AFAP trains 10 agro-dealer trainers in the Limpopo Province
As part of the on-going agribusiness support to the Limpopo Province of South Africa, the African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) has trained 10 agro-dealer trainers who will be supporting more than one hundred Small and Medium agribusiness with mentoring, technical and business skills. The training of the first set of trainers took place on the 17th to 22nd August 2015 in Polokwane, the capital city of Limpopo.
The trainers will not only mentor these SME’s but will provide training in business skills for agro-dealer start-ups, lessons in record keeping, financial management, stock management, marketing and customer care training. This will be in addition to constant technical support.
Attending the training session, Jason Scarpone, AFAP President and CEO said, “AFAP is excited to be part of a venture that will surely increase the use of inputs in the Province. There is already a thirst and desire to use inputs however timing and availability remain an issue, not just in the Province but the continent," Scarpone said.
The agribusiness support initiative will train agro-dealers in key agro-dealer business management courses, with the outcome of strengthening the capacity of agribusinesses to supply inputs, such as fertilizer, seeds, and livestock remedies consistently to smallholder farmers.
The Agricultural Market Development Trust (AGMARK) Training Director Steve Ngwalla, who has conducted trainings for over twenty years across the African continent, expressed his confidence at the calibre of trainers from the province. “Small to Medium agribusiness play a critical role in improving rural economies and livelihoods,” Ngwalla said. He added that micro-enterprises are critical in employment creation particularly for women and youth, improving rural households’ incomes and directly fighting poverty.
The selection criteria of the potential trainers included:
- AGRISETA /SERVICE SETA/ Local Government SETA accredited; / or willing to be assisted to be accredited.
• Experienced in conducting training session in agriculture or agri-business management;
• Experienced or have a potential of mentoring rural entrepreneurs;
• Experienced or ability to link rural entrepreneurs to input supply companies;
• Good command of written and speaking communication skills;
• At least bilingual with a good command of English and any one local language spoken in Limpopo; and
• Good interpersonal skills.
The trainers are to also offer mentoring services to the beginner agrodealers in Business Mentorship and Counselling. The private sector (agricultural inputs and financial institutions) has welcomed the initiative and the critical role played by agro-dealer in linking smallholder farmers to the value chain.
This is part of a joint agribusiness support initiative between (AFAP), the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), and the Limpopo Department of Agriculture (LDA)
For more information on the Limpopo Support Program send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org