They had a passion for farming, but no idea how to make a go of it. “Now we making a profit and employing eight permanent and nine seasonal workers; all thanks to Buhle” say family members Thulani Mabuza, Duma Mabuza, and Mazwi Masombuka, of Weanan, KwaZulu-Natal.
There are many thousands of aspiring farmers in South Africa, like Thulani, Duma and Mazwi, who have access to arable land but do not have the skills they need to farm it. This is a problem that urgently needs to be addressed, for the food security and economic stability of our country. The Buhle Farmers Academy is playing an important role in imparting these much-needed competencies to a new generation of farmers.
Buhle is a non-profit organisation that both trains and mentors upcoming, or previously disadvantaged, farmers. We run practical, holistic courses that cover a broad range of topics, from the theory and practice of farming to business management skills. Trainees come from all over the country to learn at our farm in Delmas, Mpumalanga, and our courses have a very high success rate (for more detail, see the; Training and Skills Development.
We also generate 30% of our costs from our own commercial farming ventures and consultancy training, pouring this money back into the non-profit organisation to help fund further training. In our 16 years of operation we have grown from strength to strength, increasing our student numbers from the very first group of just 57, to 500 per year now.
We have now trained a total of over 3 700 emerging farmers – half of them women and 65% of them youth – in Vegetable, Crop, Livestock and Poultry Production, and mixed farming.
To date, alongside these successful farmers, approximately 6,600 jobs have been created in the sector due to Buhle (based on the assumption that for every new farmer established at least one additional job is created).They had a passion for farming, but no idea how to make a go of it. “Now we making a profit and employing eight permanent and nine seasonal workers – all thanks to Buhle’s input,” say family members Thulani Mabuza, Duma Mabuza, and Mazwi Masombuka, of Weanan, KwaZulu-Natal.