Sfiso Mnguni

Grower Affairs Unit Division 

The Grower Affairs Unit function of SAFDA is tasked with the day-to-day “bread and butter” issues of growers. It is the point of the organization’s daily interface with the grower.  The function encompasses all grower contact type interventions that seek to ensure that the grower is provided a comprehensive basket of support services, ranging from representation, capacity enhancement and project implementation. The Unit provides customised individual assistance to land reform farmers and restitution communities. Through the Service Level Agreement signed between the Department of Agriculture Rural Development and Land Reform in respect of transaction advisory and post settlement support.

The sugar industry comprises of estimated 20,000 black growers, made up of small scale and land reform farmers. Both these categories have over the years found it difficult to earn profit or income through cane proceeds. They are faced with a myriad of farming business challenges primarily due to economies of scale and insufficient agronomic and business capability. In the main black growers are faced with unaffordable costs of production which renders most of their farming operations unviable. 

Objectives

SAFDA’s Grower Affairs Unit is directed primarily towards achieving profitability, development and sustainability of black small scale and land reform farmers. This will be done through successful implementation of the plan to achieve the following strategic objectives:

Develop and Implement a capacity building Programme to empower black growers with Agronomic and Business Management skills to improve yields.

  1. Handholding bookkeeping and financial management advisory service to growers.
  2. Provide thought leadership, social facilitation and advisory services on business efficiencies to enhance profitability.
  3. Institutional support provided to grower organizations at MAC, Associations, Co-operatives and zones.
  4. Governance support provided to land holding entities in respect of governance.
  5. Establishment of a database of all growers and farming information to support project initiation and implementation