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Meet the partners of the Farmer Development Programme

August 2022

Another one of Grain SA’s farmer development programme partners is the Kgodiso Development Fund, an independent fund founded by PEPSICO. The fund aims to support the broad socio-economic imperatives of education; small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMES); emerging farmers and enterprise development across PEPSICO’s value chain.

PepsiCo, Inc. is a multinational food, snack, and beverage corporation. The business encompasses all aspects of the food and beverage market and oversees the manufacturing, distribution, and marketing of its products. In Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), PepsiCo SSA employs more than 13 000 people across the three business divisions: SA Food and Beverages; Essential Foods and West, East and Central Africa (WECA). 

When PepsiCo’s acquisition of Pioneer Foods was finalised in March 2020, the company agreed to a number of public interest commitments, with the main goal of driving economic growth. One such commitment was the launching of a development fund, with an initial investment of R600 million to enhance effective, market-driven programmes, co-create innovative solutions alongside key partners and scale the impact through catalytic investments.

Although founded by PepsiCo the Kgodiso Development Fund operates as an independent entity. This allows it to work across public and private sectors to deliver on its commitments. With strategic partners (like Grain SA) the fund aims to build a more sustainable food system for Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Kgodiso Development Fund is committed to nurturing potential that drives economic growth, promotes social development and leads the way towards a more sustainable food system in South Africa. Its mission is to create shared value solutions along the food and beverage value chain that contribute to the long-term sustainability and resilience of the system.

The fund aims to transform the South African agricultural landscape by developing a new generation of sustainable farming enterprises. It aspires to empower black farmers through funding, business development and increased access to the market. 

Under their Agricultural Development pillar, the fund lists the following strategic priorities:

  • To support the transformation of the food and beverage value chain by developing and empowering new and current black emerging businesses – for example farmers, suppliers, distributors and women-led enterprises). 
  • To address knowledge and skills gaps across the South African food system like applied agricultural research and development, climate resilient crop development and nutrition science.
  • To tackle local development challenges and strive for tangible impact that affects large-scale change by providing funding to enable sustainable crop production, technical and business support through strategic partnerships and programmes.

As Grain SA has provided agricultural development support to emerging farming enterprises for more than 20 years through the Farmer Development Programme (FDP), the organisation was seen as a perfect match for the goals of the Kgodiso Development Fund. 

The Kgodiso Development Fund was approached to provide co-funding of production inputs to this programme to enable farmers to access their full funding requirement at a blended interest rate. Grain farmers in North West and the Free State have benefitted from the fund’s investment in the programme. Farmers received their inputs on time and the blended interest rate will increase their profitability.

Executive director Diale Tilo knows that patience is required when investing in emerging farmers. It is not uncommon to wait seven to eight years before seeing the full benefits. Therefore, support given has to be for the long haul to allow farmers to grow and become more efficient. 

The Kgodiso Development Fund believes that by building on existing models and co-creating new ones it – together with its partners – can maximise the impact of its investment.

Publication: August 2022

Section: Pula/Imvula