At Land Bank, we are constantly working to empower the communities around us through agriculture. Our commitment to community development is an extension of the Bank’s mandate to grow the agricultural sector in a more inclusive and transformed way. Through high impact strategic social investments, we are investing in the creation of opportunities across the agricultural value chain that will bring more previously disadvantaged groups like youth, women and black people, into the sector.
Mr ME Lekgau Limpopo
Akwandze Agri Financial Service Mpumalanga
Neels Minnie and Sons Farm CC KwaZulu-Natal
Mouton Citrus Western Cape
Ndwandwa Community Trust Mpumalanga
Zolarity (PTY) Ltd Limpopo
Town Development Building & Construction Agency Pty Ltd Free State
Lume Agricultural Enterprises (PTY) LTD Eastern Cape
Land Bank is developing a comprehensive programme in response to the identified challenges faced by women and youth in participating in the agricultural sector. The programme forms part of the Bank’s strategic priorities to facilitate a more inclusive agricultural sector.
The programme aims to:
To find out more about the programme, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Corporate Social Investment programme is designed to support our communities through three distinctive focus areas to boost participation within the agricultural sector. These include:
Building an impactful CSI programme
Land Bank has worked to implement an impactful CSI strategy aligned with its core mandate of creating a more inclusive and equitable sector.
Buhle Farmer’s Academy
Buhle Farmer’s Academy has been training and developing entrepreneurial skills for the agricultural sector for 16 years already, growing from strength-to-strength.
Land Bank was instrumental in supporting the launch of a new youth agriculture initiative called the Agri-Teen Symposium this March. The initiative aims to facilitate greater youth participation across the agricultural value chain by providing youth with relevant information.
Giving back is embedded in our development culture at Land Bank, and our employees regularly get involved to make a difference in the communities in which we operate.
Mr ME Lekgau is a development farmer, farming with livestock on Magatle communal land (894.5 ha) in the Ga-Mphahlele village. There is sufficient water and grazing for the livestock, with a carrying capacity of 108 animals. Mr Lekgau has one bull and 35 cows currently and is looking to expand his herd. He approached Land Bank for support and was granted a loan to help him expand his farm to its full carrying capacity.
Land Bank is proud to be able to help Mr Lekgau kick-start his farming dream!
Akwandze Agricultural Financial Service was established in 2006 after land was transferred from the previous owners to a newly established Community Property Associations (CPA). The project was set up to provide financial services to these property associations, strategic partners and small-scale farmers in the sugarcane production industry.
Akwandze is backed by a unique partnership between TSB sugar and the Liguguletfu Co-operative. The organisational shareholding structure consists of a 50 - 50 partnership between TSB Sugar RSA and Liguguletfu Co-operative Limited, the latter representing the sugar cane growers in the region (currently 889 members). Both shareholders have invested a total of R25 million in Akwandze and have extensive knowledge and experience in sugar cane milling and production.
Since its establishment, Akwandze has created five Projects that cover 12199Ha of land, providing 3864 job opportunities that benefit close to 35,000 beneficiaries.
Land Bank is one of the financiers of Akwandze, who then on-lend directly to the farmers in the CPA, offering loans to facilitate:
Sugarcane production is important to the local economy and job creation. Without appropriate financial services from the likes of Land Bank and other financiers, the production could be compromised.
This approach sees Akwandze providing farmers with the support required for cane production and irrigation infrastructure, whilst contractors can apply for short-term working capital requirements. In addition, to ensure that small-scale growers and emerging cane farmers benefit, Akwandze requires that qualifying candidates must represent wholly black-owned enterprises. Candidates must be registered with the South African Sugar Association (SASA), and have a cane delivery agreement with TSB.
With the acquisition of this farm, Mr CJ Minnie wanted to contribute to the transformation of the area. He has partnered with Mr WG Mgiba, a work colleague, to achieve this. Mr Minnie has extensive farming experience, as his family owned a livestock farm. Mr Mgiba has over 20 years of family farming experience through subsistence farming. The new farm comprises pecan, Macadamia and orange orchards, a registered Macadamia nursery and a nut processing factory. Currently employing 52 workers with further employment opportunities planned as the planting area is expanded, this new venture holds significant transformation and development potential. A workers’ trust is also being established in which employees will own a portion of the shares once the CC is converted into a company. Lank Bank Funding has been instrumental in helping this venture realise his true potential.
Location: Western Cape
Mouton Citrus (Pty) Ltd is a family run fully integrated producer, packer, marketer and exporter of quality citrus and rooibos tea with global alliances and partnerships. The farming operations have grown over generations from being only a producer to being a supply chain integrated business model, after the deregulation of the South African Fruit Industry and the opening of the US market for SA citrus in 1997. Currently the farming operations consists of 14 farms in the Citrusdal valley including a Pack house.
During February 2017, the Land Bank advanced a bridging facility to Mouton Investments in terms of a convertible note issued by Mouton Citrus to the Land Bank. The purpose of the note was to finance the buy-back of shares held by Orchards Investments BV, a foreign 45% shareholder in Mouton Citrus (Pty) Ltd. Mouton Citrus (Pty) Ltd is the wholly owned operating entity of Mouton Investments (Pty) Ltd.
In addition to financing the share buy-back, the transaction will enable the Land Bank, together with its BEE partner (Masimong Holdings (Pty) Ltd), to convert the convertible note into a 35% equity stake in Mouton Investments within six months of the initial advance. Masimong Holdings is a 75% Investment Holding Company based in Johannesburg, with various interests in Mining, Energy and financial services amongst others.
The strategic intent behind the transaction is to directly address the land ownership and transformation challenges facing the South African agricultural sector by ramping up the participation of previously disadvantaged groups in the sector, including emerging black farmers, black industrialists, women and youth.
The transaction has resulted in an increase in black ownership of Mouton Citrus from 10% to 47%. Similarly, Employee Trust ownership will increase to 12% with 350 beneficiaries. The transaction also serves to preserve 1800 jobs while creating 600 new jobs, further boosting the economy of the Province.
The Ndwandwa Community Trust in Badplaas, Mpumalanga, acquired 29 farms totalling 9800 hectares through successful land claims in 2003. After the transfer of the properties, the community faced some challenges in getting farming activity going on the land.
As part of its mandate to support land restitution projects and facilitate economic growth and social inclusion in the sector, Land Bank is one of the sector players involved in financing The Ndwandwa Community Trust to bring this land under production.
The project is phased for production input costs and the construction of silo and storage units. The first phase has seen 555 hectares of land coming under productions as follows:
Through Land Bank’s financing, an increase in the production yield from the land as well as an increase in employment on the farms has already been realised. Ultimately, the Bank’s support serves as a catalyst to bring more of the available land under production so that more beneficiaries are able to meaningfully participate and reap the rewards from the land.
Zolarity, in Limpopo, is a joint venture between Limpopo Dairies and their Workers’ Trust, a majority black grouping who own 51% of the business with Limpopo Dairies owning a 49% share.
Financed by Land Bank, Zolarity acquired unutilised land adjacent to the dairy upon which to expand and diversify its operations. With an off-take agreement in place through Limpopo Dairies, the initiative received the boost that it needed. In addition to a guaranteed off-take agreement, Limpopo Dairies provides technical assistance to the farmers to ensure that they meet the stringent commercial standards required by the Dairy.
The project also has a comprehensive crop diversification plan in place which is to be rolled out in three phases over five years that will see maize production, blueberries and alternative energy generation becoming the focus of the venture.
Land Bank’s involvement from a development impact perspective is focussed on sustainable increasing the commercialisation of underutilised to deepen economic transformation and social inclusivity in the sector.
Some of the benefits already realised include the employment of eight permanent employees who are all registered for UIF, receive a Provident Fund and have access to bursary schemes. Zolarity is looking to create 150 jobs by the end of 2018 and a number of new businesses while continuing to provide skills training in operations management to grow this emerging farmer base.
Location: Free State
Mr Kenneth Mofokeng is the sole director and shareholder of TDB & C. He is a cattle (beef) farmer who wanted to diversify into maize and fodder for animal feed. He approached Land Bank for help to buy two adjacent farms on 551 ha as well as some movable assets. A loan facility was made available to Mr Mofokeng in August 2017. The transaction is enabing him to significantly scale up his own operation by adding more heads of cattle to his current stock, growing the business into a feedlot, as well as creating employment for three permanent workers and seven casuals who will be responsible for the maize, cattle and pastures. Kenneth plans to sell 20% of the overall bales to local emerging farmers. Most of the produce will go to Karan Beef who will buy weaners from TDB & C.
Location: Eastern Cape
Lume Agricultural Enterprises is a 100% black owned lucerne and livestock farming operation based in the Somerset East district of the Eastern Cape. Mr Steve Batyi, the owner, is a recipient of the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform’s Proactive Land Acquisition Strategy (PLAS) programme, being awarded a 1500 hectare farm on a 30-year lease period.
Mr Batyi approached Land Bank for support to enhance lucerne production on the farm as well as to stabilise the core business through farm operational improvements. This specifically related to improvements in irrigation efficiency, moving from a flood irrigation system to a centre pivot system. Following a detailed assessment process, Land Bank approved the financing application, extending the following facilities to the business:
The financing has enabled Mr Batyi to increase lucerne production from 63 to 110 hectares as well as to install a new centre pivot irrigation system to make the farm more sustainable. A majority of the lucerne fodder under production on the farm is sold to local dairies, game farms and a local co-op and surplus fodder utilised for grazing by the 141 large stock units (cows) and 794 small stock units (sheep) on the farm.
Land Bank is now working with Lume to identify further market access opportunities, specifically linking local suppliers in the value-chain such as abattoirs to the farms livestock output.
Growing youth participation in agriculture through education and training
Karabo Mofokeng (28) had long held a desire to become an entrepreneur within the agricultural sector. Facing uncertain employment prospects, he was determined to realise his passion for farming and set about exploring opportunities in the sector that would support his dream. He came across Buhle Farmers’ Academy, a non-profit organisation that trains and mentors aspiring farmers using a holistic approach covering all the farming and management skills new farmers need. After enrolling in the Academy and completing courses in livestock and crop production, Karabo set up KRE Agri Holdings, a 100% black-owned poultry farming operation with fellow Buhle Academy graduates Rebecca Mabasa and Elsie Joao.
With the business being in operation for just over a year, their conviction in promoting entrepreneurship through agricultural practices for youth has led to Karabo winning the City of Ekurhuleni’s Youth Entrepreneurship Boot Camp prize, a huge boost which will allow KRE Agri Holdings to benefit from R200 000-worth of procurement.
Karabo’s is an all too rare success story of youth excelling in the agricultural sector, one which should be duplicated many times over. The reality, however, is that previously marginalised groups like the youth still face a number of challenges in accessing these opportunities due to factors like insufficient education, skills, a lack of access to arable land, securing capital, training and support, amongst others.
As the primary economic activity in rural areas, the National Development Plan identifies the agricultural sector as having the potential to create nearly one-million new jobs by 2030. With the sector recovering from the worst drought in a century, registering consecutive periods of positive growth that have helped to lift the economy out of a technical recession, there can be no doubt about the potential agriculture holds in creating opportunities for youth involvement across its value chain.
While policy makers and sector players have long recognised this potential, its translation into significant benefits for previously marginalised groups, like the youth, has been slow. The implementation of activities that will encourage and support more youth entering the agricultural sector hinges on the ability of these players to fully understand the challenges and how best to respond to them.
The Land and Agricultural Development Bank of South Africa (Land Bank) together with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) are two such sector players that have been charged with facilitating transformation in the economy and society in a manner that is more inclusive and equitable. With a specific development finance mandate, both organisations have been working to find unique solutions to the unique challenges that exist in transforming the economy, with the objective of facilitating the participation of youth, women and other previously disadvantaged groups in the economy in a sustainable way.
On hearing about the innovative training being conducted at Buhle Farmers’ Academy and how this was being practically implemented towards successes such as that of Karabo’s, Land Bank and the IDC formalised a partnership to provide support to the Academy as part of their respective Corporate Social Investment strategies.
“We realised that in order to begin to address the problem of a lack of access to meaningful opportunities for youth in the agricultural sector, greater collaboration is needed to address the high and growing youth unemployment rate and scarce skills in certain sectors of our economy,” says Tebogo Molefe, Head of Corporate Social Investment at the IDC.
The partnership serves to complement both Land Bank and IDC’s existing development and transformation efforts by bridging the gap between the these institutions and the communities they are meant to develop.
According to Lion Phasha, Senior Specialist for Stakeholder Relations and Corporate Social Investment at Land Bank, this level of connectivity to the community is essential to understanding their challenges and effectively responding to them. “From research Land Bank has recently concluded, we are seeing that young people’s perceptions of the agricultural sector are largely influenced by a lack of information and exposure to the industry. In many instances, our young people associate agriculture with subsistence farming, hard work and being poor. We have a responsibility to change this perception and expose our youth to the many opportunities that exist in the sector, as well as providing them with the required skills and knowledge to successfully participate. Our support for Buhle Farmers’ Academy gives us an opportunity to showcase what is possible in agriculture.”
For current students like Sphiwe Mnisi, this collaboration is helping to realise a dream. Sphiwe (31) is looking to follow in Karabo’s footsteps when she graduates by setting up a small poultry business and expanding into a fully viable commercial enterprise with experience and time. Her training at Buhle Farmers’ Academy is enabling her to gain all the necessary practical skills to be able to make her business a success. While both Sphiwe and Karabo will agree that farming requires sacrifice and hard work, to see ones vision become a reality in spite of the sacrifice is much greater reward.
The opportunities created through the partnership between Land Bank, the IDC and Buhle Farmer’s Academy have a compounding effect, creating further opportunities for participation by many more in the sector through job creation. With over 4000 graduates already passing through the Academy’s doors, half of them women and 65% of them youth, the programme is on track to empower many more young farmers into the future.
More about Buhle Farmers’ Academy
The Academy has been training and developing entrepreneurial skills for the agricultural sector for 16 years already, growing from strength-to-strength. Trainees come from all over the country to learn at its two campuses, one of which is near Delmas, Mpumalanga, and the second at Mkhondo (Piet Retief), in KwaZulu-Natal. The Academy offers holistic and practical training courses covering vegetable, crops, poultry and livestock production, as well as mixed farming. The Academy has helped to create over 8000 jobs in the agricultural sector to date, and is looking to do even more by partnering with organisations like the IDC and Land Bank. For more information go to www.buhle.org.za or call 012 492 1383.
Boosting Youth Participation in Agriculture
Youth involvement in the agricultural sector is set to get a boost with the launch of the inaugural Agri-Teen Symposium initiative. The Symposium brings together 300 grade 10 - 12 learners from schools in the greater Soweto area, exposing them to various learning and vocational opportunities across the agricultural value chain.
The National Development Plan (NDP) provides a clear and overarching policy approach on agriculture that is being implemented across government and within the agricultural sector. As one of the primary economic activities, agriculture has the potential to create close to 1-million jobs by 2030. However, the implementation of activities that will encourage and support more youth entering the agricultural sector hinges on the ability of sector players to fully understand their challenges and how best to respond to them.
The brainchild of journalist and media personality Ayanda Allie Paine working in conjunction with Land Bank, the Agri-Teen Symposium aims to establish a practical network of mentors for South African youth to tap into enhanced programmes that not only encourage greater youth participation in the sector, but also facilitate this in a sustainable manner.
“Through the Agri-Teen Symposium, we will be working with sector specialists to unlock the untapped potential within the sector for our youth, finding solutions to some of the current barriers to participation in the process.” says Allie Paine.
During 2017, Land Bank concluded a survey to understand the perceptions, attitudes and challenges faced by young people participating in the agricultural sector. The main findings raised a number of areas to be addressed:
This is in addition to existing challenges for new entrants including a lack of access to arable land, a lack of funding and poor access to industry information and statistics.
For Land Bank CEO, TP Nchocho, these insights play a crucial role in guiding the Bank fulfil its transformational mandate by customising programmes focussed on supporting young people in agriculture:
“The Agri-Teen Symposium represents an important part of Land Bank’s broader response to the youth challenge facing the agricultural sector. We will be working closely with stakeholders across the sector to impart the knowledge, skills and time to ensure that South African youth are exposed to the best opportunities to tap into the agricultural value chain.”
Learners at the launch event this year will benefit from a wide range of inputs, including first-hand experience from emerging black farmers who are creating their own agribusinesses as well as established players on both the production and operational side and educational institutions offering agri-focussed courses.
Following its launch in Gauteng, there are plans to host the event annually, to extend the reach of the initiative to benefit learners nationally as well as to establish connectivity to existing support programmes for youth in the agricultural sector.
Organisations or individuals who would like to support or get involved with the Agri-Teen Symposium programme can contact the organisers, Shekinah Media, on 074 823 7979.
Giving back is embedded in our development culture at Land Bank, and our employees regularly get involved to make a difference in the communities in which we operate.
Land Bank’s employee volunteerism programme is closely aligned to the objectives of its CSI strategy which is to empower women and youth by creating sustainable opportunities within the agricultural sector for them to take hold of.
At Land Bank, we believe that a hand up is always better than a hand out, and we endeavour to create sustainable value for the communities our employees chose to empower.
Copyrights 2018 © LAND BANK. All Rights Reserved | Registered Credit Provider: NCRCP18 | VAT number: 4560121081