Passion, innovative marketing strategies and community involvement earned Trevor Abrahams the 2014 Toyota New Harvest of the Year award. Toyota awarded Abrahams with a Toyota Hilux 2.5D-4D Single Cab at a gala dinner held in Johannesburg.
Abrahams was recognised as the most promising young farmer from a previously disadvantaged background in the 2014 Toyota New Harvest of the Year competition which was run by Toyota SA Motors concurrently to the Agri SA Toyota SA Young Farmer of the Year competition.
"Farming is very challenging. Not only do farmers have to be multi-skilled managers but they also have to work through various challenges they often can't control such as weather and other environmental threats. It is not an easy task to run a farm and it shouldn't be underestimated. We salute farmers like Trevor who persevere and overcome daily challenges in order to succeed," says Glenn Crompton, Vice President of Marketing of Toyota South Africa Motors.
An educator by profession, Abrahams holds a Masters degree in Education from the University of the Western Cape. He farms with deciduous fruit, vegetables and livestock in the Ceres area of the Western Cape. He received his first land in 1999 through the Land Redistribution for Agricultural Development programme. The land was further supplemented in 2005 and 2010.
Abrahams nominator, Mr. Kevin Maart of the Decidous Fruit Development Chamber of South Africa, said the following "Trevor's farms have made quantum leaps in a management and capital intensive industry in a short space of time to competently compete with the best commercial farmers in our industry in terms of production, pack-out figures, export quality and he is penetrating niche markets with his club cultivars."
He further added "Trevor is held in high esteem by his fellow farmers in the Witzenberg area. He is considered to be a leader farmer and an activist pushing the envelope for sustainable black farmer development. Trevor has proven that with sound management practices, dedication and hard work it is possible to make your farming business a success despite the myriad of challenges out there."
Abrahams is very involved in the community and serves as a board member on the Breede-Gouritz Catchment Management Agency, the local Business Forum and the regional Hortgro's Study Group. He has not lost his love for education and allows students from various universities to use his farms for research.
Prof Carlu van der Westhuizen, Convenor of the competition added "His dual marketing policy and -strategy, namely local supermarkets (using his next-door neighbour's pack house) and export (using the Delecta export company) adds to his achievements."
"We congratulate all the finalists who were nominated. That in itself is a huge achievement. We wish Trevor all the best for this future and wish him many happy journeys in his Hilux," concludes Crompton
The other finalists in the Toyota SA New Harvest Competition and their nominators were:
Rydal Jeftha farms with wine grapes and produces wine in the Stellenbosch region. He was nominated by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture.
Daniël Nortje farms with maize, lucerne, butternuts, cabbage, oats, dairy, bulls, sheep and chillies in the Zeerust area. He was nominated by Agristart.
Samuel Kgotsho Kgonono, an outfitter, farms with game in the Pongola area. He was nominated by Mark Dedekind Safaris.
Khumbulani Mthethwa farms with sugarcane in the Darnall area. He was nominated by the South African Cane Growers Association.