The Female Entrepreneur of the Year Awards’ main objective is to encourage and recognise participation of women in the agricultural, forestry and fisheries sectors. The event rewards the effort and contribution made by women in matters of food security through small and large-scale agricultural production, as well as participation in value-chain activities.
The Female Entrepreneur of the Year Awards replaced the previous Female Farmer of the Year competition in line with the broadened mandate of the national Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
For female entrepreneurs to be eligible for the competition, they must have their own businesses. In the case of groups, ownership by women should be 80% and companies must be registered in their names. In the case of a trust, 80% of the trustees must be women and they must be active. The Free State has a proud history of receiving recognition for the excellent performance of female entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector. This is illustrated as follows:
The programme was initiated in 1999 by the former Department of Agriculture and it was called the Female Farmer of the Year Competition. However, as DAFF’s mandate was expanded to include Forestry and Fisheries
in 2009 there was an urgent need to reconfigure the programme to address DAFF’s expanded mandate. To this end, in 2010, the programme was renamed the DAFF Female Entrepreneur Awards. The programme has both the annual competition and development programme elements. Total South Africa has been the main sponsor of the programme since its inception.
- Best Female Worker in the sector- Ms Dikonelo Motseki: Dihoai Farming Coop (Lejweleputswa)
- Best Subsistence Producer – Ms Joyce Mabele: Bana na motho (Lejweleputswa)
- Top Entrepreneur: Commercial – Rosemead Farming (Lejweleputswa)
- Top Entrepreneur: Smallholder – Rammolutsi Agricultural Coops (Fezile Dabi)
Dihoai Farming Coop (Lejweleputswa)
Dihoai farming is an Agricultural enterprise that is focusing on animal feed mill processing and broiler chickens. The 25ha the farm is situated in Welkom and has been operational for 11 years with 40 employees.
Bana na motho (Lejweleputswa)
A one hectare project producing Egg Plant, Onion, Spinach, Beetrot, Carrots, Littis, Chillis, Rapa and Spaile. The project is situated in Allanridge and was established in 2012.
Rosemead Farming (Lejweleputswa)
Rosemead Farm was successfully acquired through Government intervention through Department of Rural Development and Land Reform as a PLAS in 2010 and is situated in Brandfort . The farm consists of 156 ha in total. The main enterprises at the farm are grains (Maize and Wheat) and vegetables (Cabbage) livestock production (Sheep) was aborted due to high rate of stock theft in that area. Currently, production of cabbage is done on a 6 ha size under irrigation.