Jobs Fund boosts agriculture sector
Her enterprise, Nevhutalu Farming and Services, employs six permanent staff members and between 20 and 30 seasonal workers.
Nevhutalu (42) worked on her brother’s farm before being granted permission from a local chief to use 25 hectares of land for farming. Today, she is her own boss and proudly produces tomatoes, green peppers and various crops.
“While working at my brother's farm, I realised that there are a lot of opportunities in agriculture and I could uplift my community. This is what led me to start my own business.”
Started in 2005, the farm soon flourished, thanks to Nevhutalu’s hard work and the support she received from the National Treasury’s Jobs Fund, which enabled her to receive training in bookkeeping, financial management, chemical measurements and fertiliser usage from the Timbali Technology Incubator.
“The knowledge I gained from Timbali Technology Incubator was passed on to my employees so they have the skills required on the farm.”
She was also taught how to market her business, which has helped grow the farm’s footprint. The Jobs Fund also helped install an underground irrigation system to mitigate the effects of drought.
Nevhutalu’s tomatoes are sold to Tiger Brands and tomato sauce producer All Joy. Other vegetables produced at the farm are sold through the Nwanedi Packhouse to the local fresh fruit market and the community, as well as the Joburg Market.
Empowered and determined, the small-scale farmer hopes to begin exporting her produce.Support for farmers
The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, working with the Jobs Fund, is looking to create 1 715 new permanent full-time job opportunities by supporting farmers in the livestock, industrial crops and horticulture sectors. In addition, it wants to create 3 720 new seasonal and 48 short-term jobs in agriculture.
Farmers who receive funding will be allocated a 50 percent grant and 50 percent loan, which will be administered by the Land Bank.
More information about the fund is available on www.daff.gov.za.
-This article was originally published in the GCIS Vuk'uzenzele.