E Squared Investments’ funding for Buhle Farmers Academy came to an end in February 2023, marking the completion of a successful three-year partnership. During this time, the academy was able to achieve significant success and make a positive impact on the lives of many people.
The Buhle Farmers Academy, located in Delmas, Mpumalanga, was established in 1996 to provide agricultural training and skills development to aspiring and established farmers in South Africa. The academy offers a range of training programmes, from short courses to full-time courses, which are designed to equip farmers with the skills and knowledge they need to run successful and sustainable farming businesses.
One of the key features of the academy is its practical training approach, which combines hands-on experience with classroom sessions to provide students with a well-rounded education. The academy has a farm on site, which is used to provide students with hands-on experience in a range of farming activities, including crop production, livestock farming, and agro-processing.
During the three-year partnership, E Squared Investments funded the training of female farmers and the further development of their training and infrastructure. The impact of the funding was significant, with 360 beneficiaries (100% black African) and 360 permanent jobs created. Additionally, 360 temporary jobs were supported, demonstrating the ripple effect that the academy’s training has had on the community.
The infrastructure upgrades made possible by the funding included the installation of new irrigation systems, a borehole, and the construction of new buildings, including a dairy processing facility and a piggery. These upgrades helped to improve the academy’s capacity to provide practical training and allowed students to gain hands-on experience in the latest farming techniques.
Another critical aspect of the academy is its focus on entrepreneurship. The academy recognises that farming is not just a subsistence activity, but a business that requires entrepreneurial skills and strong business acumen. To this end, the academy provides training in business management, marketing, and financial management, to ensure that farmers are equipped with the skills they need to run successful businesses.
The success stories that came out of E Squared’s funding for the Buhle Farmers Academy are a testament to the importance of investing in agricultural training and skills development. The impact of this funding will be felt for years to come, as the academy continues to train and equip farmers with the skills they need to build successful and sustainable farming businesses.