Fe­male farmer scoops three awards

Vuk'uzenzele - - Ruralgdeenveerlaolpment - Hlengiwe Ngob­ese

liNDiwe ZUlU, owner of Delta Blue farm north of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), was the top achiever at gov­ern­ment’s re­cent Fe­male En­tre­pre­neur Awards.

Dis­abil­ity didn’t stop the KZN farmer from reach­ing her dreams. Zulu scooped first prize in three cat­e­gories, namely Over­all Win­ner, Top En­tre­pre­neur Small­holder and MEC Spe­cial Dis­abil­ity Award.

The awards, hosted by the KZN Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture and Ru­ral Devel­op­ment (DARD) ac­knowl­edged a few fe­male farm­ers for their eco­nomic and food se­cu­rity con­tri­bu­tion in the coun­try. Es­tab­lished 17 years ago, the awards are aimed at en­cour­ag­ing and increasing the par­tic­i­pa­tion of women, youth and peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties in the agri­cul­tural sec­tor.

Zulu, who is a poul­try farmer, started the business in 2015. Shortly there­after she was in­volved in a car ac­ci­dent that left her left leg paral­ysed.

“Af­ter the ac­ci­dent, I al­most gave up on my business. It was very slow. I used to sell three chick­ens a week. I had no clients. I re­alised that I had to work harder to mar­ket my business.”

"...the business sells 2 000 chick­ens per week and 14 women are em­ployed on the

farm..."

To­day the business sells 2 000 chick­ens per week and 14 women are em­ployed on the farm. MEC for KZN DARD Themba Mthembu said the cer­e­mony cel­e­brated and showed ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the phe­nom­e­nal work that women are do­ing in the agri­cul­tural sec­tor in the prov­ince.

“Women are the back­bone of agri­cul­ture, not only in this prov­ince and the coun­try,

but through­out de­vel­op­ing coun­tries,” he said.

He added that em­pow­er­ing and in­vest­ing in ru­ral women mean­ing­fully in­creases pro­duc­tiv­ity, re­duces hunger and mal­nu­tri­tion and im­proves ru­ral liveli­hoods.

Lindiwe Zulu (cen­tre) was over­all win­ner at the Fe­male En­tre­pre­neur Awards. The awards were hosted by the KZN Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture and Ru­ral Devel­op­ment.

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