Monsanto SA is dedication to inclusive growth and transforming South African agriculture by empowering communities and supporting agricultural education, they said in a recent press release.
Monsanto launched the “imbewu” empowerment programme on August 4 and hopes to contribute to South Africa’s inclusive growth.
Monsanto created the programme in 2016 and aims to improve the lives of local farmers by providing them with innovative products and technology and developing critical skills within the sector.
The programme provides local farmers with innovative products and technology and develops critical skills and enterprise development to help farmers get funding.
The launch was attended by the Buhle Farmers Academy, Grain SA and Annette Steyn, DA spokesperson for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
Supporting farmer education
Monsanto also gave the Buhle Farmers Academy an additional 28 ha, adjacent to the existing land, to grow e.g. grain.
Niel de Smidt, Buhle CEO said “the additional piece of land will now enable us, provided agricultural conditions are favourable, to generate an annual extra income of close to R100 000”.
The partnership with Buhle was formed in 2000 when Monsanto donated a research farm near Delmas and gave them start up capital.
The use of an irrigation system on the farm could better Buhle’s yield per hectare substantially and ultimately make the programme self-sustainable. However, the pivot on farm management’s wish list will cost just under R1 000 000.
Nyiko Maluleke, Buhle Chief Operating Officer said they plant dry-land maize and soya beans.
“Bi-annual crop rotation puts nitrogen back in our soils and prevents depletion, which is in line with best practice farming. It will be used as a good example for our students on how commercial farming can be done sustainably,” said Maluleke.
According to De Smidt, Monsanto enabled people to feed their families, increased their profits and allowed them to have commercial or semi-commercial farms.