The Sernick Group can now commence with the second phase of its Developing Farmers Programme in the Free State thanks to grant funding from Absa.
Between 2018 and 2020 the Sernick Group, together with The Jobs Fund at National Treasury, implemented the highly successful Sernick Developing Farmers Programme. The initiative is a comprehensive intervention in which emerging black farmers are recruited, trained, set up and provided with supply opportunities through integration into Sernick’s value chain.
A total of 660 farmers (Tier 1) were recruited, given SETA accredited training and an opportunity to replace their old stock with good quality cattle that fetch higher prices at the market. A total of 300 farmers (Tier 2), selected from the 660, were equipped with technical skills to enable them to develop their own herds while maintaining healthy cash flows to meet their working capital requirements. Another 50 farmers (Tier 3), from these 300 farmers, were upskilled into viable commercial entities with their own production capacity.
This second phase with Absa, and Sustainable Agri NPC (Sernick’s non-profit arm), which will span over three years, allows Sernick to take on 60 additional Tier 2 farmers and 40 additional Tier 3 farmers. Absa will also make loans available to eligible Tier 3 farmers on certain terms and conditions.
The 40 Tier 3 farmers will be selected from the initial programme with The Jobs Fund, as well as new entrants in Tier 2 of the second programme. All farmers with a formal land tenure of more than 300ha as well as 40 productive cattle may apply for this second programme. Farmers who have benefitted from the programme with The Jobs Fund may not apply again. They are however automatically considered for selection as a Tier 3 in the second programme.
Sernick is proud to welcome Absa on board, and excited about this next chapter in developing new commercial farmers.
Interested and qualifying farmers who want to join the programme can contact [email protected] for an application form that must be submitted to her office before the end of September 2021.