Buhle Farmers’ Academy provides high quality, accredited practical training to new and aspiring farmers through hands-on Competency Based Learning principles. Courses include Livestock, Crop, vegetables and Poultry production plus a range of specialist short courses.
The purpose of Buhle’s training and support is to empower new farmers to start up their own profitable farming activities themselves – with confidence. The training programmes require students accommodated on the training farm at Delmas, Mpumalanga, to take responsibility for their own production unit where they can practise how to apply the knowledge gained.
After training Buhle provides and facilitates support to graduates to help them get up and running on their own farms. Farmers are also linked to organisations, markets and input suppliers who can give further specialist support. Refresher courses are also held to help alumni and encourage networking among successful farmers.
“Buhle helped me to do the commercial approach. Not subsistence farming. Buhle taught me how to organise the resources and use the available resources in a commercial way. The most important thing I learnt was how to manage the farm as a business.” – Loki Moloi
“Before I had nothing, and I did not even know what a broiler was. Now I earn at least R20,000 per month from my chickens and eggs...” – Ellen Twala
The institution was established to address the need for development, training and capacity building specifically in the primary agricultural and rural development sectors. The Buhle Farmers’ Academy was established at the ideal 150 ha farm Leeuwpoort, near Delmas in Mpumalanga, donated by Monsanto S.A. with the purpose of addressing this critical need to broaden their skills base and equip farmers with the practical competency required for commercial farming operations.
Skills training and support in fact enables access to the many fine development support initiatives from the state and the private sector that are currently available. It is only as the aspirant farmer understands the complexities of production systems, the cost of operations, the management of high risk and the components of profitability that they can intelligently begin to seek out and use the service, support, products and information available to them within the agricultural industry. These skills have to be deliberately learned, acquired and mastered and learning is costly and takes time, but there are no short cuts to successful farming.