Faculty of Commerce and Administration

About the Agri-Business Centre

The Agri-Business Centre is a bridge to coordinate knowledge and innovation between academic programmes of education, training, research and technology development, on the one hand, and the practice of community capacity development and empowerment in the Walter Sisulu University, on the other hand.


Eastern Cape African Household Agribusiness value chain leadership


The mission of the Agri-Business Centre is to coordinate and direct academic education, training and research programmes of the Walter Sisulu University with the government, state-owned entities and private sector to enable agricultural individuals, households and rural communities in the rural and associated sectors and industries to fully use their human, material and natural resources in the Eastern Cape and South Africa.


The institution, staff and students are guided by the underlying value system:

  • Integrity
  • Excellence
  • Trustworthy
  • Cooperation, collaboration and partnership
  • Customer service
  • Accountability
  • Efficiency
  • Innovative.




The mandate of the Agri-Business Centre is to:

  • Direct investments of government departments and state-owned companies to render a basket of products, services and beneficial capital improvements to foster development opportunities for businesses and entrepreneurs, enhance household food security, and to create employment and income generation on a sustainable manner within a regenerative farm sector and related industries
  • Mobilise and organise rural communities to create user-owned, self-financed democratic land governance institutions, viable networks of cooperative enterprises, and cooperative financial institutions that generate and capture optimum value for their membership from their sustainable use of land, labour and capital in the provincial economy
  • Facilitate the development of a public and social economy that co-exists with a private economy to create value mainly for agricultural households’ enterprises and associated industries.

The departure point of the Agri-Business Centre is the Stats SA Household Survey of 2016 where it reported that:

  • There were about 500,000 agricultural households out of a total of 1,7 million households in the Eastern Cape and 17 million households in South Africa.
  • The Eastern Cape has the highest percentage of agricultural households in the country at about 30%.
  • Agricultural households own the largest number of cattle, sheep and goats, the largest extent of communal land of about 4 million ha in the country.
  • Agriculture contributed 2,2% to the gross domestic product but 5,2% towards employment.
  • Nationally, the Eastern Cape has the second-highest percentage in poultry production (28%) and vegetable production (22% in 2011).
  • The Eastern Cape played a dominant role in the ownership of cattle, sheep and goats, mostly at subsistence and smallholder farming level.
  • People involved in agriculture have high levels of ‘no schooling' and ‘no income’.
  • Agricultural households have limited access to basic services such as sanitation and electricity.