Categories: NewsSouth Africa

Successfully building the emerging farmer sector

Speaking at Nampo’s Nation in Conversation about successful empowerment projects, Phillip Retief, CEO of Van Loveren wines said initiators of…

Van Loveren launched its first empowerment project in 2004.

“The first project was seen as far-fetched, but we worked with the Land Redistribution for Agricultural Development (LRAD) government project and received subsidies for labourers who wanted to become involved. We empowered 166 workers and bought 138ha vineyards with workers having a 52% share,” said Retief.

He said those who start projects must realise that the needs of all who become involved are different, often because of age, and should be respected.

“The project must be based on sound business principles and be able to make it commercially in the long-term,” he added.

Retief said Van Loveren does not always get the recognition from government it would want, but use its projects as a foot in the door for more projects.

He said government on provincial and national level did not always communicate about what happened on ground level.

He gave the example of a producer who just wanted to get going, while government had various requirements that involved dealing with different departments. One needed patience with government bureaucracy, while financial institutions wanted to show a profit.

Lennox Plaatjies, from the Witsenberg Partners in Agri land Solutions (PALS) project, which in conjunction with commercial farmers in the Western Cape acquired 4 200ha land, with 55 projects running on it, said one of the reasons for their success was establishing a central point where all decisions about the projects were made.

The Witsenberg project only looked at individuals with potential, who then underwent psychometric tests, and thereafter were developed under mentorship from commercial farmers. “Despite political differences on all levels all stakeholders work together towards the same goal,” said Plaatjies.

Solomon Masango, New Era Commercial Farmer of the Year, said that for him owning land was still an issue. “I leased land, but when the lessor saw I was successful they ended the contract before it expired,” he said.

Share
Published by
Janine Ryan
Tags: emerging farmernamponation in conversation

Recent Posts

How to implement a succession plan

The importance of a succession plan for a farming business cannot be underestimated, and must be prioritised.

13 hours ago

Hemp production could soon be legal

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) has formally requested the Department of Health and the Department of Justice…

14 hours ago

Small Simmentaler stud takes on the country’s best

The size of an operation counts less than dedication, persistence, insight and quality genetics. Operating on a modestly-sized parcel of…

2 days ago

‘Diesel now second highest input cost’ – Grain SA

The Automobile Association of South Africa is forecasting record increase in fuel prices for October, including a possible R1,38/litre increase…

2 days ago

When losses are not deductible

Stock in trade is the lifeblood of a business. When stock is lost, or destroyed, the loss normally gives rise…

3 days ago

Enjoy the taste of fresh garden peas!

These days, most people opt for frozen peas for convenience. They don’t know what they’re missing, says Bill Kerr. Fresh…

4 days ago

This website uses cookies.