Nombewu making strides in agriculture
From only planting two hectares of land in 2008 to a whopping 200 hectares in 2020, Zoliwe Nombewu cites passion and her faith as the driving forces behind her farming success.
Nombewu, a former Agriculture Female Entreprenuer Award winner in the Eastern Cape plants 200 hectares of land where she cultivates grain such as maize and dry beans and vegetables.
Today, Nombewu together with officials of the Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform harvested maize from 128 hectares of land in Madwaleni Admnistrative Area in Tsolo, Mhlontlo Local Municipality.
Nombewu was approached by subsistence farmers in the area to help them fence and plant their fallow land.
“I started farming in 2008, planting vegetables on two hectares of land. Over the years that gradually increased as of now I have 200 hectares of land which I use to plant maize, dry beans and vegetables.
“These farmers in Madwaleni contacted me and asked me to assist them with planting their fields. The fields were not fenced so I bought fencing for the fields and we started planting.
The land was not in good condition when we started as a result we only yielded about 2.5 tons per hectare.
Now we see a bit of improvement but we have yet to count the actual yield since we are still harvesting,” she said.
The DRDAR assisted the farmer with mechanization, a borehole and production inputs.
Apart from the land, Nombewu also owns a fleet of farming machinery including four heavyduty discers, six rippers and boom sprayers.
Speaking at a gathering after the harvest, DRDAR Special Programs Unit Director Lulu Manitshana praised Nombewu for the hard work she has done saying the women of Madwaleni should work hard and support her strides.
One of the farmers that are working with Nombewu at Madwaleni, Zama Rawe said they were forever grateful for DRDAR and Nombewu’s help.
“We used to plant these fields before but we stopped because livestock would come into our fields and eat the produce.
The fields were lying fallow for three years in 2018 we sought assistance from Mrs Nombewu. We really appreciate the department’s intervention ,” said Rawe.
He added that DRDAR had availed fencing covering 100 hectares of land which have been disked ,ripped and ready for planting.
“We need the Department to assist us with a borehole or water pump so that we are able to use more land for vegetable farming.
With this we sustain ourselves and our families and we not looking for government handouts all the time ,” he said.