It is that time of the year again when the Woman Farmer Foundation, in conjunction with its partners, is set to start the judging process of the close to 300 women and youth farmers who applied for the Woman Farmer of the Year Competition 2023.
The annual competition is highly anticipated in the agricultural sector for its recognition of women and youth-led agricultural enterprises, great prizes worth over E100,000, and the upliftment and visibility it fosters for rural youth and women.
Over the years numerous rural female farmers benefitted from the competition through the prizes, training programs, and market linkage initiatives run by the Foundation.
Applications for the competition began in February and ran until August 2023. Forms were distributed across all regions to allow ample time for women and youth farmers and equal opportunity.
Applicants, are therefore, made aware that the judging phase is starting Monday, 18th September 2023, and are implored to be available as this is an integral and legitimizing element of the competition giving life to the information they shared in their application forms.
What it takes:
This year, the Foundation saw a surge of youth farmers joining the competition, many of whom may still be wondering what it takes to be the Woman or Youth Farmer of The Year.
While the competition is largely focused on the business aspect of the enterprises with 80% of the score allocated to this variable, the foundation also looks at the home management (15%) and leadership skills (5%) of its applicants.
Contestants from both the Youth (18 – 35 years old) and Women (36 years old and above) categories will be judged on those 3 aspects.
The Woman Farmer of the Year Winner 2022/23, Nomsa Mngomethulu, also had encouraging words to say for all aspiring winners.
“The competition is ours, bomake nebantfulabasha, I believe in your capabilities. Let us put in the work and keep pushing,” she stated. “Kuyawinneka laka Woman Farmer, I am an example of that.”
The words Mngometulu shared reflect her journey with the competition. Before winning the first prize in 2022, she applied multiple times and was unsuccessful on all occasions.
Instead of being discouraged by the regression, Mngomethulu shared that she became more motivated to improve her agribusiness so she could come back stronger.
Through her perseverance, she was crowned the first-place winner and played a vital role in encouraging other farmers to apply.
“Not winning does not mean that the work you are doing is not good,” Mngomethulu said in closing.”
The Executive Director of the foundation, Mrs. Sonia Paiva wished applicants all the best through the judging process and encouraged women and youth agripreneurs to continue working hard, learning, and striving to be better in their businesses.