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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Women in Action: Meet Nkenda Margreta; The Award Winning Farmer

Margreta Nkenda in a pic with her husband & the Mayor of Nkambe
From a very humble start, Nkenda Margreta is today a household name when it comes to the cultivation and processing of red palm oil. Her dexterity in the sector has earned her numerous awards and recognition. In 2011, Nkenda Margreta won the first prize palm oil at the Ebolowa National Agro-pastoral show. The fact that she competed and won the prize wasn’t by error but the fruit of her hard work and determination. This distinction at the National Agro Pastoral Show also placed her on the ladder of fame as she was voted Donga Mantung Woman of the Year by readers of The Eye newspaper, Best Farmer by listeners of Savannah Radio Nkambe and again Best All Round Farmer by readers of the Watchdog Tribune. It is thanks to Nkenda Margreta that the CDC Oil Palm Expansion programme developed interest in Donga Mantung Division. By winning the national first prize in palm oil, she created the needed awareness that Donga Mantung Division has suitable climatic conditions for the cultivation of oil palms. Meet her in her plantation and you will be filled by the gulp of having met a professional farmer. To her farming is not just a profession but a calling.
However, what makes her different is that she is a very hard working woman and besides being a house wife, she moved above men established artificial barriers to create an oil palm plantation. In Misaje where she hails, women hardly own plantations but she has not only defeated that notion. She is a practical example of the long established slogan that “what a man can do, a woman can do it better”. With over 10 ha of oil palms, Nkenda Margreta says her dream is to expand her plantation to about 25 hectares. What is however very interesting is that she has a very good knowledge on local processing techniques. Anybody who has had the opportunity to come closer to Madame Nkenda Margreta would agree with me that she is a professional farmer given that she envies nothing from those who work in offices, “my office is my farm”, and she once told this reporter.  

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