Anna staan haar man in die boerderybedryf

“Ek moes harder werk as die mans om te kon presteer. Vroue in die landboubedryf word nie altyd ernstig opgeneem nie,” sê Anna van der Merwe (51), ‘n suksesvolle sitrusboer and landboukonsultant van Brits.

Anna, wat haar Honneursgraad in landboukunde aan die Universiteit van Pretoria verwerf het, boer die afgelope 24 met sitrus op ‘n plaas buite Brits. Haar suurlemoene, navels en lemoene word na Europa, die Midde-Ooste, Rusland en China uitgevoer. 

“Veral in die beginjare was vroue nie so algemeen in die landboubedryf nie. Ek is nie ernstig opgeneem nie. Vroue in dié bedryf word nie so geloofwaardig soos mans beskou nie. Ek het net besluit ek sal hulle wys. Ek het net harder gewerk en met selfstudie kennis ingewin oor gewasse en alles wat in die bedryf aangaan. Na ‘n tyd kon hulle nie anders as om te sien ek is ernstig nie en vandag word ek vir raad gevra,” lag sy.

Sy bedien boere met raad oor chemiese middels en verbouingspraktyke. Sy is ‘n ‘hands-on’ boer. “Daar is niks anders wat ek wil doen nie. Wat is lekkerder as jou hande in die grond?”

“Hoewel dit deesdae baie beter is, lewe ons maar nog steeds in ‘n manswêreld,” sê sy. “Daar word nog maar steeds skepties na ‘n vroueboer gekyk. My raad aan vroue in die landboubedryf, en in alle ander bedrywe, is: ‘n Vrou is nie ‘n ‘push-over’ nie. Staan jou man en volhard, dit is die moeite werd.”

“I don’t want to do anything else…”

A homeless ‘potbelly’ pig was the beginning of a rewarding farming career for De Wildt farmer, Carien Nel (46).

“When you have a farm, people think you should have animals. Friends of ours bought a potbelly pig that turned out to be not a pure potbelly. When they couldn’t keep it in the city, I was asked to give it a home,” Carien laughs.

“Well, that was it. I got more potbellies and I tell you, they breed like rabbits,” she laughs. “I just liked having them around. But then I came across research about the European bush pig and I thought why not do this seriously and make a living out of it.”

Carien bought 24 Euopean Bush Pigs and soon found that their meat had a niche market. “The meat is red and much leaner. It does not really taste like pork and people often think it is beef. I have dedicated clients and mostly sell privately.”

When the pigs don’t keep her busy, she assists her husband in his game farming. “I love farming, I love being outdoors with the animals and I don’t want to do anything else. I suppose farming is regarded as a male world, but I have not experienced any prejudice.”

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