By Bongani Radebe
Fezeka Matebeni, is an Agricultural Economist at the National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC). A simple young driven village girl who is motivated and ambitious that likes to engage an audience with a mixture of sharp intelligence and accessibility. She matriculated at the age of 16 years in 2005, there after she took some time to figure out what she really wanted to purseu.
In 2007 she then chose Agricultural Economics due to the influence of growing up in an agricultural adapted rural family and community. Her curiosity grew in agriculture as she began about developing an interest in agriculture economics. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural economics with the University of Fort Hare which she obtained on record time in 2010.
Prior to joining NAMC, Fezeka’s goal was to find an intellectually challenging and inspiring job .She wanted to grow professionally and contribute positively towards the sector. Fortunately for her after completing her studies, her first job was at NAMC.
She joined NAMC as an Intern in 2016, which during her tenure, she was nominated at the national level as one of the best performing interns by AgriSeta. The knowledge and
skills she acquired during this period of working at the NAMC, is one of understanding the movement of food prices and Input costs within various industries as well as the importance of effects on prices among the consumers and producers.
This also has impacted her career growth in understanding the issues pertaining trade, policy influence as well as liaising with industry role-players on issues of mutual interest. Furthermore, she say “I have gained various research techniques which have helped me to improve my analytical skills. I now have strong organizational, multitasking and interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate with different stakeholders.”
Fezeka believes that Agriculture is a major part of the global economy and wanted to be a part of that transformation. She recently graduated with Stellenbosch University for Master of Science in Agricultural Economics on her birthday, the 20th of March 2018.
Currently, she’s working as an Agricultural Economist under Agro-Food Chain Unit. She has been able to efficiently deliver on the following publications: Macroeconomic digest reports, Farm to Retail Price Spread reports, input cost monitoring report and Food Cost Review. Fezeka is also actively involved with Trade Research Unit through participation on trade probe and stakeholder liaison.Furthermore, she is currently working on the implementation of Agricultural Intergrated Management System (AIMS), Section 7 on the Drought Committee and also contributing on working papers.
She says her grandmother, Funiwe Matebeni, has given her the drive and discipline to tackle every task with enthusiasm and determination. My grandmother once said; “at the end of the day your feet should be dirty, hair messy and your eyes sparkling and that will mean you were productive.’ Fezeka gives credit to her grandmother for her daily guidance (she is making it easy for me to balance in life and I will always be grateful for having such a granny). Of course, without forgetting her mother, brother and her handsome nephew for their enormous support.
We salute you Fezeka, and congratulations.