In South Africa, state-owned power utility Eskom, has won the American Chamber of Commerce – Stars for Africa (AMCHAM) golden award for its Mobile Agri Skills Development and Training (MASDT) incubation programme. This project was implemented through its Development Foundation, launched as part of a corporate social investment initiative.
The programme, which has established itself in the agriculture sector in the Mpumalanga Province, is focused on upskilling local farm workers and supporting emerging farmers (incubates) through an incubation process in plant and/or animal production.
Mobile Agri Skills Development and Training incubation programme
According to the power utility, the programme will facilitate the farmers in securing market platforms and trade agreements with organisations and bulk buyers. As a result, this will secure development and production capital for incubatees in addition to providing technology services to rural incubatees.
Chief Executive of the Eskom Development Foundation Haylene Liberty accepted the award on behalf of Eskom: “We are humbled by this recognition of our effort in developing small, medium and macro enterprises (SMMEs).
“In partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry, we have funded this project in Mpumalanga, Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal for the last three years.
She added: “Our funding and collaboration with MASDT has positively impacted 1,419 beneficiaries.”
Eskom said in a statement that the first virtual agricultural incubator branch was launched in 2007 by MASDT in Mpumalanga Province with the support of the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda). This branch provided a diverse mix of supporting services to 53 emerging farmers on existing agricultural projects.
Managing Director of MASDT, Lynette Bezuidenhout, said: “Together, change is possible. The Eskom Development Foundation is an important partner for us – assisting in bringing change and taking hope to rural communities through our virtual business incubation model in agriculture.
“In this partnership, our gratitude knows no boundaries.”
Home page pic credit: Masdt