Farmers in South Africa are receiving a massive boost thanks to an R610-million investment from SAB’s Agricultural Development programme.


South Africa – SABMiller and AB InBev merged in 2016 resulting in the world’s biggest brewing company. The company dedicated a 1 billion investment in economic stimulus and societal benefit programmes over a five year period.

A substantial portion of SAB fund is allocated to Agriculture — 61%, or R610-million over five years. SAB considers this as an area of greatest opportunity for economic renewal and impact, as the business seeks to use as many local materials as possible in producing beers.

SAB’s Agricultural Development programme plans to drive local sourcing through various strategies. A dedicated Agricultural Development team is focussing on implementing smart and sustainable programmes that aid in job creation and in building a new cohort of emerging and commercial farmers.

The focus areas for SAB’s Agricultural Development programme are;

  • Emerging Farmer development
  • Responsible local sourcing
  • Research and Development

An inspiring example of a farmer thriving through the programme is Mrs Mapula Vivian Seboko. She is one of many emerging farmers within the town of Taung, situated in the North West province. She was born in the very same small town, and her passion for agriculture first began in 2004.

Mapula is a member of the Tshidiso Cooperative and grows a variety of crops under irrigation in both the winter and summer seasons, including barley, maize and groundnuts. By being a participant in the Agricultural Development programme, she has been given the opportunity to work closely with the FarmSol team, to improve her crop production.

As part of the service offering from SAB, Mapula has a dedicated agronomist who regularly visits her to discuss the progress of her crop, provide technical training, and help coordinate crop management decisions and activities. Agronomy is the science and technology of producing and using plants for food, fuel, fibre, and land reclamation.

Through the programme, Mapula also receives access to an interest-free loan for the procurement of inputs and services. In 2018, she received a soil correction grant that covered the purchase and application of lime onto her fields. The SAB research and development team also introduced her to new varieties and crop management tools, which helped Mapula increase her barley yield. Due to her hard work and high yield she was named 2018 Emerging Farmer of the Year!

Mrs Mapula Vivian Seboko. Credit: Regency Global / SA INC

Another avenue SAB is investing in is Enterprise Development. They are committed to investing R200 million to build sustainable enterprises. They established the SAB KickStart, SAB Foundation, SAB Accelerator and SAB Thrive to show their commitment to providing a stable and sustainable future for South Africans.

‘Our programmes continue to provide invaluable coaching and financial support to the businesses with which we partner to drive economic growth and add to job creation.’

SAB is deeply committed to the development of enterprises and suppliers with the goal of maximising exports from South Africa and minimising imports into the country. Their Enterprise Development programme focuses on the inclusion of black-female-owned businesses in the supply chains, ensuring that it has a healthy pipeline of suppliers that represent the demographics of the country.

One of the beneficiaries of the Enterprise Development programme is 28-year-old Fezile Msomi, who is a driven hydroponic rooftop farmer in the Johannesburg City Centre. However, like other young entrepreneurs before her, she faced a lack of funding and high business start-up costs.

Her success was secured, however, through the support of SAB Kickstart. Today, Fezile is motivated to not just be the best that she can be, but also has dreams of empowering future agriculturalists in the same manner that she has been empowered.

Fezile Msomi. Credit: Regency Global / SA INC

The last of the R1 billion investment in South Africa – R190 million – is earmarked for Social Benefits. It is allocated towards several parts and involves implementing sustainability programmes targeting waste reduction and smart water management, as well as awarding learnerships and scholarships in scarce skills to previously disadvantaged learners.

SAB has been an integral part of the fabric of South African society throughout its history spanning more than 120-years. The abovementioned projects are only a small reflection of the work that SAB has done to deliver to build a company that lasts, thereby ensuring that it continues to improve people’s lives.

As part of the #SAINC nation-building initiative, SAB Breweries is joining a network of purpose-driven brands to share stories of positive progress in South Africa. These stories are being featured across social media in small snippets, just like the one below, but you will also be able to watch the full-length features live on television. You will find the airing times below.

26 May 2019 –  eTV Open News –  18:30
27 May 2019 –  eTV Open News – 15:30
08 June 2019 – SABC 2 – 14:30
30 June 2019 – eTV – 12:00
09 July 2019 – Business Day TV – 16:00
11 July 2019 – Business Day TV – 12:00

Watch a snippet of the story below:

Good Things Guy has partnered with Regency Global and Official Brand South Africa to bring you stories of how corporates and individuals are helping build our incredible nation.This week we're taking a look at an incredible South African company that has invested in more local content than ever, creating jobs and inspiring future generations to explore film and television careers.It's people and organisations like this that help move us forward!#GoodThings 

Posted by Good Things Guy on Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Sources: Regency Global
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Tyler Leigh Vivier
About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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