Amadlelo – Projects
To date Amadlelo has established and manages six dairy projects that milk 7600 cows in the former Ciskei and Transkei as 50/50 sharemilkers with the local communities. Amadlelo also has a share in a macadamia nut farming operation near East London.
All of the dairy projects are self-sustaining and also involve a large amount of skills transfer and capacity building.
Cows : 7600
Litres per Year: 30 million
People Employed: over 300
Salaries and Wages: R 16.8m per year
Dividends to Community members: R15m per year
All this where nothing was happening seven years ago.
The greatest impact on poverty is that all the farms provide work in an area where there was formerly high unemployment and also provides opportunities for local community members, to learn about farm management and develop their own farms in the future. It also increases the agricultural productivity of the country, which helps to lessen the amount of imports required.
As already noted, all the dairy projects are self-sustaining, and the Macadamia project is 6 years from being self sustaining. The government has provided infrastructural funding in the amount of R 197m and Amadlelo R 92m in cows and equipment. Other funders into the project have been Land Bank, National Empowerment Fund and Mutual and Federal. All the land and labour is provided by the local communities and Fort Hare University, while training and technical expertise is provided by the University, Kula Development Facilitators and TGK Farming.
Similar projects in the region are already being planned, with the aim of eventually milking 12700 cows. The fact that there is more than one project being implemented, and that these projects cover different types of farming, shows that this initiative can be replicated in different areas across the country. Funding will need to be accessed, as well as buy-in from local community members. However, if there is significant local buy-in, less funding will be necessary (as land and labour can be accessed) and then sustainability is more likely. Also, because this project helps to make the government land redistribution process more successful, hopefully government will become more involved in similar projects in the future.
There are currently two new projects under development in which Amadlelo is involved. The first is the second dairy at Ncora Irrigation Scheme, where an additional 300 hectares of irrigation and a 60 point rotary parlour are being established to milk 1000 cows. Amadlelo is responsible for the development phase as well as the management of this new project once it becomes operational.
The second project is a dairy operation near Port St John’s, which is currently under development, managed by Amadlelo Agri. The project has the potential to milk 800 cows.
Structure of Amadlelo Projects
Amadlelo has structured its involvement in the various projects with the following basic structure:
The structure of Fort Hare Dairy and Middledrift Dairy are slightly different due to different circumstances.
This structure is based on an agreement commonly used on New Zealand dairy farms called a ‘Sharemilk Agreement.’ With a sharemilk agreement the ‘landowner’ makes available his land and infrastructure and the ‘sharemilker’ will manage his cows with his loose assets on that land. At the end of the day the farming profits are split 50/50.