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Alfreda honours father’s legacy through farming excellence

In episode 2 of "Vir die liefde van die land" viewers meet Alfreda Mars, an inspirational grain farmer who is breaking barriers in the Western Cape

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Although farming might still largely be a man’s world where women continue to experience pushback and find it difficult to excel, grain farmer Alfreda Mars has been defying all odds.

She has been breaking barriers for a long time and the in the second episode of the brand-new agricultural TV show, Vir die liefde van die land (“For the love of the land”), viewers are invited into her world of farming.

Pictured from the left is TV presenter Ivor Price, Ingrid van der Walt from WYRD Films and farmer Alfreda Mars. Photo: Food For Mzansi

The popular new DStv show is hosted by Food For Mzansi co-founder Ivor Price and Piet Potgieter, manager of developing agriculture at the VKB Group. It is broadcasted every Thursday at 18:00 on VIA, channel 147. Vir die liefde van die land is described as described as raw, real and cutting-edge – a truly cinematic experience about the powerful mentorship relationships between up-and-coming and commercial farmers who collaborate to make a notable contribution to food security and social cohesion in the country.

We also meet Mars’ inspirational neighbours…

In this week’s episode, Mars and her family of farm workers are followed by cameras as they farm together just outside Moorreesburg in the Western Cape. Mars believes that by farming she is simply fulfilling her late father’s legacy who was an avid farmer too.

ALSO READ: Farming is a woman’s world, after all

In the episode, she shares intricate details of her farming journey, including being overlooked for drought-relief funding despite her success, wanting to quit many times and working the land as a child.

“I started farming at a very young age with my father,” she tells Price. “I grew up with tractors and was told by my father to climb up his tractor, to start it and drive.”

Viewers also hear first-hand why Mars is so successful from her equally inspirational neighbours, Loffie Smuts and Frans van Wyk.

ALSO READ: Elderly dreamer’s farming vision now a reality

…and VKB talks about building bridges in agri

This week’s episode of Vir die liefde van die land also introduces Paul Carsagen, the chairman of VKB’s board. He calls for greater cooperation between commercial and new era farmers. He also alludes to some of the great challenges young farmers often encounter which he believes requires special measures to face head on.

  • The episode featuring Mars shows on Thursday, 15 October at 18:00 on VIA, DStv channel 147 with further repeats on Fridays at 00:00 and 06:00 and Sundays at 20:00.

Duncan Masiwa
Duncan Masiwa
DUNCAN MASIWA is a budding journalist with a passion for telling great agricultural stories. He hails from Macassar, close to Somerset West in the Western Cape, where he first started writing for the Helderberg Gazette community newspaper. Besides making a name for himself as a columnist, he is also an avid poet who has shared stages with artists like Mahalia Buchanan, Charisma Hanekam, Jesse Jordan and Motlatsi Mofatse.
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