CROPS & RURAL DEVELOPMENT UNIT
The Avoller Crops and Rural Development Unit (CRDU) is responsible for working with crops suppliers, being large scale commercial farmers, medium scale farmers, land reform farmers and small scale farmers, either through cooperatives or individually.
Avoller partners with commercial growers to increase crops quality and yield. Recent initiatives include the seed cane improvement initiative, where Avoller supplied hot water treatment tanks to improve seed crops quality, and a replant assistance loan to ensure farmers were able to cover the costs or replanting. A crops ripening subsidy was also provided.
Avoller's strategy is to expedite an increase in Agriculture supplies to its operations with numerous crops supply initiatives that include the development of indigenous agriculture farmers underway in all the agriculture operations. This process, which is ongoing, will ensure that private farmers receive the support required for them to be sustainable into the future and include actions related to unlocking land for agriculture development and grant funding from Government. Avoller is of the view that as the business continues to empower indigenous private farmers, it is positively impacting the communities that surround these crops growing operations. The recent signing of a cooperation agreement between Avoller and the Ingonyama Trust Board (ITB), which is the custodian of some 2,7 million hectares of communal land in Mpumalanga, is an important indicator of the business’s ongoing commitment to partnering with key stakeholders in the development of successful indigenous private farmers.
The achievement of the actions to increase cane planting requires effective stakeholder engagement and focus. The primary stakeholders are the existing and potential small-scale and commercial private farmers, rural communities, traditional authorities, development finance institutions and local and national Government. Avoller, with an appropriately resourced team, is seeking to position itself through these initiatives as the partner of choice with these key stakeholders.
Focus remains on developing and implementing models that ensure sustainability of the crops growth plans, particularly with respect to crops development in the communal areas. This requires direct Avoller involvement in obtaining financing, transport, procurement of inputs and harvesting of Avoller from communal areas, together with corporate social and economic investment in these areas. Involvement in training and skills transfer lend further support to Government’s objective of rural development and job creation.