Senwes Scenario Oktober / November 2015 - Page 35

HA N D E L SN UUS SENWES IS COMMITTED TO ••• MARLON ABRAHAMS FARMER DEVELOPMENT “THE COMMERCIALISATION OF DEVELOPING FARMERS IS A PROCESS (NOT A ONCE-OFF EVENT) WHICH NEEDS A SPECIAL AND NEW BREED OF SUPPORT SPECIALISTS WHO ARE DEDICATED, WILL PERSEVERE, HAVE PATIENCE AND HAVE EXCEPTIONAL COMMUNICATION AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT SKILLS,” SAYS JOHAN DU TOIT, MANAGER: AGRICULTURAL SERVICES AT SENWES. J ohan was speaking at a function held in August at the Senwes Head Office, where a group of black farmers were acknowledged for their participation, dedication and success with the Senwes Farmer Development programme. The programme, which sees Senwes providing assistance to developing producers both financially and technically, was launched in 2008. “The aim is to establish a mutually beneficial long-term business relationship,” says Johan. “Skills transfer is based on practical assistance through the learning-by-doing principle and mentoring.” The programme kickedoff with eight farmers in 2008. By 30 August 2015 five farmers were still participating while the other three have left the programme due to one advancing to commercial level, one having to withdraw due to poor performance and one passed away. Tonnages of grain delivered via the project to date amount to almost 20 000 tons. The net monetary value of wealth created for participating farmers during the 2014/15 season alone, was in the FRANS GAOGANEDIWE; JONAS MOKOKA, SIMON TEFFO, PHILIP MOKHITHI AND HERBERT MABUZA RECEIVED CERTIFICATES OF APPRECIATION. region of R3 million. The producers who received certificates of appreciation at the function are: Frans Gaoganediwe; Jonas Mokoka, Simon Teffo, Philip Mokhithi and Herbert Mabuza. These farmers cultivate maize and sunflower, farm with cattle and are producing in the Vereeniging, Randfontein, Ventersdorp and Klerksdorp areas. As part of the ceremony the farmers were given branded sign-posts which reflect the farm and the owners’ names. The producers paid tribute to Senwes and acknowledged the elements of the programme which ensure success, namely technical and agri-economical planning; access to finance; procurement of intermediate goods (inputs); market access for grain; training and information transfer. Johan added that Senwes is committed to making a positive contribution to the advancement and development of developing producers who demonstrate genuine commitment and integrity and have the aspiration to become fully-fledged commercial producers within a reasonable space of time (3-5 years). Commercial producers who are serious about the implementation of BEE in their business need not wait for government as there is no “one-plan-fits-all” solution. Government, however, needs to provide and guarantee an enabling environment such as tax incentives and irrevocable recognition.” SENWES Scenario • Okt/Nov 2015 33