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Land Bank and Pick n Pay partner to support emerging black agri-businesses

Land-Bank-NchochoLand Bank and South African retail giant Pick n Pay today announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) which will see both parties collaborate to support emerging black agri-businesses. In a first for Land Bank, the partnership represents a significant step toward fulfilling its mandate of growing the agricultural sector in an equitable and inclusive way. Pick n Pay has helped a number of small and medium black-owned business to enter the retail market through its Enterprise and Supplier Development Programme (ESD). It is now keen to see these businesses grow into fully-fledged commercial businesses so that they can continue to meet growing consumer demand and Pick n Pay’s stringent quality specifications.

The MoU with Land Bank will open up additional financing opportunities for the emerging farmers through the Bank’s range of specialist agricultural financing options for these agri-businesses to grow to the next level. Apart from access to finance, which the Land Bank will provide, emerging farmers are highly dependent on technical support and access to markets for their successful commercial development.

Through its ESD programme, Pick n Pay will be stepping in to mentor these emerging farmers, providing them with the necessary supplier, business development and food technology training and ultimately access to the market that they need to get their agri-businesses up and running.

For Land Bank CEO, TP Nchocho, the MoU is a timely development to support economic transformation and social inclusivity in the agricultural sector. “While access to funding is vitally important for emerging black farmers and agri-businesses to get off the ground, it cannot on its own be the key catalyst for growth.

These businesses require mentorship and the transfer of skills from established players as well as offtake agreements or opportunities for market access to be able to grow. With a major player like Pick ‘n Pay now on board, we can jointly make more black agri-businesses a reality.” Transformation Director at the Pick n Pay, Suzanne Ackerman-Berman commented that the retailer was excited and proud to partner with Land Bank. “This MoU gives effect to our commitment of driving economic growth, creating employment and sustainability by providing support to small businesses. We feel confident in bringing together Land Bank’s expertise in the agricultural sector and our decades of know how in retail to benefit more black agri-businesses and contribute towards the transformation of the sector.”

A Joint Programme Steering Committee with representatives from both Land Bank and Pick n Pay will be set up to manage the process and ensure that developmental objectives are met. Both parties will be working with their existing client and supplier bases to grow these businesses and provide the necessary skills and market access for them to grow to commercial scale.

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