From Gate to the Plate

“From the gate to the plate”, these are the famous words of Kevin Wakeford, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Mosamane Holdings.

“From the gate to the plate”, these are the famous words of Kevin Wakeford, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Mosamane Holdings. Agriculture in South Africa is failing, he states, quite simply because farmers do not determine the prices of the food that they produce. The current system is not conducive to the survival of the farmer. Those who sell supplies to the farmers, and those who buy from them, are the ones who benefit most, instead of the farmers themselves.

The process that ensures the produce from a farm gets to the consumer’s table is very complex and very important to our economy. This process to provide safe, affordable variety of food is an enormous value-offering to the economy and this needs to be protected and optimised.

Dr Danie Jordaan, a senior lecturer at the department of Agricultural Economics of the University of Pretoria.

A lamb chop, for instance, needs to be used within three to four days from the lamb being slaughtered. The animal would most likely have been located in the Northern or Eastern Cape, where it was slaughtered, processed and sent to the distributors all over the nation – all within this short period.

Most South African farmers are small-scale farmers. The industry structure currently allows agriculture corporations to grow, yet it keeps the smaller farmers in their already-dire circumstances.

The future of agriculture in South Africa will depend on the changes which are made to this structure. The consumer culture, for instance, has evolved so that more sophisticated products are preferred. Smaller farms are mostly family-owned, and those without a succession plan will most likely be bought out by corporates. African agriculture has a lot of export potential; the problem is, however, producing the large quantities required abroad with insufficient resources.

This can perhaps be rectified by enhancing market accessibility to smaller farmers. The private sector can make a big difference with its support for this transformation process. By adopting vertical integrations by the farmer, other benefits are unlocked – such as the availability of good and healthy wholesome foods – and the farmers receive their fair share of the income generated along the value chain.

Mosamane Holdings aims to industrialise agriculture, to cultivate a new marketplace for farmers where the farming community is transformed, and rural farming is revitalised.  The company is governed by a team of experts and key stakeholders in the industry.  They share the unified vision of reviving the rural economy, restoring rural towns, and building on best practices.

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