October 10, 2023

!Xhariep Agricultural Writers SA Regional Awards Celebrate Agricultural Excellence

!Xhariep Agricultural Writers SA Regional Awards

The agricultural community of the Western, Eastern, and Northern Cape gathered on Friday, October 6, 2023, at Durbanville Hills for a night of recognition and celebration at the !Xhariep Agricultural Writers SA Regional Awards ceremony. This prestigious event shone a spotlight on the outstanding achievements within the agricultural sector, honoring individuals and businesses that have driven innovation and growth in agriculture.

Dr. Dirk Troskie – Western Cape Agriculturalist of the Year

One of the standout moments of the evening was the announcement of Dr. Dirk Troskie as the Agriculturalist of the Year in the Western Cape. Dr. Troskie, previously a farmer and lecturer, has transitioned into a key figure in the South African civil service, where he has played an instrumental role in the strategic planning and development of the Western Cape Department of Agriculture. His dedication and commitment to the agricultural sector have earned him this well-deserved recognition.

Klein Goederust Р Pioneers in Western Cape Commercial Farming

Klein Goederust, the first 100% black-owned wine farm in Franschhoek, made history by earning the title of New Entrant to Commercial Farming in the Western Cape. Owners Paul Siguqa and Makhosazana have transformed this farm since acquiring it in 2019, establishing it as a must-visit destination after planting their inaugural vines in 2021. Their journey serves as a testament to their entrepreneurial spirit and unwavering dedication to the agricultural industry.

Bee Loved Honey – ¬†Northern Cape’s Rising Stars

Lesego Holzapfel, leading Bee Loved Honey in the Northern Cape, emerged as the New Entrant to Commercial Farming in the region. Bee Loved Honey represents a collaborative effort by previously disadvantaged small farmers, including 40 beekeepers in rural Northern Cape. Their story embodies the African narrative of restoration, economic empowerment, and environmental stewardship, showcasing the transformative potential of agriculture.

La Fontaine Farm/Deli-Co: Western Cape Farmer of the Year

Deli-Co and the Truter family of De La Fontaine, fifth-generation farmers from Riebeek Kasteel, were honoured as the Farmer of the Year in the Western Cape. Under the visionary leadership of Hendri Truter as CEO, Deli-Co has evolved into a leading agribusiness in the Western Cape, employing over 650 individuals and making significant contributions to the growth of the red meat industry.

Agriculture’s Role in Economic Development Emphasized

Alderman James Vos, Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth for the City of Cape Town, delivered a powerful keynote address, underscoring the pivotal role of agriculture in economic development and sustainability. Vos highlighted the importance of supporting and recognizing the hardworking individuals and businesses that drive this critical sector forward.

Resilience and Hope: A Message from Peter Pentz

Peter Pentz, Chairperson of !Xhariep Agricultural Writers SA, delivered an inspiring speech in which he praised the resilience and hope exhibited by those in the agricultural sector. He remarked, “Despite facing numerous challenges, the agricultural community continues to thrive, serving as a beacon of resilience and inspiration. Their contributions are indispensable.”

The awards ceremony in Durbanville Hills set the stage for the forthcoming national Agricultural Writers Awards, scheduled to take place on Friday, November 17, 2023 in Stellenbosch.