For almost a decade, Potatoes SA has assisted black emerging farmers in building their own potato production businesses. To date, the non-profit company has already invested in and helped more than forty upcoming potato farmers. And they continue to do so through their enterprise development program.
“The goal of the enterprise development program is to assist in setting up, supporting and growing viable new black-owned potato producing enterprises through the provision of seed, mentorship, training, technical support and industry exposure,” says Potatoes SA Communications Manager, Hanrie Greebe.
When the program kicked off, it had an annual budget of R500 000 (€31,000). Nine years down the line and the budget has grown to over R6 million (€372,000). Greebe says the program has been established in several provinces across the country. The amount of emerging potato farmers in Limpopo, however, is quite higher. This is thanks to the province’s weather suitability for potato production.
The outcome of the program has seen positive results. The participants, and those who previously participated, are now able to bring about change and create work for those who are unemployed. Greebe added that this has played a huge role in reducing poverty.