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DAFF Deputy Minister Mr Sfiso Buthelezi and READ MEC Manketsi Tlhape visiting some of the government funded projects in the Ramatlabama area

The Deputy Minister of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), Mr Sfiso Buthelezi and the MEC of the Department of Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development (READ), Ms Manketsi Tlhape honoured the top achievers during the 2nd National Extension and Advisory Services Awards (NEASA) in Mahikeng, North West Province on 20 November 2018.
The NEASA awards play a crucial role in promoting productivity, increasing food security, improving rural livelihoods and promoting agriculture as an engine of pro-poor economic growth. Furthermore, the awards promote and create awareness about the imperative role Extension and Advisory Services (EAS) play in the entire agricultural, forestry and fisheries’ development. The intention of the awards is to honour the efforts and contribution made in the EAS and the important role the Extension Officers continue to play within the sector. The winners received prize money, awards and certificates.
DAFF awarded winners in the following categories:
• Top performer in the category of Agricultural Advisors is Rendani Murovhi from Limpopo
• Top performer in the category of Senior Agricultural Advisors is Sizwe Mthethwa from KwaZulu-Natal
• Top performer in the category of Specialist Agricultural Advisors is Shumane Richard Tsogo from North West
• Top performer in the category of Supervisor is Nkotsana Ruben Maakamedi from Limpopo
• Top performer in the category of Support Services is Johan Mackson Sambo from Mpumalanga
The overall winner is Sizwe Mthethwa from KwaZulu-Natal
MEC Tlhape urged the foot soldiers to continue serving the farming communities with diligence and acknowledged the hard work the Extension and Advisory Officers are doing to help those in need of their services to increase agricultural production.
“We see the hard work and dedication you are putting on your daily work. With these awards we are saying thank you and continue serving our farming communities with great diligence,” MEC Tlhape said.
In his congratulatory message, the Deputy Minister of DAFF, Mr Buthelezi said extension services as a rural support service is at the centre of all government entities.
“EAS has been realised to have the potential in playing critical roles in improving the livelihoods and well-being of rural and urban people worldwide. The service would also enable rural people to maximise their contributions to sustainable national, regional and global development. The awards we are having tonight are a testimony of a professional service. In setting high standards to improve performance and service delivery, the professionalisation of EAS was promoted,” he said.