Standard Bank has partnered with the University of Free State, and the Free State Department of Agriculture to help develop black commercial farmers and emerging black-owned sustainable agribusinesses in the Free State.
This significant Agribusiness Transformation Programme, which leverages existing expertise, skills, and infrastructure launched to the public and key stakeholders on 15 May, at Nampo 2019.
“Standard Bank believes that strong partnerships is needed in the development of black commercial farmers and black-owned agribusinesses to drive change in the sector. Through effective partnerships, job creation and the improvement of food security is possible”, says Nico Groenewald, Head of Business at Standard Bank.
The programme’s initial focus is on emerging farmers who have access to land – also redistributed land. The first cohort of 25 farmers has been identified in cooperation with the Free State Department of Agriculture and their training started in February 2019.
“We want farmers to know what they should do, give them the right financial education, access to financial assistance and provide comprehensive solutions in the agricultural sector, thus assisting them to grow their businesses”, says Nico Groenewald.
Standard Bank is determined to transform smallholder farmers into medium-sized enterprises, as it regards this transformation as being essential to addressing food security and stimulating economic growth.
Groenewald notes that Standard Bank took a leap from the Department of Agriculture and saw an opportunity to tap into the value-chain opportunities in agriculture.
With more than 150 years of providing financial services and support to the agriculture sector, South African financial institute Standard Bank remains at the forefront of agricultural development with key partnerships with major agricultural role players, aimed at creating a sustainable sector, and its range of specialised financial solutions adding value to farming enterprises and agribusinesses across the value chain.
“Financial institutions also need to provide cutting-edge funding solutions that will pro-actively help grow the sector and stay abreast of the obstacles and issues confronting the role players in agriculture,” says Groenewald. “Therefore Nampo is the perfect prominent place where financial institutions can be brought closer to the agricultural sector, keep abreast with the latest technology and understand the evolution that is happening in the sector”.
Standard Bank also unveiled funding solutions to solar technology business operations at this year’s Nampo that is happening at Bothaville from the 14th to the 17th of May 2019.