani Mabuza Minister of Agriculture Jabulani Mabuza said as the government they have observed an increase in all the categories of the competition as new enterprises such as Strawberries and Taro have been added.
Mabuza urged all farmers to ensure they follow the recommended agronomic practices of increasing crop yields such as proper variety selection, liming where required, application of adequate fertilizer, timely weeding, and spraying. He urged farmers to increase productivity and diversify their production systems.
The Woman Farmer of the Year competition started in 2007 and is an initiative of businesswoman Sonia Paiva, who later launched a Woman Farmer Foundation in 2014.
Its aim is to promote advance and encourage the participation of Swazi Women in the agricultural sector through competition, workshops, seminars, trade shows, and exhibition
It also aims to equip, promote and advance the interests of Swazi women in the agricultural sector from subsistence level to commercial, especially the women in the rural areas, subsequently increasing food security and mitigating the issues of poverty and hunger in the country.
The Woman Farmer Foundation has a national focus on its implementation and works in Swaziland. The ultimate desire is to affect and touch communities in all the 55 constituencies of Swaziland through innovative, practical, and sustainable developmental strategies.
It, therefore, endeavors to empower women by expanding their knowledge base through the dissemination of information by means of workshop training at the constituencies or at arranged venues. This is in line with the Sustainable development goal of eradicating poverty and hunger.