Features

Farmers’ Diaries: Maria Tswayi

The rains have come, crops are planted and animals vaccinated. Now its making sure everything – from plants to animals – grow as best they can. A few farmers share their summer plans with us.

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Manpower puts Maria on highway to success

Not that long ago, Maria Tswayi ran a few cattle on communal land in Masilonyana village near Theunissen in the Free State. Today, with the help of fellow black farmers and the Sernick Group, Maria is an award-winning farmer well on her way to commercial success. She tells Peter Mashala how hard work and consistent effort got her to the top of her group.

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Farming with no excuses

Sibusiso ‘Sbu’ Mogale, a former paralympian turned farmer, produces poultry and vegetables in his home village of eNgodini near White River in Mpumalanga. He talks to African Farming’s Peter Mashala about the legacy of plant knowledge his grandmother left him and about overcoming physical challenges to live your best life.

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A land legacy transformed

Thabitha Chauke dropped out of university in 2002 to answer what she believed was a call from her late father to work the family plot. Years of hardship followed before Thabitha built her business, Amokelani Farm, to what it is today – a thriving commercial tomato growing operation that supplies the local market as well as international buyers from Botswana and Mozambique. In 2018 her ability was recognised when she was named the top female producer in the Waterberg district and the Lephalale municipality. Peter Mashala caught up with her to find out more.

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Partnerships that work

Thanks to a major investment by SA Breweries (SAB), the Moletele community now boasts a lime orchard project, in which they are the majority shareholder in partnership with the Komati Group. Along with SAB, the new company planted the first lime trees on a 60ha development at their Richmond Kopano Farm at Hoedspruit last December.

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