Buhle Farmers’ Academy receives equipment worth R1 342 409

Leading farmer-training academy Buhle celebrated 21 years of smallholder empowerment at a ceremony where the South Korean Ambassador handed over equipment worth R1 342 409.

Ambassadors of other embassies that support Buhle and representatives from the Nelson Mandela Children’s Foundation are among the other dignitaries who attended the event. 

The South Korean Ambassador to South Africa, Chull-joo Park, and Buhle Chairperson Bonile Jack-Pama addressed the crowd at the event, which took place on Thursday 26 August 2021 at the Buhle Farmers’ Academy in Delmas, Mpumalanga.

Buhle is a non-profit organisation that raises funds to establish smallholder farmers through training and support. The Buhle fees are subsidised making its training accessible to as many aspiring farmers in rural or urban SA.

The equipment that the South Korean Embassy donated includes an eight-ton truck, a 2.5-ton forklift, a 3m vertical roller, a boom spray and a 7 tyne reset ripper and roller.

Said Buhle CEO Nyiko Maluleke: “The training and support of farmers has become more pressing than ever, as Covid-19 continues to affect access to food and the agricultural value chain, especially among communities at risk.

“This equipment will not only help Buhle to ramp up production on our working farm by up to 20%, but will also enable us to train the next generation of farmers – women and youth in particular - in using the technology they need to grow their agribusinesses and feed South Africa.”

With the dire need for solutions to food security, Buhle's students produce crops for retailers including Mini Market and PicknPay, wholesale markets such as the Witbank, Springs and Johannesburg markets, and fulfils contracts with the likes of Nature’s Garden, KamaFM (for export), McCain and AFGRI.

“We were able to increase these sales by 65% last year, despite the Covid-19 restrictions,” said Mr Maluleke. “However, until now, we had to hire most of the machinery we needed.

“Our heartfelt thanks to the Korean Embassy for their faith in us and their great generosity in awarding us this donation."