KZN’s fab­u­lous fe­male farmer

Vuk'uzenzele - - General - Hlengiwe Ngob­ese

a KWaZUlU-Na­Tal

When Bu­sisiwe Molefe (49) from Port Shep­stone started her own farm­ing busi­ness she had no idea that it would flour­ish in the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket.

Molefe is the co-owner of BBS Farm in Port Shep­stone, on KZN’s south coast which pro­duces macadamia nuts and toma­toes and ex­ports them to Asia, China, Europe and United States of Amer­ica.

When Molefe started the farm she wanted to help her com­mu­nity get veg­eta­bles eas­ily. Now she is the first black farmer from KZN to sup­ply macadamias to the ex­port mar­ket and lo­cal gi­ant re­tail­ers.

In 2010 she en­tered the Fe­male En­tre­pre­neur Awards’ com­mer­cial cat­e­gory and came sec­ond. She was also re­cently hon­oured at a gala din­ner hosted by Ithala De­vel­op­ment Fi­nance Cor­po­ra­tion, which ac­knowl­edged ex­cep­tional busi­ness women on a pub­lic plat­form.

Molefe walked away with R15 000 for third place, out of 145 en­tries, in Ithala’s Im­bokodo Iyazen­zela Women in Busi­ness Awards which is a flag­ship pro­gramme of the KZN provin­cial de­vel­op­ment agency.

“It takes hard work, pas­sion, sac­ri­fice and ded­i­ca­tion. It took me six years to grad­u­ate from a sub­sis­tence pro­ducer to a qual­i­fied ex­port farmer and meet all the re­quire­ments and stan­dards,” she said. BBS Farm em­ploys 27 per­ma­nent and 10 sea­sonal work­ers, many of which are women and youth. The suc­cess­ful farmer re­ceived train­ing and sup­port from the De­part­ment of KZN Agri­cul­ture & Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment and Agri­cul­tural De­vel­op­ment Agency (ADA). She was trained through the Per­ish­able Prod­uct Ex­port Board Coun­cil in fi­nan­cial man­age­ment, agribusi­ness and mar­ket­ing, which en­abled her to move into the com­mer­cial sec­tor.

Wear­ing a pro­duc­tion and mar­ket­ing man­ager’s hat at BBS Farm, she hopes to in­spire other women to chase af­ter their dreams and make a suc­cess of their lives.

“I’d like to see more women start­ing their own busi­nesses and break­ing through the glass ceil­ing in pre­vi­ously male-dom­i­nated in­dus­tries,” she said.

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