Matthews Senokwane wins SAB Emerging Barley Farmer of the Year Award
Matthews Senokwane’s love of farming goes back to his childhood – he was raised by a farmer, his father, and developed a life-long love for the land. After his father passed away, Matthews inherited the farm, and began developing it using the knowledge he had grown up with.
Farming is a passion for Matthews and he looks forward to growing his farm. The award has motivated him to work the “extra mile” to make his dream a reality.
For 21 years Senokwane has farmed barley, maize, and ground nuts (peanuts). His crops for SAB are barley and maize, which he has supplied for 18 years. It’s an ongoing journey for Matthews, who owns 10 hectares and leases 30 hectares. His operation is assisted by loans from FarmSol, an SAB Thrive Fund initiative and a black-owned agricultural services company focused on incubating emerging farmers into fully-fledged, future-fit, sustainable enterprises attaining higher improved quality yields. He pays back the loans after harvesting his crops, of which SAB receives 211 tons of barley.
Senokwane was recently awarded the ‘Emerging Barley Farmer Award’ by SAB during an annual agricultural event held in Caledon. The award recognised his contribution to supply the brewing giant with local ingredients to produce its beers – currently SAB sources 97% of its ingredients locally.
Farming is a seasonal activity – in winter the barley crop is the focus, while in summer maize is the main crop. “There is no slow season on a farm, there is always something to be done,” Senokwane says.
“SAB has assisted by training me on how to grow barley and on soil preparation.”
His love of farming comes from the truth that if there is no farming there is no life.
At the moment Senokwane hires machinery and would like to be able to take a loan from Farmsol, or SAB to buy machinery.
In his spare time, he goes to church, plays soccer, and is a big fan of Kaizer Chiefs Football Club.
The family work with alongside him, meaning the farm is a family affair.