BBC helps Eastern Cape emerging farmers

The Black Business Council (BBC) has formed a partnership to empower and develop NAFU Eastern Cape farmers from emerging to become commercial farmers.

Called The BBC Grain Production Project, an initiative that involves Ikhephu Agri Secondary Co-Operative Farms based in Elliot and mentors, some of the market leaders and amongst the Top 100 listed JSE Companies within the agricultural value chain will be launched in Elliot in the Eastern Cape on August 15th.

This transformation from emerging to commercial farmers to be achieved through execution of an integrated value chain model which covers the process from inception, inputs through to conclusion – – sale at the Miller – – of the production cycle, will last for a period of 5 years commencing in 2016.

“To keep up with the growth in human population, more food will have to be produced over the next 50 years than during the past 10 000 years combined.  There are also challenges such as climate change, water shortages and dwindling oil reserves. World grain reserves are also at their lowest levels, notably more so than in previous years,” said BBC President Danisa Baloyi.

“One of the key challenges facing emerging farmers is their lack of collateral and security. It means they often cannot access production finance and hence cannot use their resource base to its fullest capability.



“It has therefore become imperative that any financial product or solution to enable emerging farmers to access production finance and support must overcome the inherent financial risks,” said Baloyi.

 

“That is why the BBC and our partners, BHBW (A Barloworld and BayWa Company), Land Bank, Unigrain, Tongaat Hullet, Dupont, Kynoch and VBS Mutual Bank, have embarked on a journey to intervene and create a model with the aim of assisting emerging farmers to become self-sufficient.

“The objectives are: to transform the agricultural sector; change ways of black participation; move up the value chain and be value creators; combine financial and market access incentives and benefits with upscaling of business competencies; provide a platform to ensure strategic focus and effective delivery while reducing risk and drive entrepreneurial spirit and mentorship, “she said.

“What will success look like? Contribution to the GDP, transform the sector, create jobs,   usher in food security and lead to create sustainable skills transfer,” said Baloyi.

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