The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in the Free State handed over awards to female farmers during the event called Female Entrepreneur Awards under the theme 'Women Feeding Families'. The purpose was to acknowledge and rewards the efforts and contribution of women, youth and people with disabilities in matters of food security, job creation, economic growth and poverty alleviation.
The Female Entrepreneur of the Year project was established after the annual competition which was initiated in the Free State province, approved and implemented by the national Department of Agriculture in 1999. The initial objective was to encourage women to participate in the agricultural sector which was highly dominated by men.
The awards were handed over by the Free State Premier, Honourable Ace Magashule, MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Mosebenzi Zwane and the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mrs Sindiswa Magwandana. MEC Zwane said continuous support for winners should be provided especially for projects that are prioritising the issue of fighting poverty and creating job opportunities.
Premier Magashule added by saying the challenge of catering for the needs of the women, youth and rural communities in terms of programming, education and messaging should be addressed to ensure that they understand the value of female entrepreneurs and the establishment of agricultural cooperatives.