Empowering Small Holder Farmers

The issues of food security and sustainability are critical; couple to this our growing population and you have the makings of a perfect storm. With this in mind, We have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Forests and Fisheries (DAFF) to empower the small holder farmers to supply their crops to Tiger Brands. We recently met with  Roderick Sorrell | Category Procurement Manager, about the MOU as well as what the programme means for small holder farmers and Tiger Brands as a whole.

What is the Small Holder Farmer programme?

The Small Farmer programme seeks to provide supply opportunities to emerging farmers. Tiger Brands is a large consumer of agri products in South Africa. This programme is an excellent opportunity for us to assist in the development of the emerging farmer sector. The program seeks to recruit, develop and transact with emerging farmers over a multi-year period with a degree of support and mentoring to ensure that the farms themselves are sustainable.

Why is Tiger Brands running the program?

Over its history; Tiger Brands has consistently been involved in many supplier development initiatives. As of today; the Nwanedi farmer initiative purchases almost 20,000mt (metric tons) of tomatoes for our Musina factory. The Small Holder Farmer Programme provides us with an excellent platform to expand this initiative and to look to other projects across the country! The agricultural teams (at the factories); the site agricultural managers and other Tiger Brands colleagues such as Dr Charl van der Merwe have really helped develop this programme and are passionate about its continued growth and success.

How is DAFF involved and what is the agreement with a tiger Brands?

Tiger Brands signed our MOU with DAFF in 2015. This is a Private-government partnership which seeks to support the national development plan and to assist Tiger Brands in recruiting the right farmers to supply our factories. The DAFF will be actively involved in recruiting the various small holder farmers across the country; but specifically in the Western Cape; Northern Cape and Limpopo provinces.

How do farmers get involved?

Since 2015; we have completed an extensive research project which looks to identify suitable farmers, geographical areas and crops which will suit the first phase of this project. Interested parties can find out more by contacting us directly on smallholderprogramme@tigerbrands.com.

What does the program offer the small holder farmer?

Should the farmers be successful in meeting our criteria, and should there be a true supply opportunity, farmers will be provided financial and technical assistance. Added to this, there will be an off take agreement provided with a view to multi-year supply dependent on performance. Application to the programme is open to any small commercial or subsistence farmers who feel they meet the criteria.

What are the entry criteria?

In our first phase, as Tiger Brands builds on the programme, we would be considering farmers who are geographically placed to supply a particular factory. Level of experience will be a large consideration too. All applications will be screened by a neutral third party who has extensive experience in the development of small holder farmers. The programme will look for farmers who are capable of growing crops and cultivars suitable for our needs. Below is the list of crops we would be considering for our first phase:

  • Tomatoes
  • Canning beans
  • Peas
  • Beetroot
  • Sweet Corn
  • Sorghum
  • Maize

How many small holding farmers are currently involved?

Presently Tiger Brands has approximately 80 farmers in our various legacy programmes. The intent is to aggressively expand upon this number. With the current drought reality, the number of farmers would be dependent on availability of water and funding available.

Where can they go to learn more about the program?

Interested parties can find out more by contacting us directly on smallholderprogramme@tigerbrands.com.The execution of the next phase is presently in the planning stage and we hope to start planting shortly in line with our normal business plans.

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