Ntobeko Mafu, a 22-year-old farmer and founder of Madame Clucks Alot in KwaZulu-Natal, has made it her mission to foster healthier and stronger societies, by educating her community about food gardens and food security through training.
Mafu recently hosted 60 of her community members on her farm in an effort to empower aspiring farmers and community members to become food secure.
“Education and training plays a crucial role in the development of farmers,” Mafu said. “Knowledge is power. We are so used to linear, or old farming methods that we’re afraid to try something new without realizing that times have changed and farming is evolving and farming and business ethics go hand in hand now.”
Her farm located in Edendale, is home to broiler and crop production units. Her broiler chickens are sold as live chickens, slaughtered chickens, insides, feet and gizzards. The crops are sold as organic leafy greens namely, kale, spinach, beetroot and cabbage.
In addition, Madame Clucks Alot offers training and development.
The free agricultural training programme focussed on marketing and keeping financial records. The programme also combined practical training in agricultural techniques with knowledge of marketing strategies and financial record-keeping to create a well-rounded approach to farming. Photo: Supplied/Ntobeko Mafu
On the day, Errol Mathevula from the KwaZulu-Natal Poultry Institute gave small-scale farmers applications for subsidised courses, while Ntombikhona Farming gave participants seedlings and an anonymous donor donated maize seeds to farmers. The participants, Mafu said, left with lifelong networks and valuable information. Knowledge sharing regarding broiler production and crop production was a key focus. Photo: Supplied/Ntobeko Mafu
The event was also graced by radio personalities, Alex Mthiyane and Nkulie Mbatha from Gagasi FM. Mafu said the inspiration to host the farmer’s day stems from making many mistakes when she began. She has also realised that not everyone is exposed to information sessions, especially in rural areas. Photo: Supplied/Ntobeko Mafu
Educating communities about food gardens and food security is not only about growing food. Mafu believes that it is also about addressing a wide range of interconnected issues and contributing to a more equitable and prosperous future for all. Photo: Supplied/Ntobeko Mafu