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AGRICULTURE SUCCESS HELPS HER TO HELP THE POOR

Martha Mulaudzi's hard work and her love for farming helped her to get a farm through government’s land distribution programme. Before that, she was managing a farm for someone else. 
 
Success
 
Today, Mulaudzi's success is there for everyone to see. She is the largest exporter of farm products in her province and employs 35 people from the community as farm workers. She has also been a winner in the Female Farmer of the Year competition. 
 
Her farm produces tomatoes, butternuts, green peppers and chillies. Some of the produce is exported to neighbouring countries like Zimbabwe, Botswana and Mozambique. 
 
School fees
 
Mulaudzi, a 46-year old mother of three children, believes in the saying that charity begins at home. Even before she started exporting her products, she helped feeding the poor in her community of Musina in Limpopo. 
 
Because Mulaudzi believes education is very important, she also helps poor families to pay their children's school fees. In addition, she gives jobs to people from the community. 
 
In the past, she saw a lot of poverty and wanted to help, but in those days she could hardly support herself. "I was an employee managing a farm for someone else. I couldn't help other poor people with a monthly income of only R270," she said. 
 
Grateful
 
"Now I am able to feed my own family, as well as poor families whose suffering I could do nothing about before I owned a farm," 
 
"I am very grateful for this opportunity. I could never have done it without government's help," she said. 
 
"When I got the farm I could put my experience of managing a farm to full use. I worked very hard because I didn't want to fail. I knew that my hard work would pay off one day." 
 
Reward
 
Government has noticed and rewarded Mulaudzi's efforts. In 2006, she was chosen as the country's top female producer for export markets in the national Female Farmer of the Year competition. For this achievement she got an award of R35 000 from the Departments of Agriculture and Land Affairs. 
 
Advice
 
A word of advice to emerging farmers from Mulaudzi is that they should love and be proud of their profession. "Work hard and always seek advice from successful farmers." 
 
 
- Muzi Mkhwanazi