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

Kovsie student trailblazing to literary stardom
2013-10-24

 

Ace Moloi with a copy of his book In Her Fall Rose a Nation
Photo: Jerry Mokoroane
24 October 2013

Ace Moloi proves that ambition and self-belief are key ingredients in achieving your dreams. At merely 21-years of age, this Kovsie student made his entrance onto the literary scene with the launch of his first novel. In Her Fall Rose a Nation tells the story of a young girl who leaves her rural home to further her studies in the city. Loosing herself in the excitement of student life, she gets kicked out of university. As a result she has to find refuge in the streets that devour her last bit of hope of rising again. The novel, published by New Voices Publishing, was introduced to an eager audience at the Bloemfontein Campus.

Moloi, a third-year Communications student and prime of House Tswelopele, says his book is a unique offering that will inspire and intrigue.

"The inspiration behind this project emanates mainly from the realisation that as much as we bemoan the lack of reading among young people – particularly in the townships and rural areas – we haven’t taken the initiative to write books that will speak to them and their day-to-day circumstances."

The talented writer, who is also a content contributor for News24 and a former IRAWA Post news editor, says he has been influenced by the writings of extraordinary individuals such as Kwasi Koranteng, Steve Biko and Dr KPD Maphalla. It took him three years to write the book, Ace says, mentioning that it first started as a Sesotho novel, that was later turned into English.

Already working on his second manuscript, Prey and Predators, Ace’s message to fellow students is to never underestimate the power of dreams. "By nature, dreams are unique, and so is yours. Own it up. Defend it. Realise it. Most importantly, never allow anyone to make you feel guilty for having great ambitions, for without ambition there is no meaning at all to life."

* In Her Fall Rose a Nation sells for R100 and can ordered from Ace at ace.moloi@gmail.com. The book can also be ordered online for R150 from New Voice Publishing online bookstore at www.newvoices.co.za.

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