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Lukhanyo Nkombisa appointed as a Director on the SIZA Board, representing smallholder producers

Lukhanyo’s career kicked off at DAFF (Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries), where he gained invaluable experience in terms of transformation – its significance, as well as critical stakeholder management tactics, to support smallholder producers.

Lukhanyo received a Human Resource Management qualification at the CPUT. He then further broadened his knowledge base by studying Project Management at NWU; Agricultural Leadership Development and Land Reform at UP; and African and International Trade at the Thabo Mbeki Institute for African Leadership. He also joined an SA contingent to study Agri-Business at the University of Missouri in the USA and participated in an exchange extension program in Kenya.

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Boosting black exporters

'In 2012, the South African fruit industry launched an initiative to develop a set of environmental and ethical standards in line with international norms. As part of this, a programme was established to assist black citrus farmers to comply with those standards and expand their exports.

In August 2012, this programme was formalised as the Sustainability Initiative of South Africa (SIZA). SIZA facilitates capacity-building initiatives to support commercial farmers, developing farmers and their workers by implementing its standards.

Amongst the programmes that SIZA is rolling out is one aimed at black citrus farmers. Partially funded by ABSA, the programme is being implemented in partnership with the Citrus Growers' Association Grower Development Company (CGA-GDC).' Farmer's Weekly, 27th October 2017 | Reporter: Alita van der Walt

Click on the link below to read the full article.

Citrus Resource Warehouse - Farmer's Weekly 2017

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Left to right: Nkosi Douglas Zondo, Thobile Dlamini, Ntombi Mbatha, Zanele Khumalo, Thembile Kunene, Hloniphine Mtshati and Eunice Sikhakhane Left to right: Nkosi Douglas Zondo, Thobile Dlamini, Ntombi Mbatha, Zanele Khumalo, Thembile Kunene, Hloniphine Mtshati and Eunice Sikhakhane

Welgevonden Citrus Project

Nkosi Douglas Zondo is the local chief in the remote rural Swart Mfolozi District near Vryheid in Kwazulu-Natal. The term Nkosi is a Zulu term of respect used to address a chief of the local community, a hereditary position handed down from father to son - an honourable position. A Nkosi is responsible for the well-being of the community, assisting where possible and also acting as an arbitrator in disputes within the community.

“I have two sons who are both qualified Civil Engineers and studied at the University of KZN in Pietermaritzburg. They work at their jobs but are starting to take responsibility within the community. My eldest son will take my place as Nkosi in the future.”

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From left to right: Extension Officer, Melton Mulaudzi, with Nomfondu and Sydney Mpahla From left to right: Extension Officer, Melton Mulaudzi, with Nomfondu and Sydney Mpahla

Naudeshoek Farm

Naudeshoek Farm is situated in a narrow, winding valley along the eastern bank of the Keiskamma River near Ripplemead, south of the Eastern Cape town of Alice. The farm is surrounded by wild natural beauty with pristine bushveld teeming with indigenous wildlife. Sydney Mpahla is the owner of the farm and has been farming on the property for 24 years. The farm is 146ha and has 48ha of citrus orchards. Naudeshoek is approximately 10km from Ripplemead Packhouse where the fruit from Naudeshoek and a few other local growers is packed.

Sydney grew up in the area and after completing his schooling he worked on Naudeshoek as a Farm Manager for the Department of Agriculture of the former Ciskei homeland. The land was owned by the Ciskei Department of Agriculture and was privatised from September 1992. The application process required applicants to compile and present a comprehensive business plan.

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Sundays River Farming Trust

Buyiswa (Steri) Ndyenga is the General Manager of four of the farms held within the Sundays’ River Farming Trust, as well as the Trust’s recently acquired Siyaphambile Farm. She is a beneficiary of the Sundays’ River Farming Trust and has worked her way up to this position from humble beginnings. Based at the SRCC (Sundays’ River Citrus Company) Primary Production offices near Addo, Buyiswa has years of experience, and her office is filled with the trophies and accolades that mark the successes in her career. In 2015 she won the National Female Entrepreneur Award in the Export Market division.

Buyiswa was born in Somerset East, and at the age of three moved to Addo with her family and grew up on Willow Tree Farm. She attended primary school in Addo and Masiphathisane High School in Motherwell for Standard 7 and 8.

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From left to right: Extension Officer, Melton Mulaudzi, with Siseko Maqoma From left to right: Extension Officer, Melton Mulaudzi, with Siseko Maqoma

Gonzana Farm

Siseko Maqoma is in his early 40’s, and farms with citrus on his beautiful farm Gonzana on the banks of the Kat River near Blinkwater, north-west of Fort Beaufort. He is also the chief of the Jingqi Traditional Community and has a deep sense of caring and responsibility towards his people.

Siseko grew up on a farm near Alice as his father had a cattle farm in the Thume Valley in the old Ciskei Homeland. A short while before he matriculated from Woodridge College in 1993 his father bought a citrus farm. As he was quite elderly already, Siseko joined him on the farm to assist with the production and has been farming since 1995. Since then both of his parents have passed away.

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From left to right: Bruce Andrews, Joyce Phonela, and Gilbert Chikweshe From left to right: Bruce Andrews, Joyce Phonela, and Gilbert Chikweshe

Sibonelo Lemon Project

The Sibonelo Community Property Association owns the farm Lindenau, at Elandshoek west of Nelspruit. The farm consists of 300ha, with around 40ha of arable land of which there are currently 20.8ha of lemon orchards, 15.4ha of established Eureka and Limonera seedless lemons and 5.4ha of young Eureka seeded lemons. Of the community-based lemon projects established in the Lowveld region, Sibonelo is the only one that has survived and today it is flourishing. The Mbombela Local Municipality (MLM) were instrumental in starting the project to promote rural development within the community at Elandshoek.

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Nokwanele Ivy Mzamo Nokwanele Ivy Mzamo

Luthando Trust Farm

Nokwanele Ivy Mzamo is the General Manager of Luthando Trust Farm, a 139ha citrus farm near Kirkwood in the Sundays River. Luthando is managed in partnership with the Sundays River Citrus Company (SRCC) and SRCC also packs and markets their fruit. She started working at Luthando as a general worker in 1996 and is also a beneficiary of the trust that owns the farm. In 2014 she was the National Overall Winner of the Female Farmer of the Year competition.

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From left to right: Amon Chauke, Pinky Chauke and Amos Chauke From left to right: Amon Chauke, Pinky Chauke and Amos Chauke

Mkharo Irrigating Scheme co-op

Mkharo Irrigating Scheme co-op is a family established farm situated in Shikundu in Northern Limpopo, east of Thohoyandou and just west of the Kruger National Park. Amos Chauke, his wife Pinky and son Amon established their 14ha farm from scratch, and with their own funding over the last five years.

Amos's parents were small-scale farmers in the area, and growing up he saw how his father went about his farming business.

“To become a farmer was always a dream of mine. I hope that my son will take over from me

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From left to right: Shaun Brown and Siseko Maqoma From left to right: Shaun Brown and Siseko Maqoma

Eden Agri Services

The Eden Agri Services packhouse is situated at Blinkwater north of Fort Beaufort and is owned and run by Shaun Brown. The service it provides to a group of emerging growers (including Siseko Maqoma) has been the cornerstone for the successful development of their farms over the past few years.

Shaun is originally from Fort Beaufort. While working for Capespan as an extension officer he developed a good working relationship with a number of the emerging farmers in the area. Productions were increasing in the Blinkwater area and there was a need for additional packing facilities. At the time, the emerging growers that use Eden Agri Services today were transporting their fruit as far as Sundays River Valley for packing.

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Israel Nemaorani Israel Nemaorani

Easy Farm

Easy Farm is a citrus and banana farm on the Southern slopes of the Soutpansberg near Thohoyandou in Northern Limpopo, in an area where there are few other commercial farms. Israel Nemaorani, an agricultural pioneer, started farming here in 1990, receiving his title deed in 1994. 202ha in size, Easy Farm today has 115ha of citrus (mostly Valencias) and 60-70ha of bananas. There is also 40ha of fallow ground, and under normal circumstances, the farm would have enough water from the Mwedi River to develop this land. Currently, the farm is run by Israel and his son Lavhengwa.

“One of the biggest challenges we are currently facing is the effects of the severe drought affecting our area. In addition to my citrus orchards, I also produce bananas, as well as mangoes that I sell to Westfalia at Duiwelskloof for drying. Besides the fruit production, I also have a herd of cattle and 200 pigs. The drought has been very hard on my cattle.”

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From left to right: Samson Qomondi, Johan du Preez, Joseph Hlongo, and Jonas Mogale From left to right: Samson Qomondi, Johan du Preez, Joseph Hlongo, and Jonas Mogale

Mariveni Farm t/a Lizilor (Pty) Ltd.

Mariveni Farm is a communally owned farm on the outskirts of Letsitele near Tzaneen. Samson Qomondi is the General Manager at Mariveni as well as the PDI North Director on the CGA Board. He was joined in the interview by Joseph Hlongo, Section Manager for citrus, Jonas Mogale, Security and Logistics Manager and Johan du Preez, the Production Manager.

Mariveni Farm has 24 owners, 13 of which work on the farm while others have either retired or passed away. The farm has 145ha of citrus and 72ha of bananas. The farm’s history dates back to October 1974 and was initiated by the Bantu Investment Corporation. It has had issues with accessing funding since then, but due to assistance from Du Roi Precision Farming amongst others, the co-operative was operating on its own as a single farming unit by 2011.

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