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KWANALU: WOMEN IN AGRICULTURE

We want to celebrate the meaningful contributions women make to the agricultural sector! Whether you’re a farmer, own an agricultural business, work in the sector from an office or at home, are an agricultural consultant, a large animal vet or are a farmer’s wife who helps to run the family business, we want to hear from you!

Share your story or nominate another awesome woman here! 

Upload a photo or video here!

INTRODUCING REMARKABLE WOMEN IN AGRICULTURE

Get to know the women that dedicate their time to supporting, uplifting, leading and maintaining agriculture in South Africa!

Nolwazi Mkhize

  • Durban, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Small-scale vegetable farmer
  • “I hire locals to work at my farmland, I have one full time employee and casual workers too. I am planning on hiring more people since I have just leased another portion of land meaning I’ll be needing extra hands.
  • “Women can be in charge, create employment and be hands-on within their agricultural business.”

Gugulethu Mahlangu

  • Witbank, Gauteng
  • Vegetable farmer
  • “Women are intuitive and meticulous. We can work the land with integrity and care. Food and nutrition are important to feed the nation, our community and most importantly, our families.”
Paula Beauclerk (Nominated by Linda Lusso)
  • Ixopo, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Dairy farmer
  • “Paula and her husband manage a large extremely successful dairy farming operation. Paula’s endless energy, enthusiasm, determination and, above all, compassion and love for her animals are an inspiration to us all. Woman add value to any sector of agriculture they are involved in through their attention to detail, compassion and work ethic.”

Thandi Dlamini (Nominated by: Sizwe Mchunu)

  • Nquthu, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Emerging poultry farmer
  • “Thandi uses her pension money to raise broilers and layers, stock eggs from established farmers, provide work opportunities to young men and women who assist her in running her emerging operation. She empowers fellow women and youth in deep rural areas.”

Meena Jaganath

  • Durban, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Vegetable aquaponics and aquaculture farming tutor for disadvantaged woman and youth
  • “Women should be given the opportunity to share their knowledge with the disadvantaged. I would start an indoor recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) to farm fish and vegetables. The sales would help sustain the farm overheads and then I would use this farm as a training facility to educate people and help them produce sustainable, organic food.”

Nicolene Botha

  • Winterton, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Secretary for a crop spraying company
  • “Women are the workers behind-the-scenes keeping everything running smoothly.”

Olga Nkoana (Nominated by: Tshidi Munyai)

  • Brits, North West
  • Soy bean and vegetable farmer
  • “Olga came out from humble beginnings and is doing practical work in farming, such as training and building the capacity of the young women in agriculture. Olga is also my mentor. Making women active participants of the agricultural economy has benefits that extend way beyond their own livelihoods — helping to improve the lives of their families and communities too. Female farmers in staking their claim in the agriculture sector through the use of technology, which in turn can help to reduce poverty, ensure food security, and boost the industry’s contribution to the economy.”

Wendy Channing

  • Curry’s post, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Alpaca farm manager (fleece and manure) and rosemary grower (essential oils)
  • “Women are often overlooked in agriculture as it has been a male dominated sector for so long. I feel we have to work so much harder and achieve so much more to be recognized as real farmers, regardless of how big your property or farm is or the quantity being produced. I also feel women tend to be more hands on and involved in the actual labour or process. In today’s economic climate, a lot of women have had to become entrepreneurs and take earning a living and supporting their families into their own hands resorting to agriculture in one way or another.”

Londi Khulu

  • Cato Ridge, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Teacher & small seedlings and vegetables farmer
  • “Women are the corner stone of our everyday life. When teaching a girl/women, she will be able to transfer those skills to the next generation at a very young age. I believe women should be given space to grow in the sector.”

Thobeka Manyathi (Nominated by: Clarance Malapana)

  • Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Sales and advisory on plant nutrition
  • “Thobeka assists commercial and small-scale farmers in KZN and Mpumalanga. She is committed, humble, a go-getter, a hard worker, and shows a willingness and dedication to assist and elevate farmers reach their optimal goals i.e. yield and profit.”

Lindiwe Dlomo

  • Mooi River, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Studied agriculture and an intern at a flower nursery.
  • “Women are the foundation of everything, especially in the Agricultural sector. Their natural nurturing ability goes above and beyond when it comes to handling produce. Attention to detail is a given. This assures that the farm’s best qualities are showcased. Lastly, multi-tasking allows us to handle complex situations at once with great effort and care. Women are the FUTURE!”

Nozipho Mngomeni

  • Harding, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Promotes agriculture on Facebook and at schools for the Department of Agriculture
  • “Women play a vital role in agriculture, because they can easily identify challenges. They are the ones involved in soup kitchens; using fresh vegetables that they produce or selling their vegetables and donating the proceeds to those in need. Women are able to use the smallest space in their yards for agriculture. PROUD TO BE ONE OF THOSE WOMEN!😀😀”

Ayanda Sarilla

  • Esikhawini, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Pigs and vegetable farmer
  • “Women play a really big role in keeping everything together and staying organised.”

Daisy Moleko (Nominated by: Malusi Cele)

  • Soweto, Gauteng
  • Rabbit farmer
  • “Daisy runs the business and hosts programmes and  workshops on how to breed rabbits. Through her experience, she has developed a successful business model and assists young and unemployed youth in our community.”
  • “Women are pillars of our communities and play an important role in raising the future citizens of our country. Women are very passionate, emotionally strong and play a role in inspiring young people to take advantage and opportunities that are in agricultural sector.”

Linda Lusso (Nominated by: Paula Beauclerk)

  • Eston, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Macadamia and sheep farmer, as well as a fertilizer representative
  • “Linda is passionate about farming and everything she does she gives 100 % effort. She is a wonderful mum to her two boys and has instilled her desire for farming in them. Linda is also very willing to share the information she has learnt – nothing is ever too much.”

Lesetja Machacha (Nominated by: Kgabo Sepuru)

  • Polokwane, Limpopo
  • Vegetables and chicken farmer
  • “Lesetja is a dedicated, passionate young lady that is working hard to fight poverty in the town with hopes of helping the whole world.”

Sue Morton (Nominated by: Belinda Mclintock)

  • Thabazimbi, Limpopo
  • The “engine room” of The operations at a wildlife breeding centre

Karen Hammond

  • Midlands, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Sheep trader
  • “Women are the future of agriculture.”

Wynne Smith (Nominated by: Cindy Kidger)

  • Eston, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Agri-business owner and Beaumont-Eston Farmers Association Chairperson
  • “Together with her husband, she owns and manages several farms, farming instant lawn, sugarcane and Macadamia Nuts. Currently, Wynne is the only female fulfilling the role of chairperson of any of the farmers’ associations in KZN! It is her commitment and utter belief in the value of the role farmers play in the social and economic future of SA that sets her apart.”
  • “Women have a lot to bring to the table in agriculture. Their compassion, attention to detail, patience, determination and reasoning abilities are perfect traits to add value in any field of agriculture.”

Siziwe Mkhwanazi

  • Kempton Park, Gauteng
  • Aspiring farmer
  • “I wish to be part of farming in my home area in KZN and be able to assist my community and the youth with employment.”
  • “Women nowadays are improving themselves to contribute to business. their families, the country and economy.”

Tracy Gurney (Nominated by: Wynne Smith)  

  • Eston, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Agri-business owner, administrator and farmer’s wife
  • “Tracy and her husband have a hugely successful transport business; where they transport other growers sugarcane to the sugar mill. Tracy was part of the Eston farmers Association a few years back and is the first female to ever chair the Beaumont Eston Farmers’ Association (BEFA). She is very thorough person in all that she does, is one of the most generous people I know and is a community player – they lead by example.

Marianne Brown (Nominated by: Toinette van Rooyen)

  • Greytown, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Owner and founder of an agricultural start-up
  • “Marianne is a fierce leader, that stands her ground – a real trailblazer! She never stands still, is always willing to learn, is 100% committed, is passionate about the agricultural sector and is willing to help others grow and reach their potential.”

Dale Gait

  • Eston, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Owner of an ornamental plant nursery
  • “I think woman play a huge role in agriculture. Most women are not scared of hard work as they have to support their families. We love seeing our hard work grow and we love the environment we work in. We are very aware of the effects of agriculture on our surroundings. We also know how important it is to teach our children about growing food for themselves.”

Tarulata J Patel

  • Durban, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Subsistence vegetable grower
  • “We, as mothers, are responsible for feeding the family. It is important to learn skills, uplift ourselves and provide for our families by growing our own crops and encourage the neighbourhood to do the same, individually and as a team.”

Thandazile Nqobile Shezi

  • Thornville, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Student and small-scale poultry farmer
  • “It’s time for women to show the world that there are no limitations to what they can achieve. Women are hard workers and very intelligent.”

Fhumulani Ratshitanga (Nominated by: Raesetse Baloyi)

  • Midrand, Gauteng
  • CEO of Fruit South Africa.
  • “Fhumulani facilitates the affairs of fruit industry exports, and communications between fruit associations with government and international countries. She’s at the centre of the South African horticulture exports and is the youngest CEO of Fruit South Africa.”

Nomcebo Ngobeni (Nominated by: Toinette van Rooyen)

  • Greytown, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Nomcebo leads one of the maize breeding team
  • “Nomcebo is fully committed to doing her part in feeding the world; starting at home and focusing our continent. She dedicates a lot of her time and energy to people development; teaching her team new skills and how to incorporate technology into their daily activities.”

Thandazile Nqobile Shezi

  • Thornville, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Student and small-scale poultry farmer
  • “It’s time for women to show the world that there are no limitations to what they can achieve. Women are hard workers and very intelligent.”

Sandra Bekker (Nominated by: Toinette van Rooyen)

  • Komatipoort, Mpumalanga
  • Plant breeder
  • “Sandra is passionate and loves being involved in a process that will ensure food on people’s tables. Her love for agriculture and plant breeding is displayed in the role she plays as being part of the team breeding for better and more nutritious vegetables for the African region.”

Zuziwe Lushozi

  • Pietermaritzburg, KZN
  • Student and intern at agricultural NPO that assists with rural development
  • “Women are, by nature, caring and nurturing. Women possess all the skills that are necessary for husbandry in agriculture. Women have the ability to lead and teach, young and old people to care for themselves and each other. Ladies ensure that more than the bare minimum is achieved in every single thing they do and they encourage participation and appreciation amongst all parties, especially in industries such as agriculture, where much care and appreciation is required consistently.”

Nothando Fanelesbonge Shangase

  • New Hanover, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Farmer
  • “I have learnt a lot from this journey; from business management to technical skills of farming and growing as a person along the way. l wish to transfer what l have learnt to other women out there. It makes me smile 😊 to put food on the table for my society, either by my produce or through job creation; especially in times like these. To be part of food chain is amazing.”
  • “Let us make it our duty to change the agricultural industry perspective. I believe we could do this through adoption of technology. All sectors are talking about a 4th Industrial Revolution and we also need to implement it in our sector. We, as women in agriculture are brave, capable and hungry for change.”

Marlene van Rooyen (Nominated by: Toinette van Rooyen)

  • Pretoria, Gauteng
  • Research field scientist
  • “Marlene leads the insectory team, and all field and glasshouse work. I admire her for her passion, and her knowledge about agriculture, plants and insects! She encourages listeners when speaking about her line of work.”

Zimbini Mpurwana

  • Margate, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Small piggery manager
  • “Women should not be evaluated in terms of gender, but in terms of economic contribution to the communities through innovation and commitment.”

Khanyisile Dumakude

  • Richards Bay, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Moringa farmer and agro-processor
  • “I have employed five staff and take pride in the fact that I am supporting five households.”

Toinette Van Rooyen (Nominated by: Marlize Havenga)

  • Greytown, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Sunflower farmer
  • “Toinette is part of the breeding team involved in creating sustainable food resources for the land and its people! She is a passionate, go-getter with a winning attitude that is always motivating and inspiring other women to become agricultural activists! Women are under estimated in agricultural careers and I think we refer to earth as “Mother Earth”, because every woman involved in agriculture adds that ‘motherly love’ to our country and its land’s needs!”

Pretty Zaca

  • Richmond, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Ornamental horticulture and landscaping student and part-time sales assistant
  • “I grew up with a passion for farming and, in my spare time I volunteer on farms to learn old and new ways of farming. I also teach others who have gardens on their properties.”

Phindile Zondi

  • Bulwer, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Administrator, marketing and wife on an emerging poultry farm
  • “Women are a good support system and some are in the frontline in ensuring food security within our country.”

Christin Hunter (Nominated by: Toinette van Rooyen)

  • Greytown, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Marketing Communications Manager at a seed company
  • “Christin is passionate, she loves all people involved in agriculture, she enjoys what she does and is 100% committed to her company and industry.”

Lindiwe Mtshali

  • Vryheid, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Vegetable farmer
  • “Women are doing very well in this field of business. Women can produce so much, and can add to the value chain and to the economy of the country as well.”

Sonke Ndlovu

  • Cato Ridge, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Animal production
  • “Being a female that majored in animal production, I’ve learnt that it is best to do whatever task given with dedication. The agricultural sector has helped in bashing the stigma that certain sectors are male dominated, as now we have farm owners and managers that are young females.”

Sandy Adamson

  • Underberg, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Works with husband in an equal partnership on a dairy farm
  • “Every man needs a woman and every woman needs a man in a successful business.”

Sithembiso Dube

  • Rural area, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Community vegetable garden worker
  • “Women play a very big role in producing food for families and the community.”

Thuli Promrose

  • Dannhauser, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Aspiring farmer
  • “Farming promotes job creation. Women in agriculture are strong women.”

Heidi Tredous (Nominated by: Lisa Robertson)

  • Wartburg, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Executive board member and Chief Financial Officer of an agribusiness
  • “Heidi is the first female Executive Board member at UCL Pty LTD.”

Nonhlanhla Mdlalose

  • Mtubatuba, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Vegetable grower
  • “I support my family with the vegetable I grow, but I would like to see more jobs created through agriculture for the community.

Andile Zulu

  • Nongoma, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Vegetable grower and trader
  • “I think women can do better in agriculture to assist with nationwide hunger.”

Lindiwe Ngwenya (Nominated by Lisa Robertson)

  • Durban/Kloof, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Board member at an agribusiness
  • “Lindiwe is the first black female board member of UCL Pty LTD

Angelina Myeza

  • Umkomaas, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Student and lives on a farm
  • “I am passionate about farming and hope to make my mark on the industry in the future.”

 

Sithembile Mthethwa

  • KwaZulu-Natal
  • Sells chickens
  • “Farming is a sector that women can excel in.”

Kirsty Dicks (Nominated by: Amy Daugherty)

  • Bergville, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Sheep farmer and administration
  • “Kirsty is very dedicated to agriculture.”

Kwanele Myeni

  • Jozini, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Mushroom Farmer

Jacqueline McGladdery

  • Eston, Upper Tongaat, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Farmer

Sibongile Mbatha

  • Zululand district, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Goat breeder and trader, and vegetable grower.

Divie Miya

  • Estcourt, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Piggery and poultry farmer

Belinda Mclintock

  • Himeville, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Horticulturist

Thembi Makhubu

  • Esikhawini /Richards Bay, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Small-scale farm worker

Portia Hendricks

  • Mtubatuba, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Managing Director at a bed n breakfast and a chicken farmer.
  • “I sell live and slaughtered broilers. I also bought land where I plan to start a piggery and egg production. I would like to feed the community and create job opportunities for the community.”
  • “Women provide for their families and friends. They are no longer dependent on men.”