Agribusiness in Sustainable Natural African Plant Products (ASNAPP) is now an AgriSETA accredited training service provider. The announcement was made after ASNAPP underwent a stringent evaluation process and is now offering officially accredited high quality agricultural training. This accreditation makes the organisation one of the very few agricultural training service providers in intensive agriculture under protection (tunnel farming) in the Western Cape, and even South Africa.
According to CEO, Elton Jefthas, ASNAPP realised the importance of training in this increasingly important farming system, especially considering the decreasing availability of productive agricultural land and water resources in South Africa.
“There has been a huge demand from small farmers for knowledge and skills transfer. The government has also put great emphasis on hydroponics and tunnel farming. With this in mind we started the registration process and I am glad to announce that all systems are in place to start this exciting process. We are looking forward to sharing our vast knowledge and experience through our training programmes,” says Jefthas.
AgriSETA creates and promotes opportunities for social, economic and employment growth for agricultural enterprises, in conjunction with other stakeholders in agriculture, through relevant, quality and accessible education, training and development in both primary and secondary agriculture.
Craig Fulton, Agronomist at ASNAPP and one of the driving forces behind the accreditation process, says “ASNAPP in partnership with Stellenbosch University’s Agronomy Department will provide training to the industry that will cover the entire value chain, including site planning, production, post harvesting, finance and marketing. All courses on offer will be facilitated by qualified agricultural specialists and industry experts who can draw on their enormous pool of experience to provide the highest quality of training. Practical training will form an important component of the ASNAPP programme, and course attendees will obtain valuable practical experience.”
ASNAPP’s extensive experience and involvement in successful agricultural projects throughout the SADC region has the organisation geared as a training service provider. ASNAPP’s success is largely attributed to its intimate understanding of the whole fresh produce value chain from farm to fork.
“We have been involved in setting up various initiatives and projects such as the Tshawaraganang Project in the Northern Cape which currently supplies 10,000 cucumbers per week to Freshmark (a subsidiary of the Shoprite Holdings Group). ASNAPP was involved from the initial development of the business plan up to training and mentoring during the production phase,” notes Jefthas.
Another example of ASNAPP’s strong track record of project implementation is the Outgrower Group in Livingstone, Zambia, where small farmers supply specialty vegetables to supermarkets and upmarket hotels and restaurants. This project has been so successful that farm earnings have increased from almost nothing to US$2 million per annum at farm gate.
ASNAPP also has ties to Intensive Agriculture South Africa (IASA), assisting the intensive growers’ organisation with its day to day administration. ASNAPP’s activities across Africa mean it is well aware of the many challenges small scale farmers face and how crucial it is to build the knowledge and skills capacity of these small agribusiness owners.
The ASNAPP training courses are designed to include everybody in the agricultural sector and their packaged products can be customised to address an organisation’s specific training needs. ASNAPP is also a partner in the Undercover Farming Conference that will be held annually, which acts as a platform for the various role players in the undercover farming industry to network and exchange ideas on the industry. It is a real opportunity for small scale producers to connect with the commercial farmers and industry.
If your organisation has a need to develop staff members in the agricultural sector, do not hesitate to contact ASNAPP on +27 (0) 21 808 2919 or visit their website at www.asnapp.org.za.