MASISIZANE FUND A JOURNEY TO SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOODS FOR UMZIMKULU SMALLHOLDER FARMERS The Masisizane Fund was established in 2007 as an initiative of the Old Mutual Group with a mandate to contribute measurably to job creation which in turn helps eradicate poverty in South Africa. Its success is driven by a focused approach on high impact industry sectors, coupled with a comprehensive SMME finance solution that includes business support and loan finance in the following sectors: Agribusiness Franchising Supply Chain Cluster Development Flagship initiative in KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape In 2015/16 more than just a new planting season started for five co-operatives in uMzimkulu, in the Harry Gwala Municipal district. This season was different as they worked in partnership with the Masisizane Fund, adopting a cluster development approach in order to address the agricultural challenges faced in the rural areas and to ensure socio-economic transformation.
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With 76% of the 180 302 people in uMzimkulu living below the poverty line, Masisizane together with KZN Department of Agriculture and Rural Development were prompted to address the challenge and have been working systematically toward changing this shocking statistic. This initiative is funded on a 50% grant, 50% loan basis and co-operatives are responsible for repaying the loans once they have harvested. During the first phase of the initiative soya and dry beans were planted, the next phase was to bring about mechanisation. Each co-operative received one mechanisation combo comprising a tractor, planter, trailer, boom sprayer disc, and plough. A single harvester was bought to be shared by the five co-operatives. As this initative grows, Silos will be installed in a central place to support grain production in the district. Drak Oil Mill, the off-taker and processor of soybean for all the farmers involved is a valued partner in this cluster development initiative.
Published on May 3, 2013
KwaZulu-Natal Business 2016/17 is the eighth edition of this highly successful publication that has since its launch in 2007 established its...