KZN farmer scoops female entrepreneur award
11 January 2018 | Web Article Number: ME20188202
A KwaZulu-Natal woman farmer’s passion to succeed in the male-dominated farming industry paid dividends when she bagged the coveted “Female Entrepreneur of the Year” award.
Hosted by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries recently, the KZN Female Entrepreneur Awards recognises the outstanding work of women in the agricultural sector and their achievement in breaking the glass ceiling to prosper in the sector.
Smangele Maria Gumede (pictured), 56, who resides in Nkwalini Valley, near Eshowe in northern KZN, said her inspiration to farm came from her grandmother who taught her how to plant sunflowers, sorghum and mielies. The proud mother of nine children and wife of Sibusiso Gumede believes team work relieves much of the strain of supporting a large family.
“In 2007, Tongaat Hulett was appointed by the government to be our strategic partner at Intathakusa Farm in Nkwalini Valley where we harvest sugarcane and citrus. The sugarcane harvested on this farm is supplied to Tongaat Hulett,” said Gumede.
“My husband and I are most grateful to have benefited from free training sessions provided by Tongaat Hulett who have always encouraged us to pursue our dreams.”