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2022-03-03

Boxer launches pioneering agri-project in EC

On a hot Eastern Cape Summer day, there is a gentle stirring within the historic grounds of the Emfundisweni Mission.


Reporter | Fin24

There’s a lot of excitement about and for good reason; it’s the launch of the Boxer and W& R Seta Agri-Project and it promises to change the lives of many farmers in the Eastern Cape.

The Agri-Project officially began on February 17. More than 300 farmers, living and working their farms in small rural towns in the Eastern Cape were selected by Boxer and W&R Seta to take part in a campaign to not only upskill themselves through education, but to get their produce onto Boxer shelves.

A specially designed course is currently underway, which comprises four important modules based on finance, business, retail and gaining access to market, which will equip the farmers with the tools and knowledge to supply retail supermarkets with their produce. And not just any retailer; Boxer specifically.

“2022 marks the 45th anniversary of Boxer’s service to communities and projects like this are a cherry on top of what is a great year for the company. Boxer has selected these 300 plus farmers to undergo specific learning at W&R Seta, so that they can successfully get their produce onto our shelves.

“There is a massive need to teach willing farmers how to get access to the market, and Boxer believes it can make a real difference to many families by giving these farmers an opportunity,” said Ntombi Dludla, Boxer group executive for stakeholder engagement and sustainability.

W&R Seta began the first training session at the mission (founded in the 1860s) and will move around to various towns in and around Flagstaff, Bizana, Lusikisiki, Port St Johns and Tabankulu, to name a few, all the while ensuring the high level of training and skills development is adhered to.

Boxer, while not only looking towards the successful purchase of produce as a wonderful conclusion to this project, is also paying each farmer-turned-student a monthly stipend and offering advanced assistance from the team of specialists within the company.

“Boxer has highly experienced teams who will guide these farmers towards getting their produce to the standards required by retailers and we know that the team from W&R Seta, under the guidance of Declan Lawson will be doing everything they can to bring out the best in these farmers,” added Ntombi. Not only is the programme backed by Boxer and W&R Seta, but the Alfred Nzo District Municipality has also shown great interest in supporting the leadership at Emfundisweni Mission and surrounding farmers.

The project is set to conclude with a graduation ceremony in late 2022, with the promise that before that, the first round of produce from the fertile and promising Eastern Cape soil would have already been picked, selected and shipped out to Boxer, destined for homes of Boxer shoppers within the Eastern Cape.

– ISSUED BY BOXER

 


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