The staff at the Buhle Farmers’ Academy is eager to share the exciting news of a very own Piet Retief campus with the readers of the Excelsior News.
A very successful training college, Buhle Farmers’ Academy’ has been operative at Delmas for the past 17 years. Accredited by Agri- SETA and run as an NGO company (partly funded by sponsors) the college’s main aim is to transfer knowledge. They train emerging farmers so that they will become commercial farmers that will start employing people.
Training is followed up by support through trained and skilled staff. Hence their logo: “Training people in the business of farming”. The Piet Retief satellite campus of the Buhle Farmers’ Academy is situated at the ARC in the Commondale area. Newly appointed staff are: Johann Engelbrecht (known as Johnny by many) as campus manager, Dudukani Magongoa (who came here with tree years of experience from the Delmas Campus) as training coordinator, Dumisani Nhlengetwa as training officer and Ndumiso Manana as farmer’s support officer. Among these gentlemen there is a vast amount of experience, knowledge and enthusiasm.
They all have degrees or diplomas in various fields of agriculture and supporting fields of study and they can’t wait to share their knowledge. Buhle (Delmas) was approached by Mondi Zimela who invest in farmers by giving them loans, but the support (follow up) after training has not always been effective enough – a problem that Buhle addresses. The said loans serve as investments. As soon as a farmer starts paying back, the funds become available again for another farmer. Buhle’s mission is “to enable new and emerging farmers to establish themselves in viable farming business through effective skills training and support in order to alleviate poverty and promote sustainable economic development and resources use in South Africa”. Various long and short courses are offered as well as on site accommodation.
Anyone with a passion for farming and who meet the minimum requirements may apply for any of the long courses offered which include poultry, vegetable, livestock and crop production as well as short courses in financial management, business plan development and cooperative governance. For more information contact Dudukani Magongoa at 062 211 0752. May the Piet Retief satellite campus of the Buhle Farmers’ Academy be as big a success, or even better, than the main campus at Delmas.