As Food For Mzansi celebrates its fifth year since its inception, farmers across the country remember how their featured stories changed their lives. For some, it opened doors while for others, it elevated them to the next level in their farming journeys.
Tumelo Ngakanyane, a livestock farmer from Ganyesa in North West, said since he was featured on Food For Mzansi, his life changed as community members started buying his livestock.
“Food For Mzansi has promoted my business and my life. I will also make sure I work hard on my studies and participate in Food For Mzansi events.
“My message to Food For Mzansi is that may this company grow bigger and bigger every day and may the Lord promote it so, that as farmers, we are able to benefit from it. I wish the publication many more years to come while prospering,” he said.
Shining a light on ostrich farming
Kabelo Lekalakala, an ostrich farmer in Brits, North West, said as an emerging farmer in a difficult commodity, the exposure that he received from Food For Mzansi was critical in raising awareness of the challenges and opportunities in farming with ostrich.
“The greatest highlight will be my story being published because I am vested to see to it that my work is getting exposed and also listening to one of the podcasts shows.
“I would like to celebrate the milestone of reaching five years with Food For Mzansi and the impact that they have made to date in featuring and celebrating the work that emerging farmers have achieved against all odds. I hope the Food For Mzansi network goes from strength to strength with their quality content growth,” he said.
‘Keep doing what you’re doing’
A fruit farmer in Limpopo, Dibesho Serage, said Food For Mzansi has put him on the map following a profile story about him and his business operations.
“Following the profile, my business has enjoyed attention from potential partners and relevant stakeholders. The greatest highlight for me is the profiling of black farmers which the publication does very well.
“My message will be: keep up the good work and do not shift your focus from black farmers. Keep arranging those Indabas, group sessions and farmers’ days because we as black farmers need them the most,” he said.
Rooftop farmer Andile Matukane said as one of the first few farmers to be profiled by Food For Mzansi in its early days, she was happy to see the heights the publication has reached.
“Thank you for bringing thousands of farmers into recognition, telling the untold stories, and educating millions of people. More people understand farming through FFM. It simply starts with one seed,” she said.
The magic of networking
KwaZulu-Natal goat farmer Mpendulo Mbatha said Food For Mzansi has been a platform that has modernised the way farmers reach each other and network with information as modern farmers.
“My greatest highlight is being featured in one of the articles and the responses I received from everyone have affected my work positively,” he said.
Eastern Cape farmer Sinelizwi Fakade said he was grateful for the opportunities granted to have a platform where one can fully express their views and opinions.
“I have been fortunate, on more than one occasion, to have had some articles published related to the work I do in the Eastern Cape. To be afforded that platform has made a huge contribution to what I do.
“My message to Food For Mzansi is that they should keep doing what they are doing. I think it cannot go backwards from here. To reach five years as a start-up and as an idea, is incredible. Credit to the team and to the leaders of Food For Mzansi who I think have done a phenomenal job.
“Stick to the same game plan, exploring other ways of transferring knowledge, and sharing information. And, importantly, being a platform where farmers can engage on various topics which is very important and much-needed,” he said.
‘Stick to the game plan’
Peach farmer Khulile Mahlalela from Mpumalanga states that the Food for Mzansi platform has exposed her to her market and people who are willing to hold her hand through the food security crisis.
“Food For Mzansi has impacted my operations in a good way because I received many messages from charcoal clients. Reading about other young farmers’ journeys on the Food For Mzansi website and my article being there as well is motivation on its own.
“You may think what you are doing is little, but to us agripreneurs, it’s motivation and fuel. Those articles motivate us they fuel us. Please keep them coming. We need to read something related to our industry,” he said.
Shining a light on youngsters
Motlapele Morule, who operates a mixed farming operation in the North West, appreciates how Food for Mzansi continues to profile young farmers and give solid advice on farming matters.
“Food For Mzansi has not impacted my farming directly, but I do follow the publication. I also recently read an article about meat grading that was highly informative.
“My message to Food for Mzansi is that it must continue to transform media in agriculture to resonate with the young people,” she said.
Farming with cattle in the Northern Cape, Kedibonye Kaweng highlights how Food for Mzansi has played a significant role in helping her understand the whole spectrum of the farming industry, the importance of networking, the community, and the inspiring stories of women in agriculture.
A voice for women
“Food For Mzansi has made a great impact on transforming my framing practice by providing a valuable source of information and insights.
“My first feature in the publication, which allowed me to share my experience, challenges, and successes with a wider audience, received incredible recognition. I was so proud of myself, and that boosted my morale. Congratulations on the five-year journey that has played a huge role in advancing, advocating for, and being the voice for women in the farming industry,” she said.
Asenathi Nqobe, is a young livestock farmer from the North West, says an article published about her has pushed her to do more, and many people have approached her, as young as she is, to learn from her.
“Food For Mzansi has given me more exposure. I’m getting more clients and more people interested in farming, so it has pushed me to ensure that my farming operations are up-to-date and everything is going well. Food For Mzansi should continue producing more articles, it’s truly amazing how many out there are assisted with brand exposure,” she said.
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