30 July, 2018
Tree farmers awarded for excellence
|NCT's 2018 Tree Farmers of the year -
Margaret Buyisile Mdunge won in the category
small-scale grower and Jon MacKenzier won in the category commercial
FORESTRY announced its tree farmer of the year awards at its
AGM in Pietmaritzburg recently.
Buyisile Mdunge received this year's tree
farmer awards from NCT. Recognised for their excellence in
sustainable plantation management, they are worthy winners
of this coveted award.
Harding, took top honours in the category commercial
grower. A BCom graduate who developed a passion for
forestry and today manages a mixed timber, beef and avocado
and vegetable farm.
silviculture practices, good site/species selection,
effective harvesting and loading operations and a good
farming ethic are compliant with all aspects of sustainable
plantation management and minimising impacts on the
environment. Open areas on the farm include a small area of
grassland, riparian areas and patches of indigenous
forests. His social programme includes upskilling staff and
providing seedlings to employees who in turn donate some of
their portion to a worthy local cause.
Mdunge, winner in the category small-scale
grower, comes from humble beginnings in rural Greytown. Her
family owned a small wattle plantation and it
is here where she received her training. she learned to be
farm labourer, supervisor and farm manager.
obtained the farm, Essenwood,
from her late husband, who, together with 10 family
members, applied for the Settlement & Production Land
Acquisition grant. The grant paid for the deposit of the
farm and the balance raised through a commercial bank.
no formal forestry background, Buyisile has had to rely on
technical support from NCT and showed a clear instinct for
timber farming. She has converted her low-lying wattle
compartment into frost-tolerant species and is today reaping
the benefits of this. She controls weeds in open areas by
grazing her small herd of goats and cattle. Buyisile
oversees all the farm operations herself and has a hands-on
2001, NCT initiated the tree farmer of the year award, which
is presented annually to tree farming operations that
display excellence in sustainable plantation management.
Source: NCT Forestry