15 July 2018


THE OFFICIAL BOKONE BOPHIRIMA GOVERNMENT NEWSPAPER

Outstanding Bokone Bophirima young farmers honoured

by: Thebe Itumeleng   date: 06 july 2018

Bokone Bophirima Provincial Government, through the Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development (READ) department, has acknowledged the contribution and hard work of young farmers to place the agricultural sector of the province at the apex of the local economy.

These outstanding young farmers were honoured at a ceremony held last Thursday in Zeerust after a vigorous vetting process by a team of knowledgeable and experienced independent team of adjudicators.

Youth in Agriculture Awards is an annual event by the department to recognize aspiring young farmers in the province. 

The initiative is in line with government’s rural development plan, which seeks to promote agriculture and advocate for youth enterprise development to enable young people to have access to employment and self-employment in commercial agriculture. 
 
Chickens for Africa from Bojanala Platinum District won the Best Run Youth Enterprise award with a R70 000 prize money. The award for Best Emerging Youth Enterprise went to Lekuru Farming from Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District and it was also accompanied by R70 000. 

The Best Youth Co-operative and Enterprise award went to Optimum Harvest Co-operative from Bojanala District, while the Best Researched Journal award was won by Bontle Mokone (26), a Masters student in Animal Science from North West University, Mahikeng Campus.

The main winner of the day was Thabang Mokwele of Thaba-Kwena Projects, a farm that specialises in broiler production in Lichtenburg. Thaba-Kwena Projects won this year’s Best Youth Commercial Enterprise award and it is the 
overall winner of the 2018 Young Farmer of the Year award. 

Mokwele said he had been entering the awards for the past three years and was glad that he finally won. “I want to sincerely thank the Department of READ and all the people who supported me to start my business. I am where I am today because of them, and I want to say thank you,” said Mokwele.
 
For those wishing to have their own farming businesses, Mokwele has these words of encouragement: “nothing is impossible”. 

The Youth in Agriculture Awards is part of the department’s bigger programme of highlighting the significance of agriculture and the role young people can play in the sector. 

READ MEC, Manketsi Tlhape, said the Youth in Agriculture Awards served as a motivational gesture to the youth to accept and appreciate farming and food production as a commercial venture, thereby taking up farming as a lifetime vocation.

”The Youth in Agriculture initiative also serves as a succession strategy which will ensure young people become farmers and succeed their old counterparts and farmer parents who are dominant in the agricultural industry,” Tlhape said.

The department intends placing all runner-up projects of the awards under departmental after-care programme for mentorship.