In a significant step towards fostering inclusivity and sustainable growth within the red meat industry, Red Meat Industry Services (RMIS) has launched the Red Meat Institute for Transformation and Enterprise Development (RMITED).
This non-profit organisation, under the RMIS umbrella, is dedicated to realising inclusive growth within the industry. Corlia Oberholzer, the training manager at RMITED, shared insights into their efforts to empower new-era farmers through knowledge and skill transfer.
“The red meat industry strategy towards 2030 recognises the need for comprehensive services across the primary value chain. This led to the establishment of RMIS, which has set its focus on four crucial pillars: animal and public health, inclusive growth, competitiveness and sustainability, as well as market access,” said Oberholzer.
Reaching far and wide
RMITED, a vital component of RMIS, has assumed the responsibility for driving inclusive growth in the industry. Oberholzer stated, “Our ultimate aim is to empower farmers and grow the entire industry inclusively. This aligns with both the larger 2030 Red Meat Industry Sector’s strategy and the RMITED vision which is to ‘foster stakeholder engagement in the Red Meat Industry towards inclusive growth through the transfer of knowledge.’”
Through a multifaceted approach, RMITED has already reached over 2 000 emerging farmers in 2023. This outreach is achieved through a variety of channels, including training courses, individual farm visits, farmers’ days, study group sessions, and online webinars.
Oberholzer emphasised, “We truly believe in the proverb ‘if you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day, but if you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime,’ and in this case, training farmers feed a nation.”
“Currently, RMITED offers 17 distinct training courses conducted on farms,” Oberholzer noted. “We are accredited through AgriSETA to give training on animal production levels 1 to 4, operating in all nine provinces of South Africa and continuously customising our activities to address the requirements set out by the industry.”
Support to emerging farmers
In 2023, RMITED trained 312 farmers in 14 courses, and an additional 221 farmers were upskilled through study group sessions. The training programmes cover a wide range of topics, from technical skills such as animal husbandry, herd health management, reproduction management, and biosecurity, to soft skills including financial management and cattle marketing.
Recognising the demand for its services, RMITED introduced a free webinar programme in the latter half of 2023, which will continue into 2024. “Each month we have an hour-long free webinar hosted by our expert transformation facilitators on a specific topic,” Oberholzer explained.
“Anyone can register for the webinar and afterwards participants get an opportunity to ask questions and receive advice from our skilled hosts.”
Webinars are announced on the RMITED Facebook page; from there, you can follow a link to sign up.
In addition to training programmes and webinars, RMITED has undertaken several initiatives in 2023 to support emerging farmers. These include competitions with prizes like Bonsmara semen, distribution of livestock treatment products during farmer’s days, and provision of livestock weight measuring tapes during farm visits.
“Furthermore, we designed a record-keeping book which we distribute freely to producers, encouraging the use of management tools,” Oberholzer added.
With its dedicated efforts and comprehensive approach, RMITED is playing a vital role in ensuring that the red meat industry not only thrives but also becomes a more inclusive and sustainable sector for the benefit of all stakeholders. As the organisation continues to expand its reach and impact, the future of the red meat industry looks promising.
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