For almost a decade, Potatoes SA has assisted black emerging farmers in building their own potato production businesses. To date, the non-profit company has already invested in and helped more than forty upcoming potato farmers. And they continue to do so through their enterprise development program.
“The goal of the enterprise development program is to assist in setting up, supporting and growing viable new black-owned potato producing enterprises through the provision of seed, mentorship, training, technical support and industry exposure,” says Potatoes SA Communications Manager, Hanrie Greebe.
The outcome of the program has seen positive results. The participants, and those who previously participated, are now able to bring about change and create work for those who are unemployed.
Greebe added that this has played a huge role in reducing poverty.
The collaboration includes government and various agribusinesses, such as the agriculture chemical supplier Nulandis, who provide loan funding to a farmer who graduated from the programme.
“A number of memorandums have been signed with the different provincial governments, although they have not come into full fruition. Potatoes SA has developed a strong partnership with cooperatives such as VKB/NTK where the cooperative provides co-funding to the farmers for the other inputs required.”