Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Previous Archive
17 May 2019 | Story Eloise Calitz | Photo Charl Devenish
Agribusiness Transformation Programme
At the launch of the programme during Nampo 2019 were, from the leftt: Anton Nicolaisen, Provincial Head: Free State and Northern Cape, Standard Bank; Prof Francis Petersen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS; Mangi Ramabenyane, General Manager, Farmer Support and Development at the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development; Nico Groenewald, Head: Agri-Business at Standard Bank; and Bigboy Kokoma, farmer from Bothaville.


Bigboy Kokoma, a 33-year-old ‘young’ farmer, speaks with confidence and pride about his family farm in the Bothaville district. One hundred and forty-two hectares of land that has been in the Kokoma family since 2005 when his father established the farm. The farm specialises in livestock, mostly Bonsmaras, and vegetables. “I want to set an example to other young farmers and, through this, become an ambassador of inspiration to my generation.”

Bigboy has a Diploma in Financial Management. “Having this qualification is a step closer to understanding the financial management of the farm, but if you want to take the leap to become a commercial farmer, you need greater knowledge and understanding to get you there.”  He is excited to have been selected for the Agribusiness Transformation Programme, because this will bring him closer to his dream of becoming a commercial farmer, to contribute to the economy of South Africa, and it will assist him in taking his family legacy further.

He is one of 25 farmers in the country who was selected to take part in the Agribusiness Transformation Programme. The programme’s main objective is to develop black emerging farmers through structured, accessible, and relevant agricultural and entrepreneurship training in order to become economically viable commercial farmers that will have greater impact in the agricultural sector in the Free State.

Importance of agriculture

Globally, the agricultural sector faces multiple challenges: it has to produce food to feed an exponentially growing world population, with a smaller rural labour force, adopt more energy-efficient and sustainable production methods, manage limited natural resources and climate change, and contribute to socio-economic development. 
 
Agriculture is of fundamental importance, not only on a global scale, but also on the African continent; therefore, we are especially proud of the Agribusiness Transformation Programme that will, in the long run, enable 25 farmers to become productive and well-functioning agri-business contributors that provide solutions for the much-needed challenges in food security, job creation, and the development of agricultural products.
 
Value of strong partnerships

The programme is an initiative of the University of the Free State (UFS), Standard Bank, and the Free State Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. They believe that strong partnerships are needed in the development of black emerging farmers, and to drive change in the sector. What makes the partnership successful, is the multiple strengths and expertise that each partner provides.

The UFS has a strong Agricultural Sciences division, with experience in training farmers in formal undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, as well as short courses.  The UFS Centre for Development Support has a solid record of developing entrepreneurs and university’s Innovation Office is at the forefront of technology transfer.

“The UFS is applying its strengths in education, training, innovation and technology transfer to ensure the development of these 25 farmers. We are excited to take the lead in this program and to ultimately contribute to a productive and well-functioning agri-business sector in South Africa. The impact of the programme is wide and the future brings possibilities of developing a model that will be replicated in the rest of South Africa and Africa,” says Prof Francis Petersen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS.

Standard Bank has strong expertise in financing the agricultural sector, stimulating enterprise development and SMMEs, and providing financial services to the public sector.  The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development provides services to farmers who have access to land.

Programme launched at Nampo 2019

The programme was fittingly launched at Nampo on 15 May 2019, bringing together leaders in agriculture, business, the media, and influencers in the sector to engage and meet with the 25 farmers. The discussion at the launch again reiterated the importance of this programme and the level of skills transfer this partnership will mobilise.



News Archive

International ties for OSM
2013-08-21

 

Prof Nicol Viljoen in the historic Teatr Zdrojowy in Walbrzych, Poland
20 August 2013


Profs Nicol and Martina Viljoen from the Odeion School of Music (OSM) recently undertook a very successful trip to Europe where Prof Nicol Viljoen rendered two solo piano recitals in Poland. They also delivered a joint paper at a congress in Budapest.

The first of the two recitals were held in Crakow at the famed Zespol Panstwowych School of Music. At this event, Prof Viljoen essentially recited Chopin Mazurkas and was invited to repeat this performance in Poland in the future.

The second piano recital was in the historicTeatr Zdrojowy im. Henryka Wieniawskiego in Walbrzych. This concert included Preludes, Mazurkas, as well as the Ballad in G minor by Chopin. After the Mazurkas, the audience rewarded Prof Viljoen with a standing ovasion – and again at the end of the concert. As a result of this, the chief organiser of the event, Jerzy Kosek, who is also the conductor of the Filharmonia Sudecka, invited Prof Viljoen to perform as soloist with his orchestra next year.

Kosek also invited Conducting students at the OSM to work with the Filharmonia under his leadership on an exchange basis. He indicated that he would like to strengthen the ties with the University of the Free State and the Odeion School of Music. Two members of the Filharmonia Sudecka are currently doctoral students in Performing Arts at the OSM, namely Karol Legierski (concertmaster) and Marianne Cilliers (first violin), while the co-concertmaster, Dorota Graca, is in the process of registering for doctoral studies at the OSM.

The paper delivered by Profs Viljoen in Budapest, formed part of the interdisciplinary congress, ‘The Arts in Society,’ where more than twenty countries were represented. Their paper dealt with the post-apartheid oeuvre of the South African composer, Hans Huyssen. Charla Schutte, another doctoral student at the OSM, delivered a paper on an interpretation of indoctrination songs on the basis of an analytical model by the philosopher Johann Visagie.

During the trip, Prof Martina Viljoen also had a productive meeting with the executive manager of Common Ground Publishers, an academic publisher based in the USA, with a view to publish work from the OSM.

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept