Faculty of Commerce and Administration

Agri-Business Centre's Target Groups

The following groups are central to the Agri-Business Centre:

  • Household and communities
  • Community land trust
  • Cooperative enterprises and SMME’s
  • Universities and EC Premier’s Office
  • District Municipalities
  • Local Municipalities
  • National and Provincial government
  • Development Agencies and Business organisations
  • Cooperative land banks
  • Traditional Leaders and Community Organisations.

The AgriBusiness Centre is developing additional agricultural household development indices to incorporate the existing 39 War on Poverty Indices of multiple deprivation to monitor and evaluate the development pathway of agricultural households’ movement along the continuum of basic human needs to graduate out of poverty.

Government departments, state-owned entities, community organisations and non-government organisations are main partners of the Agri-Business Centre in the social and public economy of the province; and small, micro medium and large enterprises in the agricultural, food and related industries are potential partners of the Agri-Business Centre in the private market economy of the province.

The Agri-Business Centre is the home of SETA-accredited diplomas and degrees, short learning and community-capacity building and empowerment programmes that are produced by the Commerce and Administration Faculty in the Mthatha Campus of the Walter Sisulu University.

These of SETA-accredited diplomas and degrees, short learning and community capacity building and empowerment programmes are specifically targeting the following groups:

  • Black small-scale farmers
  • Small, micro and medium enterprises in the food
  • Fibre, processing, trade and retailing industries
  • Rural water management and sanitation providers
  • Land administration systems providers
  • Land reform services
  • Rural development practitioners.

The Agri-Busines Centre works in a network of professional teams of economists, chartered accountants, business and public administrators, and community engagement practitioners who are leading experts in the areas of education, teaching, research, technology, community capacity development and empowerment.

WSU’s short learning programmes, diplomas and degrees are benchmarked against leading standards in the country and internationally and are linked to national and international professional bodies and institutions.

The approach, philosophy and activities in teaching, learning, research, technology and community capacity building and empowerment is based on a fine balance and a mixture of academic programmes that are supportive of an active, organised, articulate, independent and self-reliant small-scale agricultural household-based network of cooperative enterprises, households and communities within prosperous, inclusive, resilient, sustainable and climate smart rural economies.

To promote and advance the interests of agricultural households in the Eastern Cape, in South Africa and beyond, the Agri-Business Centre operates as an integral part of a cooperative network of knowledge and innovation institutions of universities, agricultural colleges and research councils.

These include, amongst others:

  • University of Pretoria
  • University of Cape Town
  • University of Fort Hare
  • University of Stellenbosch
  • University of the Free State
  • University of Zululand
  • University of Mpumalanga
  • University of the North
  • University of Venda
  • University of North West
  • Nelson Mandela University
  • Fort Cox Agricultural College
  • Elsenburg Agricultural College
  • Tsolo Agricultural College
  • Cedara Agricultural College
  • Glen Agricultural College
  • Agricultural Research Council.

The bulk of students in the Walter Sisulu University that are residents of the surrounding rural and township communities of the Eastern Cape and beyond.

They are drawn into and used by the Agri-Business Centre as change agents first for their own development and their own households and their own communities during their study at the Walter Sisulu University.

At the completion of their training, they are equipped to start their own enterprises and employ themselves, after a period of supervision and incubation from Agri-Business Centre accredited as master farmers or master entrepreneurs, can become professionals and experts in government, private sector businesses and the network of agricultural household cooperative enterprises.