Omnia has been formally involved in emerging farmer development programmes through various financing and mentoring initiatives since 2005. The initial premise is that Omnia is laying a foundation for the development of successful future black farmers represented by the current group of developing farmers who will have progressed to commercial status.
The fertilizer market in South Africa has been hovering at two million tonnes per annum in the last 15 to 20 years. In the event of an increase in terms of input use, due to effective farming systems through efficient cropping technology, the impact on the sector and associated industries would be very positive. However, the opposite is often realised and more likely to occur with new non-farming recipients taking ownership of farming land through land reform, leading to general disinvestment into the sector, especially by primary producers due to this uncertainty over land ownership.
It is difficult to quantify the actual resultant decrease in crop production, but land reform failures could have dire effects on long-term food security in South Africa and by implication, on the fertilizer market. The strategy to date has been to provide farmers with continuous individual support and mentoring at farm level, enabling them to be operational and to facilitate long-term, sustainable growth. The support offered includes mentoring and training, budgeting and production planning, input financing, grain marketing assistance and continuous “on-the-farm” backing through regular visits.
The key success of the Omnia scheme is embedded in the Omnia Nutriology® business model, through our feet on the farm approach.