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​The sixth annual Agri5 commodities workshop and expo featured experts in agribusiness and hundreds of stakeholders to debate the role of emerging farmers in food production and how they can supply their produce to bigger markets.
 
The two-day seminar, hosted recently in East London, in the Eastern Cape focused on building relationships between farmers and provided the knowhow on accessing markets.

The Joburg Market, which was one of the exhibitors at the workshop, displayed a vibrant stall visited by scores of small-scale farmers, agriculture students and private companies operating within the agricultural sector.

Each year, the Agri5 Commodities workshop and expo brings together private companies and government organisations to facilitate the development of African Farmers in order to increase their meaningful participation in the agricultural sector.

“The Joburg Market provides trading space for local farmers to sell their produce. The market then takes a 5 percent commission on the sale of this produce while the selling agent takes between 5-7 percent depending on the produce being sold and/or other presale arrangements,” explained Ayanda Kanana, the Joburg Market CEO.

Kanana told delegates that the Joburg Market also offers a Sales Processing System, which assists in the registration of farmers and buyers, easing the tracking of purchases and helping farmers to get paid. The system also assists buyers in acquiring their statements and agents to track their sales. Other services offered by the market include cold storage and banana ripening facilities as well as quality assurance and Laboratory services. 

The bulk of students who visited the Joburg Market stand were interested in finding out if the entity offers skills development programmes and employment opportunities like in-service training.

The Joburg Market provides work opportunities and skills and on the job training, including internships, learnerships and Expanded Public Works Programmes (EPWP) opportunities in an effort to alleviate poverty and unemployment.

Other exhibitors included Boxer Supermarket, which supports agricultural co-operatives, as well as UNISA, which promoted various agricultural courses on offer. Also present at the expo was the Agricultural Produce Agents Council, which assists farmers to safeguard their financial interests when dealing with market agents.

Written by Londiwe Mthethwa