In the last five years, South African Breweries (SAB) has poured R1 billion into the South African economy through their Public Interest Commitment (PIC) platform. Zoleka Lisa, SAB’s vice president of corporate affairs, joins us on this weekend’s episode of Farmer’s Inside Track to tell us more.
Agriculture is one of the sectors identified by the National Development Plan (NDP) as a gateway out of poverty and unemployment. This is why, Lisa says, 60% of the budget was dedicated to it. “Given the importance of agriculture to the economy, as well as our country, R610 million of these funds were specifically ring-fenced for the development of the agricultural sector.
“We [invested in the economy] in order to drive socioeconomic change and transformation in agriculture, entrepreneurship and societal upliftment initiatives,” says Lisa. Through their investment, SAB increased local barley production by 63% compared to 2016.
Many have benefitted
She adds that SAB interventions are transforming the supply chain, with the company sourcing over 95% of its raw materials locally. “We have made significant strides in agricultural development over the last five years, including the establishment of FarmSol, our strategic emerging farmer development supplier, who has worked very closely with SAB in order to help us fund, skill and connect an estimated 1 000 emerging farmers.”
The PIC investment was implemented in all nine provinces, enabling the growth of many black-owned, women-owned businesses. Lisa explains that the 63% increase in their barley output has directly benefitted the domestic agricultural sector. “We’ve been able to contribute to the research and development ecosystem in the country by establishing a first-of-its-kind research and development hub based in Caledon in the Western Cape.”
This weekend’s podcast also features Audrey September, a third-generation agri worker from Uitkyk farm in the Bergrivier region, who was just announced as the 2021 Western Cape Prestige Agri Awards winner.
Listen to the full talk on the latest episode of Farmer’s Inside Track:
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