Tiger Brands helps emerging farmers

Written by: Owen Mngadi

Emerging maize farmers from Ventersdorp in the North West have become part of Tiger Brands’ multi-million farmer development initiative to help transform agriculture.

The Dipuno Enterprise and Supplier Development Fund was launched by the food manufacturer to assist emerging farmers with funding and technical support so that they can produce on a larger scale. The first group of farmers involved in the initiative harvested tons of white maize, which will be supplied to Tiger Brands.

Beneficiaries receive technical support and many of the resources they need to become successful commercial farmers.

The company says it has invested over R50 million in the programme and has so far helped 157 emerging black farmers across the country.Emerging farmers Lerako Naphtaly and Kagiso Molebaloa harvest white maize to be supplied to Tiger Brands. Photo: Owen Mngadi

Farmer Kagiso Molebaloa says after receiving funding and other support, he was able to grow 300 hectares of maize – the biggest quantity since he started farming alongside his parents over two decades ago.

The land he leases from the local tribal authority had been left unused for many years because they could not afford to cultivate it.

“The programme allows us to grow at a faster rate than we would have on our own. They offer funding with far less interest, compared to the commercial banks,” he says.

Another beneficiary, Lerako Naphtaly, says he had been farming on only 10 hectares of land, which meant that he could not supply the quantities needed by supermarkets and agro-processors. “Being part of the programme allowed us to have access to a very good market, which is often difficult to find. It also allowed us to be exposed to other potential buyers of our products and services,” he says.

Richard Keothaile, the Chief Director of Land Reform and Rural Development in the North West, says he is pleased that Tiger Brands has answered government’s call to major agriculture roleplayers to play their part in transforming the industry.

Tiger Brands Enterprise and Supplier Development Director Litha Kutta says they plan to help over 1 000 farmers by 2030.

Farmers who want to become part of the Dipuno Enterprise and Supplier Development Fund, visit www.dipunofund.co.za.

Page Number: 
12