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Our Background, history and results

Our Background, history and results

Mobile Agricultural Skills Development and Training NPC (MASDT)


MASDT was established in 2005 as a Training Service Provider in the Agriculture Sector in Mpumalanga, South Africa, but changed to a Non Profit Company (NPC), incorporated in terms of Section 21 of the Companies Act in 2007. The organization has diversified from merely a training providing institution to become a “One Stop Centre” for Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SME’s) in the Agricultural Sector. MASDT provides a comprehensive and integrated range of support services in agriculture to emerging farmers located in often remote rural areas. MASDT aims to develop emerging farmers over a three year incubation period to the point where they can sustainably generate both income and employment from their agricultural businesses. MASDT is mobile; instead of expecting the rural poor to travel to education centres in towns and cities, MASDT brings the training as well as support services to the farm gates. In this way, MASDT creates space for practical learning on the emerging farmers’ land while they continue with their farming activities. 
The personal background and formal education of the MD, Lynette Bezuidenhout, made her choose this unique model. Lynette grew up in the rural parts of the Northern Cape Province where her Dad was an Afrikaner stud farmer. She obtained a B.Agric Degree at the University of the Orange Free State and combined with the embedded knowledge of growing up on a farm, she opted to implement the virtual incubation concept in agricultural development. Under her leadership the past 7 years, the Grant income of the Company grew by 600%.

History and results

MASDT has ring-fenced Donor funding from the onset. Donors sponsor certain specific projects and no cross-funding between projects is allowed.

MASDT has worked on the following projects over the past ten years:

Donor: Seda

Seda has been funded this Agriculture Incubation program for the past 9 years in Mpumalanga. Incubatees receive both training and development in agricultural production for a period of 3 years, having the support of an MASDT Business Development Officer (BDO) who visits their projects on a frequent basis to provide the Incubatees with extension advice, farm planning and marketing expertise. Below is a table reflecting the results of the past 6 years.

Donor: Umzinyathi District Council

This agriculture incubator was situated in Dundee, in the District Municipality of Umzinyathi, in the region between Dundee and Greytown, KwaZulu-Natal. It was established in 2008 and terminated September 2013. 46 Emerging farmers were all involved in commercial crop production for supply to the local markets. Due to budget constraints, this project could not be sustained.


Donor: British American Tobacco SA

MASDT is managing the production of Sun Cured Virginia Tobacco and food crops by small scale growers with financial support from British American Tobacco (BAT- South Africa). This project is now in its 6th year. MASDT provide skills development, extension services, mentorship as well as production support (input loans and mechanisation) to small scale tobacco farmers in Buffelspruit and Badplaas Areas in Mpumalanga, as well as Groblersdal, Elandskraal and Venda Areas in Limpopo. These emerging farmers sell their tobacco with the assistance of MASDT to Limpopo Tobacco Processors (LTP). The access of both production loans as well as a guaranteed market, greatly assist these emerging farmers to secure employment and a livelihood from this project. The performance of this project over the past 5 years, is displayed in the table below.

MASDT ESKOM Agri Incubator:

Five large commercially orientated projects, owned by community based entities, are supported through this incubator through skills development, mentorship, provision of equipment, market support and value added activities. This project is both geographically diverse (operating in three provinces) and includes a wide range of commodities including nuts, citrus, poultry, cattle, grain production, timber, fruit and vegetable production. The dti co-funded this Incubator for the past 3 years, but Eskom Foundation donated funding for another year’s support.

Below the results of the past 5 years:

Land Reform Project Mentorship Support:

MASDT has been contracted by the Department for Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR) to provide mentorship and business support to seven land reform projects in Mpumalanga Province during 2015/16.

NDA Production Project:

MASDT is financially supported by National Development Agency to assist emerging farmers in both Nkomazi Local Municipality and Bushbuckridge Local Municipality, Mpumalanga Province to produce tomatoes and butternuts. Farmers were given funds for production inputs and infrastructure as per the recommendations of the assessing officers of MASDT. MASDT is responsible for the management, mentoring and trainings in the project during 2014/15.  


Skills Development and Training:

As an accredited FET college and training service provider MASDT conducts various skills development and training programmes with emerging farmers, community groups and commercial farmers to develop their governance and production skills and to contribute towards occupational health and safety.

MASDT developed a program to empower Leadership and assist in developing Co-operative constitutions and can advise and assist in terms of the development of legal entities, constitutions, farm rules, Human Resource and Financial Policies relevant to land reform beneficiary communities.

MASDT also trained 6 Land Reform Trusts in the Beaufort West area, Cape Province during 2015/16 in Leadership, Trust Governance and Trust Management with funding from AgriSETA.


Learnerships and bursaries:

MASDT has facilitated agricultural learnerships for emerging farmers through AgriSETA. These learnerships, lasting ten months, combine formal skills development with a strong practical component to the course.

Below is the training that were done in the previous years:

Nelspruit Branch

Kragbron Street
Canary Walk Business Park
Nelspruit
Mpumalanga
1200
South Africa

Pretoria Branch

Extension 3457

Inkwazi Building

Block C
1249
Embankment Road
Zwartkop X7

Contact Details

Nelspruit:
(T)
+27(0)13 753 2470
(F) +27(0)13 755 4028

Pretoria:
(T)
+27(0)12 643 3400

info@masdt.co.za

www.masdt.co.za

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