Vhembe District Youth making their mark in the farming industry: By Muifha Tshifhiwa
Vhembe Young Aspirant farmers pose with their certificates during the Aspirant Young Farmer Awards on the 10 June 2015.
In commemorating the fearless youth of 1976 and the sacrifices they have made ironically securing a great future for the today’s youth, Limpopo Department of Agriculture and Rural Developmemt (LDARD) Vhembe District held the Aspirant Young Farmer of the Year Awards at Malale Community hall on 10 June 2015.
Aimed at encouraging and recognising youth participation in agriculture and also ensuring the youth contribution to the economic growth of the country through farming, the awards are held annually during the month of June.
Mr Mariba Masindi acknowledged the courageous young farmers for making the awards possible each year since the inception of the programme. He indicated that the reason the LDARD continued to hold the Awards was because the youth continued doing farming.
“The awards have been running for the past twelve years now hence as the department we still produce the likes of Mr Phungo Emmanuel. It is indeed an indication that as a nation we will not run short of food in this lifetime,” said Mariba praising the youth.  
Vhembe District Young Aspirant previous winner, Mr Phungo Emmanuel encouraged the youth not to be weary of farming as they aren’t only securing food for the nation but alleviating poverty for many households. “It takes courage and a willing heart for a young person to pursue farming in the era where careers are almost unlimited,” he said.
The awards were held under the following categories: Top Producer Primary School, Top Producer for Household consumption, Top Producer for Informal markets and Top Producer for National/ Export markets.
Ha- Mutsha Primary School scooped the first prize under the category Top Producer Primary School, Tumelo Maswikeng became the top producer for Household Consumption, while Ramatshimbila Patrick became the Top Producer for Informal Markets, whereas Khakhu Kedibone went away with Top Producer for National Markets prize. All these winners will represent Vhembe District at the upcoming Provincial Awards.
Standing for Musina Municipal Mayor, Councillor Sewani Kaunda encouraged the young farmers to soldier on being the food producers. “Nwanedi farming area in Musina Municipality has been declared an agricultural hub by the President during his State of the Nation Address. The fact that the awards have seen two winners from the very same Nwanedi area who will represent Vhembe District at the Provincial level on the 15 June 2015 confirms the president’s declaration,” said the Acting Mayor.Winners received R 5000.00, second and third prizes were R 4000.00 and R 3000.00 respectively.