Empowering communities through agriculture

Investing in opportunities across the agricultural value chain

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At Land Bank, we are constantly working to empower the communities around us through agriculture. Our commitment to community development is an extension of the Bank’s mandate to grow the agricultural sector in a more inclusive and transformed way.

Through high impact strategic social investments, Land Bank is investing in the creation of opportunities across the agricultural value chain that will bring more previously disadvantaged groups like youth, women and black people, into the sector.

Our Corporate Social Investment (CSI) programme is designed to support communities through three distinctive focus areas to boost participation within the agricultural sector. These include:

  • Food Security: upskill and provide resources to households to improve food security and reduce vulnerability to hunger.
  • Employment Quality: Capacity building for smallholder farmers in order to upskill them to pursue sustainable agricultural practices and employment opportunities.
  • Sector growth and transformation: Building the agricultural sector skills pipeline focusing on youth development and women headed households.

Building an impactful CSI programme

Over the last year, work has progressed to implement an impactful CSI strategy aligned to the Bank’s mandate. Land Bank’s growing CSI programme currently supports the following initiatives:

  • Buhle Farmer’s Academy: Buhle Farmer’s Academy has been training and developing entrepreneurial skills for the agricultural sector for 16 years already, growing from strength-to-strength. Trainees come from all over the country to learn at its two campuses, one of which is near Delmas, Mpumalanga, and the second at Mkhondo (Piet Retief), in KwaZulu-Natal. The Academy offers holistic and practical training courses covering vegetable, crops, poultry and livestock production, as well as mixed farming. The Academy has helped to create over 8000 jobs in the agricultural sector to date. Through its CSI Programme, Land Bank has partnered with the Academy to create even more opportunities for youth to participate in the agricultural sector.
  • Agri-Teen Symposium: Land Bank was instrumental in supporting the launch of a new youth agriculture initiative called the Agri-Teen Symposium this March. The initiative aims to facilitate greater youth participation across the agricultural value chain by providing youth with relevant information, opportunities and platforms for them to thrive in the sector. Through Land Bank’s support, the programme is set to expose thousands more youth to opportunities across the agricultural sector.
  • Communal Wool Growers Association Programme: Through its CSI Programme, the Bank is supporting the training of over 1500 communal wool growers in the Eastern Cape. The idea behind the project is to not only train these growers but to create access to local and international wool markets so that they are able to grow their businesses sustainably.
  • Employee Volunteerism: Giving back is embedded in our development culture at Land Bank, and our employees regularly get involved to make a difference in the communities in which we operate. Land Bank’s employee volunteerism programme is closely aligned to the objectives of its CSI strategy which is to empower women and youth by creating sustainable opportunities within the agricultural sector for them to take hold of. These community initiatives have included Mandela Day activities across the country as well as activities on World Food Day.

Many more projects are scheduled to come online during 2018 and Land Bank will continue to facilitate meaningful and sustainable transformation and development in the agricultural sector.

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