Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Cde Norman Shushu Speech at the Women in Agriculture Awards

08 August 2018


Keynote Address by MEC Norman Shushu 

Hon.Members of the Provincial Legislature

Mayors, Speakers and Councillors

Traditional Leaders

Representatives of Organised Agriculture in the Frances Baard District

Representatives of the Professional Bodies

Colleagues in all Spheres of Government

HoD, Managers and All Female Farmers

Distinguished Guests

Programme Director, Comrades and Friends


It gives me pleasure to present this keynote address of the 2018 Female Entrepreneur Awards; this occasion comes at a time when the country is celebrating women’s month. The government of the Republic of South Africa has also declared 2018 a year in which all our people across race, gender and creed are called upon to join the celebration of our late struggle icon; Mme Albertina Sisulu which will be anchored under a theme “Ä woman of Fortitude”.


Mme Albertina Sisulu was not only a mother to her children, but the ‘Mother of the Nation’ who through her political activism and profession as a nurse immensely contributed towards our democracy and whose commitment and passion was for the people of South Africa.


Born Nontsikelelo Albertina Thethiwe in the Tsomo district of the former Bantustan Transkei on 21 October 1918, Ma Sisulu’s life journey continues to be an important one, anchored by four fundamental principles she lived by – service with integrity, dignity and leadership within the health sector, awakening the greatness of the South African youth through education, nurturing and protecting all children as well as championing the rights of women across all spheres.


As the world commemorates this struggle stalwart’s centenary, the President of the Republic of South African, President Cyril Ramaphosa also calls upon all South Africans “to be active citizens and celebrate a life well-lived by sowing the seed she planted which is epitomised by selflessness and passion for not only our land’s people but that of people across the globe”.


As a true advocate of children’s rights Ma Sisulu’s commitment to justice and equality saw her defiantly turn her home into a place of learning in an effort to shield the youth from the inferior Bantu Education system – because she believed they deserved better. The school was swiftly shut down by the apartheid authorities, but Ma Sisulu continued to defy the system at every turn.


The former President of the ANC and the Country, President Rolihlahla Nelson Mandela correctly characterised the life of Comrade Walter and Albertina Sisulu as follows, ”If we as a liberation movement and a nation were to be given the choice of one life story to be told, that story would have to be Walter and Albertina Sisulu”s. In his life and the work of his life are captured and demonstrated the best, the noblest, the most heroic, the most deeply humane that our movement and our country represents and seek to represent”


Madiba continue to say “Walter and Albertina Sisulu lived through and witness the major events of the last century that shaped South Africa. What is more important, however, is that they were key participants in decisively shaping and making that history”.


Comrades and friends, it is also important to mention that the Sisulu”s home was the meeting place for that generation of young men and women whose fierce debates provided important impetus to the birth of the ANC Youth League. Walter was central to that circle- the magnet that drew his generation of leaders together.


The cardinal attributes of Walter and Albertina remains as important to emulate as they ever were. The selfless with which they gave their lives to the struggle is especially important to hold dear as a new condition create the temptations of self-interest and personal enrichment.


Programme Director, the commitment to the common good to the service of the people completely filled the life of the Susulu”s and deeply touched of many people. Neither can Walter and Albertina Sisulu”s family be forgotten. The Sisulu”s count among the families who suffered severely and who gave selflessly of themselves. The telling story of Walter and Albertina Sisulu is more on record, it is a lodestar for our future, their discipline in service of the organization and the people must serve as an abiding example.


Programme Director; let us use the Mandela and Ma Sisulu Centenary to recommit ourselves to their values and principles. South Africans must work together to remove all obstacles which still divide our society and strive to build on the many ties that bind us together. Together, we can combat racism‚ racial discrimination‚ Xenophobia and related intolerances on all fronts.


Programme Director, the Female Entrepreneur Awards which is previously known as the Female Farmer of the Year Competition, marks the 19th anniversary of the annual Female Entrepreneur Awards. This programme seeks to acknowledge the role and contribution of women in the agricultural sector and food security. These awards also aim to encourage women to participate in agricultural business. This FEA programme was established in 1999 and the objective being to recognise the role of women and food production so as to address food security, alleviate hunger and poverty.


As from 2010 the scope has broadened to include Forestry and Fisheries so as to align it to the mandate of the Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries. As it has been a norm, the competition will commence at Provincial competition level and culminate to National where Provinces compete through their winners.


Programme Director, the awards are focussing at Female Entrepreneurs in Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in the Northern Cape. The winners of various categories receive prizes and are encouraged to invest the money into their farming enterprises to buy more production inputs for livestock and crops.


The programme has listed the following categories.




Best Female Worker in the Sector


Best Subsistence Producer in the Sector


Top Entrepreneur: Smallholder


Top Entrepreneur: Processing


Top Entrepreneur: Commercial


Top Entrepreneur: Export


MEC Special Award


Overall Winner


Programme Director, this year, an overall number of 29 female farmers have entered the awards and were all adjudicated per category and all the winners will represent the Province at the National Awards Ceremony which will be held in Eastern Cape on 23 August 2018.


In the nineteen years of the run of FEA, Northern Cape has won a number of National awards as follows:


2 awards in the category of Household production in 2003;


2 in 2005 (one for the national markets category and an overall winner of the 2005 awards)


1 in 2008 for Export Market category


1 in 2009 for Youth award


I in 2012 for Ministerial award


1 in 2013 for Commercial Producer


I in 2015 for Ministerial award( Youth )


1 award in 2016 for ministerial award and 1 for Processing




Let me focus on more of our deliverables, the efforts undertaken by government in enhancing food security in the entire Northern Cape Province in the previous and the current financial year cannot go unnoticed.


Our targeted programmes and initiatives such as Land Care and the Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme (CASP) are very much focused on conservation of natural resources such as land, water and infrastructure development for continued agricultural production, while Fetsa Tlala is aimed at Food security and eradication of hunger.


Through CASP interventions, the Department has undertaken a deliberate effort in upgrading of stock water reticulation for optimum livestock production, installation of solar pump system at Middleplaas Commonage Farm, stock water reticulation at Nazareth Farm, Upgrading and renovations of Chicken houses and abattoir at Warrenton Super Chicken and Handling facilities at the following farms; Magareng Municipal Farm, Majeng Restitution Farm, Nazareth, Patryskraal, Springfield ,Molekos Farm as well as Fencing was also for optimum livestock management.


The livestock farmers in Magareng have also received breeding material through Livestock Improvement Programme which is Ngunis and Bonsmara cattle. During drought periods especially in 2013- 2014, livestock farmers received assistance in the form of drought pellets and lucerne. The following farms have benefited implements and tractors through National Mechanization Programme: Majeng, Middleplaas and the Warrenton Super Chicken.


Support towards Female Farmers:


CASP( Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme) – In total, 127 Female Farmers received support for fencing, livestock water supply system, handling facilities, upgrading and installation of irrigation infrastructure and machinery


Ilima/Letsema – 124 Women received production inputs in the form of seed, fertilizer and diesel for grain production and money for wages


Fetsa Tlala Food Production Programme: 21 Women across the Province benefited from this programme to reduce poverty and to address challenges of food security and unemployment. This is mainly during grain production where maize and wheat were produced.


Training & Capacity Building – A total of 1 048 female farmers received training in various aspects of production, marketing and financial management for improved production and profit.


Food Security – 400 women participated in food security projects and backyard food production where they produced vegetables, poultry layers as well as broilers to address issues of food security.


Vineyard Development Programme: 95 Women both in Namakwa and ZF Mcqawu Districts participated in vineyard production and the entire value chain, producing and processing vines in the form of table grapes, raisins and juice.


Programme Director, the female farmers in our province have continuously been assisted with technical advice both on crop and livestock production, training and capacity building, financial record keeping, goat production, grazing management, and Poultry Production, Vegetable Production, Livestock and Livestock Management, Vineyard Management etc.


Jobs created through EPWP Progammes for Female Farmers:


Approximately 234 job opportunities were created for female farmers during implementation of projects on CASP and Illima/ Letsema for seasonal as well as permanent jobs. Some of the Female Projects which contributed towards job creation includes vineyard projects during pruning and maintenance of vineyards orchards. The Fetsa Tlala Food Production also played a crucial role in reduction of unemployment especially during harvesting period. Coupled to that, is the Infrastructure development projects which also created more jobs during the construction phase; fencing, stock water reticulation and handling facilities.


Programme Director, overall, the Female farmers represent 43% of the world’s agricultural labour force and 47 % of the global fisheries according to Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). Women also produce half of the world’s food, however natural disasters are impacting severely on this and have to prepare ourselves by building our own capacity on how to be prepared and be able to mitigate the effects these “disasters” and global warming,


In summary ladies and gentlemen, there is progress in women empowerment within the agriculture sector. However, we need to grow this commitment to include the entire value chain of the sector from the farm to fork as we face new challenges related to food safety, food labelling and the traceability of food products. We want to see women involved in other more lucrative areas of the agribusiness especially agro processing.


We have a responsibility to bring on board the youth and the children both at the primary and tertiary institutions. As they make the choices about their careers, we want them to recognise the potential of the agricultural sector.


Today, each and every participant is a pioneer in reaching that goal for women. I therefore wish to congratulate each and every one of you for your courage and determination to participate and hope you will continue to participate in agriculture outside this competition.


The winners of these awards should regard themselves as active agents of change and encourage others to enter the agricultural environment and participate in the sector.


Through your businesses you need to empower others and support them in creating businesses of their own. Learn to build partnerships and networks in order to strengthen your impact and have a voice.


I thank you!


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