Pinocchio's Farm, teamed with Dicla farm and seeds (PTY) Ltd, has developed an outgrower model based on empowering and developing small farmers in the area. This is done by helping them to start up and grow into successful farmers. The model promotes community development, and offers value-added services. Pinocchio's Farms acts as an anchor farm for all these smaller farmers. We supply these farmers with necessary mentorship in all walks of life throughout putting up the project. This model incorporates small farmers into the agricultural value chain.
Many previously disadvantaged farmers in SA has problems starting up/ growing/ being successful. One of the biggest causes of these farmers not succeeding, is a lack of mentorship. Another negative influence is the fact that there is no market for these farmer's products, because the market is already taken by well-known farmers.
Challenges facing small scale farmers. Global prices for agricultural commodities has risen drastically over the past few years, making agriculture an attractive investment once again, but small scale farmers are still faced with a number of challenges:
Lack of coordination of activities within the agricultural value chain.
Lack of knowledge and skills to run a profitable enterprise.
No access to input markets, lowered prices and bulk stock, because of trading individually.
No access to sufficient funding
No access to sufficient infrastructure, or the use of non-consistent infrastructure.
Lack of knowledge and recourses regarding transport, leading to inconsistent and late delivery.
No settled market for products, caused by many factors.
Together with the farmer, we put up a model named out-growing. We supply the previously disadvantaged farmer with all the equipment needed, such as greenhouse-tunnels, irrigation, and the implements needed. We help the farmer to get started, by erecting the tunnels as well as supplying the plants needed to grow a crop. We guide the farmer throughout the whole process of growing a crop, giving friendly assistance and paying regular visits to the new farm.
Once a crop has finished growing, it is harvested, and delivered to Pinocchio's Packhouse. We then pack it using our own brand or the outgrower's new brand, and deliver the crop to our settled markets. All the expenses during the time of growing the crop, such as seedlings, fertilizers and packaging, then gets subtracted from the total income, and the balance is paid over to the farmer.
This plan is funded by various companies/ organisations, such as the jobs fund. Another great source of funds is found in government grants. These funds are used to set up the project/ farms, drastically lowering the start-up costs, thus giving disadvantaged farmers an big opportunity to succeed.
Why is this model successful? Because here at Pinocchio's we are a family, caring, helping and dedicated to succeed. And the best of all is that we have experience of farming, apply proven methods and already have a market for our products.
If you are a potential outgrower, know of someone who could be a outgrower, or just want to find out more... Feel free to contact JOHAN TIJSSEN now.
Success stories of projects established by the Outgrower Model.
Interdink Project This project is owned and managed by a black female. Currently the project has 80 tunnels, and a head count of 27 permanent jobs was created. Pinocchio's Farm takes all of this project's produce, eliminating the issue of market barriers. The project enjoys the support from this model, where all the farm planning, sourcing of inputs and other aspects are done with the guidance of the Anchor farm, Pinocchio's. Please read this article for more.
Rob Meehan This is a private owned farm enterprise. The Dicla tunnels are built over the past years using private funds. He started in 2006 with 4 tunnels, and has expanded to 30 tunnels up to now. Dicla has always stood next to Rob to give him advice, help with accounts etc. In the past he did all his own marketing. He has now become part of Pinocchio's outgrower model, and supply us with 80% of his crop.
Emazangweni Farming Projects This project is owned by Mrs Kwasi and is situated near Diepsloot. Dicla supplied 4 tunnels (3 with plastic and one covered with net), through a CASP programme for the department of agriculture. Mrs Kwasi has proven to be successful with her tunnels, and, with the help of Dicla experts, has drafted a business plan for the dep. of rural development to expand with 10 more tunnels. This plan was approved in 2013. Later on she got another tunnel, making a total of 15 tunnels. Pinocchio's Farm is doing the marketing of her products under our brand, as part of our outgrower model. This helps to make the projects more viable.