Young KZN farmers believe in country’s growth

2008-09-11 00:00

Young farmers in KZN are optimistic about future growth in the farming industry in South Africa.

This is the general view from three top young farmers who received awards from the KZN Agricultural Union (Kwanalu).

The union held its annual general meeting at the Imperial Hotel in Pietermaritzburg yesterday.

Several awards were presented in different categories, but the main category was the Kwanalu Young Farmer of the Year 2008.

One of the selection criteria is that the nominees be younger than 35. Roland Driemeyer (33) from Winterton, Jamie Staedman (31) from the south coast and James Raw (34) from Kokstad were the finalists.

Raw won and will represent KZN nationally. Speaking to The Witness, Raw said he was encouraged by the recognition.

“I am very pleased with the award, it’s encouraging to get recognition for the work you do.”

Raw has a dairy, beef and sheep farm and is also involved in tourism. He has been farming for over eight years.

Staedman and Driemeyer were both pleased with their progress as farmers. Driemeyer said he foresees a great future in his grain farming business. Staedman said he is a proud South African.

“My future is in this country, I will stay … and keep producing food,” he said.

Raw said SA farmers are very efficient because they are able to compete with farmers who are subsidised by their countries. “All we are asking is that the government protects us from farmers that are subsidised in their countries.”

sandilez@witness.co.za

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