The Grain SA Imbizo project kick-started again in September 2021 after the last one took place in 2019.
This is a programme aimed at empowering farmers who have graduated from the farmer development department into the more commercial space. The programme aims to equip them with advanced skills to navigate their way in the commercial environment. The farmers expressed a need to understand how maize grading works and thus maize grading training was arranged for them in September 2021.
The first stop was in Kokstad, followed by Ermelo, Dundee, Lichtenburg and finally Bethlehem. The target audience was our potential commercial and commercial farmers – over 50 farmers managed to attend the training. The maize grading training was conducted in collaboration with the Southern African Grain Laboratory (SAGL) and Afgri, with a tailor-made course specifically for the Imbizo.
For Kokstad and Lichtenburg, the training was in a hybrid format, with farmers attended physically while the facilitators from SAGL were online. The SAGL put together manuals and samples for the farmers so that they can get practical experience and the theory behind the grading. For Ermelo, Dundee and Bethlehem, farmers were trained at Afgri silos and went through the process practically. The training was a great success, with the pleased farmers expressing how valuable the training was to their businesses.