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Chiredzi Sugarcane Farmer Gloria Chauke Wins for Herself and Her Mother

By Titos Makondo

Gloria Chauke, a 27-year-old sugarcane farmer hailing from the rural area of Gezani in Chiredzi South, has clinched the title of best female farmer among small-scale farmers.

Based in Triangle, Gloria has been acknowledged by the Triangle Estate Mill Group for her significant contributions to the sugar industry during the 2023/2024 year.

Gloria Chauke and her employees

Gloria, who jointly owns a 30-hectare sugarcane field with her mother, expressed her elation at winning the Best Female Farmer award, emphasizing that her victory is not just hers but also her mother’s.

“I am ecstatic about winning, especially considering the stiff competition. This victory is as much my mother’s as it is mine because without her support, I wouldn’t have achieved this,” she remarked.

Gloria revealed that she ventured into farming following the passing of her father, Wilson Chauke, in 2020.

“After my father’s demise, my mother struggled to manage the farm, and I stepped in to assist,” she explained.

She recounted the initial challenges they faced as women in the male-dominated industry, with some farmers doubting their capabilities and ridiculing their efforts.

“Despite the initial setbacks, we persevered and eventually succeeded,” she stated, highlighting that they now employ four workers to aid in farm operations.

Gloria Chauke in the field

Detailing her daily routine, Gloria disclosed that she actively participates in every aspect of farming, from supervising fieldwork to overseeing irrigation, fertilizer application, and weed control.

“I am hands-on in the field, ensuring that every task is carried out meticulously,” she affirmed.

Encouraging more women to venture into farming, Gloria emphasized the profitability and viability of agriculture as a means of livelihood.

“Farming is not exclusively for men; women can excel in this field too. It’s financially rewarding and offers a sustainable source of income. I urge young women to embrace farming as a viable career option,” she urged.

Tinos Takaikofa, another sugarcane farmer based in Triangle, commended Gloria’s dedication and passion for farming.

In his native tongue, he remarked, “Gloria is not only skilled but also dedicated, surpassing even some male farmers in her commitment.”

David Hatlani Hobyani, another farmer, recounted how Gloria and her mother embarked on farming following her father’s demise, initially facing challenges due to a lack of expertise.

“They initially struggled to meet industry standards and had to lease their land to other farmers. However, their perseverance paid off, culminating in this prestigious award,” he remarked.

Hobyani added, “Gloria’s journey is a testament to her resilience and determination to succeed against all odds.”

Highlighting the growing presence of women in agriculture, Hobyani mentioned Des Jani from Chiredzi South, who was also recognized as the best female farmer last year.

Meanwhile, in the male category, former police officer and war veteran Msisinyani Livombo, known as “Bazuka,” from Chiredzi South, secured the top honor twice consecutively in 2022 and 2023.

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