Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) is proud to announce that it will be sponsoring the Communal Farming Association of the Year competition. The new competition will form part of the successful Young Farmer of the Year and New Harvest of the Year competitions – which have both become permanent features on the local agricultural calendar. Toyota has been sponsoring the Young Farmer since 2004, New Harvest from 2008, and Conservation South Africa (CSA) since 2017.
One of Conservation SA’s main responsibilities is to support the growth of communal farming in the country, and they have no less than 2,000 farmers under their watch from four provinces in South Africa. The newly announced Communal Farming Association of the Year Competition is multifaceted and is aimed at promoting sustainable farming, food security, and land reform, as well as building resilience to climate change.
The new competition is open to a group of at least five previously-disadvantaged farmers (organised as a cooperative or association), aged 18 and above, who are farming on communal land (owned by a municipality, owned or administered by a tribal authority or made available through rental by the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development). Up for grabs is prize money to the value of R150, 000.
The money can be used towards the association’s development, including the improvement of water infrastructure, agricultural inputs, livestock breeding, agricultural equipment, purchase of mobile kraals as well as the acquisition of dipping materials. The convenor of panel of adjudicators of the Communal Farming Association (as well as Young Farmer and New Harvest of the Year) competition, Prof Carlu van der Westhuizen adds: “The group should be in existence for a minimum of two years, and must be able to prove their existence through their official documents such as certificates, proprietorship documents or meeting minutes.”
Entries for the competition in 2022 will be through the regional branches of CSA. Thereafter, a representative (and their partner) from each of the top five communal farmer groups will attend the Young Farmer/New Harvest of the Year Awards function, where the winning Communal Farming Association of the Year will also be announced.
Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at TSAM, Leon Theron, says: “We are thrilled to add another exciting element to the successful Young Farmers and New Harvest of the Year Awards. “We hope that by promoting communal farming, we will be playing a role in alleviating poverty while also encouraging sustainable farming practices.”