Women’s Investment Portfolio Holdings Limited (Wiphold)
Community members of Centane
Centane, Eastern Cape
Why was it started?
Establish a commercial farming operation amongst communal farmers and restore self-respect and dignity to the community.
How was it done?
Wiphold facilitated the planting of 60 ha of dryland maize. Profits from the harvest were distributed to the community members, who had provided communal land for the maize crops.
Over the 2013/2014 summer Wiphold facilitated the planting of and distribution of the profits from, [a further] 340 ha of dryland maize. The investment company dedicated significant time to initial consultation with Centane’s 13 traditional leaders, their councils and local residents, before embarking on the two CSI agricultural projects that led to the establishment of the CAI.
In 2014, Wiphold appointed Technoserve, a non-profit agribusiness facilitator, as the technical manager for the initiative. Technoserve helps Wiphold with budget preparation, input procurement, stock control, training, and oversight of production: land preparation, planting and harvesting.
While Wiphold and the CAI source agricultural machinery and implements for the initiative, they contract these services from Mariri Trading. The CAI also procures material inputs and technical support from John Deere Mascor, Omnia, Dumisk, and Absa Insurance. The seed companies Pannar, Pioneer and Monsanto also cooperate with the CAI. Finally, grain trader Farmwise, together with several other potential corporate offtakers, will be purchasing and marketing crop harvests from the CAI.
Per Wiphold’s CAI presentation, 100 community members were trained by John Deere and Technoserve in 2014, with a similar number due to be trained this year. An emphasis is being placed on youth. Seven tractor drivers have been employed so far and four trainee farm assistants chosen by the community are being mentored by Technoserve.
How was it funded?
The venture is financed by investment company Wiphold