The hard work of Siphiwo Gift Mafuleka was rewarded on Tuesday 11 October when he received the keys to his brand new Toyota Hilux 3.0 Xtra Cab D-4D Raider at a gala award in Johannesburg.
Gift Mafuleka (30) was recognized as the most promising young farmer from a previously disadvantaged background in the 2011 Toyota New Harvest Competition, which was run by Toyota SA Motors concurrently to the Agri SA / Toyota SA Young Farmer of the Year competition.
“Farming is a very challenging profession and farmers have to manage a multitude of business areas. To run a successful farm is a big challenge and we would like to recognise and salute farmers like Gift who had overcome even more challenges than the most farmers,” says Marius Burger, Senior Vice President of Corporate Administration and Toyota SA Motors.
Mafuleka farms in the Bronkhorstspruit area of Gauteng with maize, peas, sweetcorn, vegetables and beef cattle. He was nominated by the Gauteng Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (GDARD).
Young Mafuleka obtained a National Diploma in Agriculture and a BTech: Crop Production degree before settling on the farm. He is a member of Grain SA and frequently attends their study groups and those of the GDARD. He also manages an agricultural consultancy firm. He donates some excess produce to local residents including orphanages and is also educates local schools on agriculture as a career.
Before handing him the keys to his brand new brand new Toyota Hilux Xtra Cab 3.0 D-4D Raider, the panel of judges, under convenor Prof. Carlu van der Westhuizen of the Central University of Technology, Free State, commended Mafuleka’s farming acumen and strict monetary and administrative controls.
“Gift is a very good commercial farmer with a passion for what he is doing and his success is built on proper mentorship, a will to obtain information and knowledge, years of practical implementation of the practices and principles of farming, good discipline and the drive to be a successful commercial farmer contributing to food security in South Africa,” says Prof. Van der Westhuizen.
Mafuleka was also recognised for his use of certain cultivars to make provision for climate variations, while also reducing pest and disease damage through frequent scouting and use of agrochemicals. His neat farm yard, productive machinery and tractors and his well-maintained fences and other infrastructure is a result of his attention to detail and his maintenance policy, said the judging report.
The other finalists in the Toyota SA New Harvest Competition and their nominators were:
Khumbula Simon Mawila. He farms in the Nkankala (Middelburg) region in Mpumalanga with maize, soybeans, sunflower and beef cattle. He was nominated by Omnia fertilizers.
Preisego Moyo farms in the Springs/Ogies region in Gauteng with maize, cattle, sheep and vegetables. He was nominated by the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Administration.
Emily Mabokachaba farms in the Metsweding (Bronkhorstspruit) region in Gauteng with maize, layers, vegetables and cattle and she has a piggery. She was nominated by the Gauteng Department of Agriculture & Rural Development.
Dingiswayo Moses Malo farms in the Lichtenburg area in the North West Province with irrigated and dryland maize, sunflower, beef cattle and sheep. He was nominated by AgriStart.
Petrus Mosonko Monnane farms in the Theunissen and Botshabelo areas in the Free State Province with beef cattle, sunflowers and maize and Döhne merinos. He was nominated by the Free State Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Charles Van Huffel farms in the Witzenberg Valley in the Overberg near Ceres in the Cape Province with stone fruit, kernel fruit, onions and sheep. He was nominated by Hortgro Services.
Mzo Makhanya farms near Uthunsulu (Eshowe) in Kwazulu Natal with citrus and sugarcane. He was nominated by SA Cane Growers Association.