With great pride and excitement the Deciduous Fruit Development Chamber of South Africa (DFDC-SA) congratulates one of our members, Venecia Janse as the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) Female Entrepreneur 2016 The winners received prize money which they are encouraged to use exclusively for the activities and production of their enterprises. The programme honored Venecia Janse from the farm Oudrif-Appelkloof in the Langkloof, Eastern Cape, as the Overall Winner and she was also awarded as winner in the category Top Entrepreneur in the Sector Export Markets.
The competition is annually hosted by DAFF in conjunction with the oil company Total South Africa. Pitso Sekhoto, chairperson of the DFDC-SA telephonically congratulated the winner and reminded that female farmers should not forget they are the foundation of the next generation of farmers who has to feed the nation and create jobs.
The Oudrif Trust was initiated in 2004 by the Department of Rural Affairs with the beneficiaries comprising of 510 members of which 20 is full time involved in the farming activities on Appelkloof Farm. Venecia is the General Manager and is assisted by a production manager and his assistant.
According to Kevin Maart, the General Manager at the DFDC-SA, they have recently conducted a study that showed that the internal business environment at Oudrif shows strongpoints that includes inter alia, very good leadership by Venecia, which in conjunction with the existing opportunities; have the ability to create a sustainable business in time. Oudrif currently have more than 50 hectares planted with pome fruit orchards. One of the biggest challenges however on the road to sustainability for Oudrif is that a large portion of the trees are due for re-establishment because of having reached the end of their productive life-cycle. A 7-year development plan for Oudrif thus has been developed and has been included in the Eastern Cape Deciduous Fruit Development Plan that will jointly be implemented by the DFDC-SA and the Eastern Cape Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform (DRDAR) which makes provision for the replacement of 49 ha of existing orchards and expansion of 39 ha new orchard development as well as other capital requirements. We also acknowledge the role that the Western District of DRDAR; in particular Thembani Nyokana, the District Director has played to support Oudrif financially since its inception. Part of this development plan for Oudrif will be funded by the Deciduous Fruit Industry’s Jobs Fund Project namely the DFDC Commercialization Programme.