The launch of the third cohort of the #SoilSistas programme, presented by Corteva Agriscience and coordinated by the GIBS Entrepreneurship Academy and Food For Mzansi, heralds a new chapter in women entrepreneurship in agriculture.
Among the inspiring women chosen for this year-long blended development programme is Beauty Sibiya, whose journey from the health and safety industry to championing food security has captured hearts.
Turning dreams into reality
Recognising the soaring prices of food, Sibiya and her husband established a chicken farm, and their unwavering commitment has yielded promising results. Through #SoilSistas, she found support, guidance, and empowerment to overcome challenges and transform her vision into reality.
“I told my husband why don’t we start a chicken farm, and one day my husband came and said [he] got a place somewhere in the rural area [and we went and] checked it out,” Sibiya says.
In the heart of the homelands in Kromkrans, Mpumalanga, Sibiya and her husband fell in love with a piece of land and locked it down by purchasing it. This piece of land gave the couple hope for their farming endeavours. “[Today], everything is doing well. We got another [piece of land] where we are doing layers,” she says.
Bright hope for the future
Despite the remarkable progress she has made, Sibiya’s farming path has been far from smooth. Like any up-and-coming farmer, she encountered significant challenges, particularly in terms of market access and the persistent obstacle of load shedding. These hurdles tested her resilience and posed formidable obstacles as she navigated the learning process.
“When we started, we didn’t have a market. I remember the first time we started, we had a lot of chicken, and we didn’t know where to take our chicken,” she explains.
However, as a woman who loves research, she stumbled upon the #SoilSistas programme on social media and applied. “I was so down because of load shedding and when [Corteva Agriscience] called me [to say I was selected], they really motivated me and the programme helped me,” she says.
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