We understand that the perfect farm takes passion, dedication and sometimes just that little bit extra, which is why AFGRI is proud to support South Africa’s new era farmers through our training and development programme, housed within Lemang Agricultural Services.

Lemang Agricultural Services delivers AFGRI’s farmer training and development programme. With over 95 years of experience in the agricultural sector, AFGRI understands what it takes to be a successful farmer. With this in mind, we launched a sustainable training and development programme in 2012 to unlock the potential of farmers and their farms through training, development and mentorship. The programme aims to train and develop farmers to ensure sustainable, viable, independent and successful farmers. This in turn ensures increased agricultural productivity through the provision of agricultural services by AFGRI and access to markets, with the farmers able to realise the benefits.

The programme assists farmers through theoretical training, mentorship, as well as technical advice over a five-year period.

Study groups and trial sites are used to demonstrate new technology such a precision farming, while mentors and agronomists are on hand to share practical information and knowledge and offer insight that comes from many years of experience.

However, the mentorship is arguably the most valuable component of all – by working directly with new era farmers throughout the process, AFGRI’s mentors, working with teams from AFGRI’s precision farming division, and its agronomists, can assist farmers in enhancing their yields. This puts the farmer in a good position to grow more crops, ultimately helping him or her to become the successful commercial farmer of tomorrow.

Our successes run deep and importantly, are sustainable thanks to intensive mentorship, training, guidance and the care entrenched in our service ethic.

Our passion and dedication produces results

Understanding that business and related skills such as grain marketing and price hedging are an integral part of a successful farming operation, AFGRI also assists new era farmers with Grain Management services. Farmers are taught the basics of the futures market and are then able to use this knowledge to hedge prices in the future. Farmers are also provided with basic business skills training.

Finally, the programme provides finance to farmers and exposure to the latest technology and farming best practice. Through organised Farmers’ Days, Lemang Agricultural Services continues to expand the horizons of new era farmers and will always be with the farmers, for the farmers, as it has for over 95 years.

AFGRI is committed to transformation and believes that agriculture is a key driver of economic transformation.

Our model of operation

Lemang Agricultural Services’ initiative delivers AFGRI’s new era farmer training and development programme and aims to develop historically-disadvantaged farmers.

Programme Qualifying Criteria

The AFGRI new era Farmer Development Programme is for qualifying farmers who meet the minimum criteria, which include:

  • Passion for agriculture/farming
  • Driven individuals
  • Access to farm land

Non-disqualifiers:

  • Technical experience
  • Availability of equipment
  • Literacy level – only required to determine training method
  • Finance provided subject to the requirements of the National Credit Act

Farmers qualifying for and entering the programme sign a five-year Enterprise/Supplier Development Agreement and in the five years and beyond, are exposed to the entire AFGRI service offering. AFGRI’s numerous divisions will be able to assist with solutions including financial, insurance, mechanisation, grain procurement, grain storage, marketing and more.

Courses on offer

Lemang Agricultural Services offers a range of courses specifically tailored to strengthen the famers’ knowledge base in the field of Farm Management, Plant Production, Live Stock and Financial Planning, and include:

  • Production Methods
  • Farm Management for Profits
  • Farm Evaluation
  • Planning and Management
  • Business Ethics and Farm Management
  • Personal Development
  • Livestock Management
  • Introduction to Marketing
  • Basic Literacy
  • Tractor Driving

Eligiblity Criteria

The programme is aimed at new era farmers who are required to meet the following conditions:

  • Have a true passion for agriculture/farming
  • Are driven individuals
  • Have access to suitable land
  • It is not necessary to have technical experience, equipment or to be fully literate – this information is only required to determine the most appropriate training and funding method.

Contact us for more information:

Tel: (+ 27)11 063 2612

Email: lemang@afgri.co.za

Our Success Stories

Across South Africa, emerging farmers are making huge strides thanks to AFGRI’s Lemang Agricultural Services programme, which makes finance, training, agronomists and mentors available to farmers.

Here are just a few of their success stories.

IN METSWEDING, GAUTENG, FARMER A IS FLOURISHING

In the 2013/2014 season Lemang Agricultural Services met this farmer in Metsweding for the first time. Only 68 ha had been planted using a planter that was incorrectly calibrated, thus creating large, inefficient gaps amongst the maize plants. This led to an infestation of weeds. The AFGRI training and development programme that Farmer A signed up for included farmer study groups, in-class training, basic computer training, and on-farm assistance by agronomists.

This, combined with mentorship, also ensured that the farmer’s confidence in his skills and abilities was engrained. Finance provided by AFGRI ensured that he could purchase an additional 22 ha of land, bringing the total to 100 ha. Weed management was also under control, with an excellent crop on the land. Full repayment of the production loan has been made, and the next step is to plant 120 ha. This is made possible through the confidence to lease additional land, as well as having a true partner where farming matters can be discussed, and the best course of action implemented.

IN THE NKANGALA DISTRICT OF MPUMALANGA YIELDS ARE IMPROVING

In this case, Farmer B began farming in 2011, cultivating 150 ha of maize. In 2012 he joined the training and development programme, and through a combination of training, monitoring and mentorship the business has grown to 640 ha – comprising 300 ha of white maize, 300 ha of soya beans and 40 ha of sugar beans.

Initial yields were 500kg per ha, but today yields are up at between 4 to 7 tons per ha of maize and soya and 1 to 2 tons per ha of sugar beans. The farmer improved his mechanisation by purchasing a six-row planter and a harvester head for soya and maize, bought through access to the AFGRI hire purchase funding model.

IN MPUMALANGA, FARMER C NOW HAS A 617 HA FARM AND RECENTLY WON FARMER OF THE YEAR WITH GRAIN SA

Humble beginnings meant that Farmer C originally farmed on 50 ha but three years ago this started to change when he joined the Lemang Agricultural Services training and development programme. Here he garnered much-needed training in the form of in-class training, on-farm technical training with agronomists, personal development, as well as basic computer training. Monitoring and mentorship took the form of regular visits to the farm, assistance in managing accounts to ensure payments to input suppliers were made, as well as assistance with pre-season budgeting and spending.

From the humble 50 ha, Farmer C has developed into farming on just over 400 ha, made up of 140 ha of maize, 260 ha of soya beans and 20 ha of sugar beans. Yields have increased so that he is now able to produce between 6 to 9 tons per ha of maize and 1,5 to 3 tons per ha of soya beans. Farmer C’s farm is also run with equipment he was able to finance from the profits. The training, mentorship and development programme has helped Farmer C learn the latest advanced techniques. By winning “Farmer of the Year”, he walked away with a brand-new tractor from John Deere, which will make his operation even more efficient.

IN STANDERTON FARMER D IS MAKING HIS PASSION A REALITY

This is the first year in the Lemang Agricultural Services training and development programme for Farmer D, who is very passionate about farming, and is a highly motivated individual. Farmer D spent most of his time on his farm during planting season, and his crop is beyond all expectations despite the relatively short period. He planted soya beans this season because of the drought, as he didn’t want to take too much risk, planting 75 ha and another 225 ha, which he owns in partnership with a neighbour. The crop estimate is currently around 1.5 tons per ha.

Contact Us

Managing Director

Marion Shikwinya

marion.shikwinya@afgri.co.za

011 062 2248

Operations Manager

Bankies Malan

bankies.malan@afgri.co.za

084 075 6807

Regional Manager

Sylvester Lubambo

sylvester.lubambo@afgri.co.za

076 840 9463

Relationship Manager

Vincent Ngqukumba

vincent.ngqukumba@afgri.co.za

073 644 0964

Manager: Gauteng North

Jeffrey Tladi

jeffrey.tladi@afgri.co.za

078 740 4812

Manager: North

Sipho Lowane

sipho.lowane@afgri.co.za

082 452 5521

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