Former ‘farm hands’ rewarded

2017-10-06 06:00
PHOTO: khaya magenuCows about to go to auction on Tuesday.

PHOTO: khaya magenuCows about to go to auction on Tuesday.

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FIVE farmers are enjoying the rewards of their passion for agriculture.

Sakhayedwa Nyaka, Mxolisi Nonjingo, Mziyifani Wellington Nonjingo, Thenjiwe Nonjingo and Cecilia Qokela had worked hard on a farm for many years not knowing that one day they would own a farm.

Since 2007 however, a co-operative, comprising of five people, has succeeded in making large parts of the land productive.

Today, two women and three men, the former farm workers, are the owners of the same lucrative industry that have catapulted them to fame.

This after Land Affairs bought Drookside farm in Droewig Drive 22km from Kokstad.

Nqokela said she started in 1982 as a domestic worker on a farm, but today she is the proud owner of a farm, which has dramatically changed her life for the better.

She advised women to take farming seriously as food production is declining in South Africa.

“When the Department of Land Affairs bought the farm, there were 10 people, now the farm is owned by five people, three resigned and two people have since died,” said farm manager Thembisa Mokhele.

She said the farm is doing well as they have 349 cows, 194 heifers, 97 weaners, 30 mature cows, 102 calves and 20 oxen.

“We are planting 60 hectares of maize, vegetables, beans, potatoes and more. Our farm is about 1695 hectares,” said Mokhele

She said since 2007 they have never looked back, even when the 2014 veld fires destroyed several farms’ stock and killed three workers on their farm, they were never discouraged from fulfilling their dream.

“Many black emerging farmers like to buy expensive cars once they own a farm, but we decided not to buy expensive cars, even our salaries are not abnormal,” said Mokhele.

She said they don’t live a life of luxury and everything on the farm they do themselves, although they have employed a large number of permanent and temporary workers.

She said they work hard in order to have their own planter, tractors, excavator and farming material.

She said they need a truck to load their stock onto when they go to auctions and they are struggling to get harvesting plants.

She said even though they have challenges, they will prevail against all odds.

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