Grind, woman!

Women in agriculture from Amathole Municipality and Buffalo City Municipality (BCM) had the opportunity to publicly display their work in Bhisho.

The Minister of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform in the Eastern Cape, Nonkqubela Pieters, was there displaying her skills of grinding the corn planted by these women in different places in BCM and Amathole.

Lumka Maso from the Seven Stars dairy factory in Qoboqobo, expressed her excitement about the role of women in society.

“When there is a woman, no one goes to bed without eating, we are resourceful as women. We stand up and ensure the well-being of our families and the well-being of society in general is good,” said Maso.

The month of August is the month that South Africa pays special attention to the problems and achievements of women.

Maso says that although they carry a heavy load every day in an effort to ensure that life continues, they need help in the agricultural programs for women in the Eastern Cape.

“We need strong support so that women’s development programs in the Eastern Cape can succeed without a doubt,” said Maso.

The dairy farm where she works, Seven Stars, is a top producer of milk in the Eastern Cape in Qoboqobo and Shilow in Hewu, Queenstown.

Nosandile Tyam from Dutywa is a farmer who also exhibited her work at the women farmers’ exhibition in Bhisho.

“I have children who have degrees at home because of crop farming and livestock farming. I have money in the bank because of it,” Tyam boasted.

Tyam received help to fence 115 hectares of land to continue her work as a corn farmer. South Africa and Africa in general has a history of women playing a major role in agriculture at home and on different farms. During apartheid the women lived at home and fed their families by producing food from their gardens.

Encouraging these women, Minister Pieters expressed her excitement about the work done by women in agriculture.

“As I walk around here, I am very happy with the work you are doing, we must make sure that our work is known as women in agriculture,” said Pieters.

She also encouraged these women to stop undervaluing themselves. “Stop looking down on yourselves, you are doing a great job of feeding the nation with your farming,” said Pieters.

The Department of Agriculture in the Eastern Cape issues awards every year to encourage farmers to continue their dedication to agriculture.

Captain Mfundo Mampunye was representing the Department of Defence in these agricultural women’s exhibitions.

“We are the South African army, and we have an agreement with this Department to buy your agricultural products so that the soldiers can eat the food you produced,” explained Mampunye.

The growth of agriculture that starts at the grassroots level can reduce the amount of money spent on daily purchases of high-value products that could be produced by society.

“We want food produced by you to be used in our companies instead of using food from other places,” said Mampunye.

Minister Pieters said that if the Eastern Cape is determined to feed South Africa in general, it will be necessary for the women to pull their socks.

These female farmers were also given monetary gifts as an incentive for the work they were doing there.