According to Goosen Lombard, general manager of Harvest Time Investment, a subsidiary of the listed agricultural company, Afgri, the initiative would be run in conjunction with Vastfontein Community Transformation, Land Bank and other commercial agricultural role players. Lombard said the main objective was to support farmers to be sustainable, viable and independent.
Training would take place at the Vastfontein Community Transformation Centre on a mentor-based programme.
Lombard said the programme would include theoretical and practical training with at least 10 farmers allocated to one mentor. Initially, training would focus on grain and livestock farming but cover other commodities later. The course would also include business ethics, farm management, personal development, an introduction to marketing and farm evaluation, planning and management.
“Five mentors will be in place by the end of the month,” said Lombard. Chris Venter, Afgri Group CEO, said after the completion, Afgri’s numerous divisions would be available to assist with financing and insurance solutions, mechanisation, grain storage, marketing and other related services. Johan Grobler, managing director at the Vastvontein Centre, said basic requirements for selection were a passion for farming, access to at least 150ha of land and farming equipment.