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

Students’ commitment the focus of architectural exhibition at Free State Arts Festival
2016-07-07

Description: Architectural exhibition  Tags: Architectural exhibition

The traveling exhibition of first-year architecture
students of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan
University consists of 400 exhibition pieces.

Photo: Supplied

A unique travelling exhibition of over 400 pieces will be hosted by the UFS Department of Architecture from 11-23 July 2016. The exhibition, a project of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) School of Architecture is the first exhibition of its kind on this scale.

First exhibition of its kind

The architect Boban Varghese, the head of the Department of Architecture at NMMU, said that a series of projects furthering academic engagements are being implemented under his leadership. This travelling exhibition of first-year architecture students is one of these.

The NMMU School of Architecture is engaged in addressing architectural education that is appropriate and relevant as it responds to the contextual challenges shaped by local and global issues.

Students’ work received recognition

Besides being recognition of student work, which is normally confined within the walls of the Schools of Architecture, the aim of the travelling exhibition is not only to introduce the work to students of other Architecture Schools and the architecture profession itself, but also to share the discipline of architecture with a wider public. In this sense, the exhibition is an educational and cultural event.

This important aspect is manifested in the generous support of the UFS Department of Architecture in sponsoring the second exhibition during the Free State Arts Festival, as a collaborative project between two Schools of Architecture. A third exhibition of the work is foreseen in Johannesburg during the annual Architecture Students Congress at Wits later this year.

432 pieces part of research programme

The exhibition PALLADIO AND THE MODERN
is the first exhibition of its kind of first-year
architecture students’ work in South Africa.

The exhibition entitled PALLADIO AND THE MODERN shows the first two projects of the first-year students when they have just arrived from school with little experience in architectural drawings and in building architectural models. Their dedicated commitment to the task of producing 288 drawings and 144 models - a total 432 exhibition pieces - forms part of a three-year research programme (2013-2015) in architectural composition conducted by the Senior Lecturer in Architecture, Ernst Struwig, Dr Magda Minguzzi and Jean-Pierre Basson. All the work exhibited is done by hand.

In the exhibition, the 36 villas of the Renaissance architect, Andrea Palladio (1508-1580), initiate a dialogue with the 36 houses of 20th and 21st international and national architects in their reciprocal theme of exploring the language of architecture.

Visiting hours: Monday to Friday 09:00-16:00
Exhibition closes on 23 July 2016

Sponsors:
Department of Architecture UFS; NMMU; Stauch Vorster Architects; The Matrix Urban Designers and Architects Cc; Adendorff Architects and Interiors Cc; NOH Architects; Thembela Architects (Pty) Ltd; Erik Voight Architects; DMV Architecture, MMK Architects; IMBONO F. J. A. Architects CC; dhk Architects; LYT Architecture; B4 Architects.

 

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