MASDT (Mobile Agri Skills Development & Training) was awarded “Best Performing Incubator of the Year 2012” in South Africa.
Each year Seda (Small Enterprise Development Agency) honours business incubation, technology transfer and quality interventions/organizations, clients and graduates that exemplify the best of the industry.
There were several finalists per category from across the country and the winners were chosen at a gala evening in Kimberley. Criteria per each category were fierce and included the consideration of the resources at the finalist’s disposal and the scope of each applicant’s programme. These factors were weighed against the overall results achieved by the nominated incubators.
The resources available to the incubator include both direct (those resources provided by on-site staff employed by the incubator, in-house seminars, anchor tenants and such) and indirect (those resources not under direct control of the incubator, such as government or state grants, assistance from development finance institutions and bankers). This means that small-scale incubators can actually complete on an equal basis with large-scale incubators.
MASDT Managing Director, Lynette Bezuidenhout, proved that the company had met their targets within the required time frame, and broadly adhered to international best practices within a national context. MASDT also had all its required policies and procedures in place, ensuring that the company operated effectively, efficiently and economically. Bezuidenhout and her team have made it clear that their mission is to - by means of skills development and integrated support provided – ensure that the MASDT incubator contributes significantly to the empowerment of emerging farmers as they develop into sustainable commercial farmers.
Through participation in the Mobile Agri Skills Incubator (MASI), emerging farmers expand their agricultural production, thus contributing towards national food security, regional job creation and local economic growth.
“MASDT provides emerging farmers, located in rural areas in Mpumalanga and KwaZulu Natal with a range of support services that assist them to establish commercial farming operations. The intention of MASI is to act as a one-stop shop that can address the often complex and varied needs of emerging farmers. These needs are assessed through continuous engagement by MASDT’s business development officers who meet with the incubatees on a bi-weekly basis during their three years of incubation. Initially candidates who are interested in participating in the MASI are selected through a rigorous screening process and their agricultural resources are systematically assessed,’ Bezuidenhout pointed out.
MASDT MD Lynette Bezuidenhout seen here with the “Best Performing Incubator of the Year 2012”-award flanked by Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies (left), and Northern Cape MEC for Finance, Economic Affairs and Tourism John Block.