ZWENSHAMBE: Tanyala Makhulela, a subsistence farmer in the North East District (NED) village of Zwenshambe never gives up in her farming endeavours even when circumstances do not favour her.
The 55-year-old farmer is a regular competitor at the national agricultural show where she always gave a good account of herself with the grand prize however always eluding her. She nonetheless did not throw in the towel; she persevered and ultimately grabbed the coveted Grand Champion prize in the sorghum category in this year’s national agricultural exhibition competitions held recently.
She sailed through to the national exhibition finals after scooping position one at the Masunga Agricultural Show. “I am happy that at long last I managed to grab the Grand Champion prize after missing out by a thin margin in the past. On several occasions I managed to scoop either position two or three and that never deterred me from fighting on,” she said.
Makhulela says although farming is demanding, it is nonetheless rewarding. She says for one to make it, they should follow all management practices and cited weeding as one of the critcal farm management practices that should not be overlooked. She adds that it is very important to work with agricultural officers in one’s area to get proper farming guidance to achieve good yields.
“Good yields are also determined by working with agricultural officers who give expert advice. I followed their advice and row planted as well as adding fertilisers to enable plants to grow healthily. I am happy that even though the past rainy season was not a good one, I nevertheless had a good harvest and sold most of my produce which included groundnuts, beans and makgomane. Primary schools in the area were my main buyers of my produce with the local community being supportive as well. I bought a cow which has since sired a calf from the farm sales,”she says proudly.
The grand master prize winner had a major boost when she got a hammer mill plus a chain saw. She was further given P15,000 for her efforts. Makhulela says she aims to scale up her farming activities to make the best of what she has.