Exposure to information and opportunities has become a key factor of what Food For Mzansi is known for and many farmers have applauded the publication for opening up the space for many farmers in the country through platforms such as farmers’ days and the Mzansi Young Farmers Indaba.
Dimpho Xaba, an agronomist, lecturer, and farmer who farms wheat, maize, soya, potatoes, and bees in Pretoria North, appreciates Food For Mzansi’s exposure, which was widely influenced by the recent Food For Mzansi farmers’ day. It created networking platforms for farmers, government, and industry to interact.
Exposure from farmers’ day
“Calls have been coming left and right from potential clients, investors, and government support. The exposure helped me really work hard to make sure we increase our yields so that we can be competitive nationwide.
“Food For Mzansi should continue creating these platforms that impact farmers’ lives, and we wish Food For Mzansi another five years of success. We need to work hand in hand to safeguard the food security of the country and the region. Food For Mzansi shouldn’t stop the good work they are doing with limited resources,” Xaba said.
Tebogo Ntseoane from Mpumalanga, who did not know Food For Mzansi until the farmers indaba in Johannesburg, said the event enabled him to network with young farmers. He also acknowledges an article about him and says it has brought him major recognition.
Indaba opened plenty of doors
“Being featured on Food For Mzansi has increased my network. I know a lot of people, and sometimes when I need advice, I can always ask them, and they assist me. At the Mzansi Young Farmers Indaba I was listening to speakers, and most of them were motivating, showing that it is possible to make it, and it was eye-opening,” Ntseoane said.
“I wish nothing but to see the growth and development of the organisation so they can continue sharing success stories and recognising more young farmers out there,” he added.
Sunflower farmer from North West Minky Kgopa said her biggest highlight was attending the inaugural Food For Mzansi Youth Indaba in Sandton, Johannesburg, where she learned a lot by being exposed to many farmers and expanded her network.
“Exposure and great relationships highlight what is happening in the industry such as global awareness, different perspectives, and learning through others’ stories. Taking those learnings and applying them in my operations is what Food For Mzansi has helped me do,” she said.
Cheers to plenty more years
“The team’s commitment to making an impact in the agriculture industry has probably played a major role in FFM achieving this milestone, so keep doing what you are doing. A heartfelt congratulations to the FFM family as a whole and cheers to many more successful events, storytelling and great opportunities,” Kgopa said.
Pretty Seabela, a crop farmer in Limpopo, said FFM keeps her informed with new farming practices and everything that is happening in the agricultural sector. It has helped her a lot with what to look out for as stories of young farmers around the country have been a motivation for her.
“My greatest highlight must be the first indaba which was held in Sandton. It served as a space to grow and learn from different people, and I also have a small piece featuring my farming practices that have helped me to grow as a farmer and get advice from experienced farmers.
“Thank you FFM for keeping us informed on all things farming and agriculture, and I look forward to more exciting events and insightful information,” she said.
A win-win situation
Livestock farmer in Kuruman, Northern Cape Maungo Mokgoje said Food For Mzansi has impacted his operations following the hosting of the Northern Cape farmers’ day at his farm.
“Prior to the farmers’ day which we organised with Food For Mzansi, we had the local municipality coming through to scrape the road which has really been a great deal for us.
“Bringing the farmers together in one area in a rural place like Sisipi for me is remarkable. That was the biggest highlight for me because that would have not been possible if it was not for Food For Mzansi,” he said.
A wealth of information
Noko Seboni, a Limpopo white Brahman cattle farmer, said the influence of media has a great impact on agribusiness.
“Food For Mzansi has given farmers a platform to get new information at their fingertips. With access to the internet, we are able to connect with other farmers in developing countries and exchange ideas on changing technology methods of production and also connect with potential investors and with our customers, and government officials.
“My greatest highlight of the year was the nine farmers’ days in collaboration with Youth in Agriculture and Rural Development.
“I was able to attend the one in Polokwane with my wife. We saw farmers from deep rural areas showing up to meet and greet, express their opinions and develop relationships with well-known agricultural experts,” he said.
‘Keep up the good work’
Mlungisi Bushula, managing director of SA Fine-Tuned Trading, said the partnership between the publication and the Youth in Agriculture and Rural Development (Yard) has allowed them to connect with more people, businesses, and organisations working to improve the agricultural sector in South Africa.
“FFM team should keep up the great work of bringing the industry role players together and keep creating platforms for successful partnerships towards the fight against poverty and unemployment through a thriving agricultural sector in Mzansi,” he said.
Bushula noted that the farmers’ day events in October were a valuable opportunity for farmers of all levels to come together and learn from each other. The events also provided a platform for industry stakeholders to connect with farmers and share information about the resources and support services available to them.
KwaZulu-Natal crop farmer Andile Mkhize said Food For Mzansi has helped inspire small-scale farmers and other black youth that they are capable of anything they want.
“My highlight was the Mzansi Young Farmers Indaba which was held in 2022, which was the first one. I enjoyed the kind of content that was shared,” said Mkhize.
Reaching out to small-scale farmers
“FFM is doing the Lord’s work in the agricultural space sharing the core challenges in the agriculture space. We would appreciate it if FFM can connect with more small-scale farmers so that challenges faced by them can be understood, as we are mostly sidelined in most of the benefits provided,” he added.
A crop and livestock farmer from the Northern Cape in Kuruman, Kgomotso Itumeleng, said Food For Mzansi has brought a lot of stories to the fore which were not covered before, especially in his province.
“Food For Mzansi has managed to bring such a wealth of stories which are having a huge impact on our farming businesses. These stories that have been covered have brought a lot of insight and motivation to many farmers.
“I will say Food For Mzansi has been good with their coverage from the youth indaba to the farmers’ days that covered all the nine provinces,” he said.
‘FFM has made me a better farmer’
Gauteng livestock farmer Nompumelelo Dhlamini said Food For Mzansi has educated, enlightened, encouraged, and has made her a better farmer.
“It has opened doors to meeting and networking with other like-minded farmers, improving my style of farming which has made me grow and has made me think about venturing into other aspects of farming.
“Attending the Mzansi Youth Indaba at the FNB stadium has to be my greatest highlight. All I can say is thank you for educating us through these platforms,” she said.
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