Following the successful launch of the Citrus Business Management Programme in the Kat River Valley during 2014 – 2015, the second round of programme commenced on 16 January 2017 in the Letsitele / Hoedspruit area.
The programme was developed in response to a need identified after a situational analysis was conducted amongst emergent citrus growers. One of the findings of the analysis was the need for developing the internal capacity of emergent grower enterprises to manage their businesses. At a time when large amounts of funding are being made available through various government programmes, which brought with it opportunities for accelerated development for many farms, it has become even more important to enable sound financial management. Turning capital investment into profitability is a priority for all farmers.
In response to this need, the Citrus Academy identified the New Venture Creation NQF 4 qualification, registered with the Services SETA, as the most appropriate basis for the programme. It was contextualised for the citrus industry by Citrus Academy and is presented by Zama Madikizela and Mpho Mazubane from Scientific Roets, an accredited service provider from Kokstad.
The programme takes place over a period of eight months and consists of the following modules:
• Learner Induction and Orientation
• Think Like an Entrepreneur
• Plan Your Business: Financial Aspects
• Launch and Grow Your Business
• Manage Your Business: The Basics
• Manage Your Business: Finance for Agri-business Managers
• Manage Your Business: Human Resources
• Manage Your Business: Sales and Marketing
• Improve Your Business Performance
• Present Your Competence
Eighteen emergent farmers from Mabunda, Mariveni and Masungi Family Trusts enrolled for the programme, as well as two farm managers from Bosveld Citrus (Pty) Ltd. The emergent growers are sponsored by AgriSETA discretionary grants for learnerships implementation.