Metropolitan raises a new breed of Super Farmers – Collective Shapers!

One of South Africa’s largest licensed life insurers and licensed financial service providers, Metropolitan Life has built a reputation for being active in community development through the years.

By introducing the Metropolitan Collective Shapers programme, Metropolitan is raising the bar on farming in Polokwane. This platform will allow young people already farming or working in the agricultural sector to participate in a mentorship that is driven through efficiency drivers, agri-business concepts, financial record keeping, leadership and technical knowledge on horticultural production systems.

The objective of the Collective Shapers programme is to capacitate young farmers to become future farming leaders in Polokwane.

Our economy is based on agriculture, which is the primary job creator in the region. By partnering with Agri Enterprises and outsourcing the International Agricultural Academy for Africa (i3A) as implementing agent, Metropolitan aims at highlighting and reinforcing farming into a reliable source of income for young people who will be participating.

The selection process saw the screening of 20 participants from Polokwane, Limpopo, for the opportunity to be included in a programme that will give them the skills to succeed in agriculture.

Collective Shapers visiting the Limpopo Dairies farm and factory outside Louis Trichardt during the industry exposure week in Polokwane.

The Polokwane district of Limpopo is one of the nation’s premier agricultural regions noted for producing fruits and vegetables, cereals, tea, and sugar. The Limpopo Province also boasts abundant agricultural resources.

The Metropolitan Collective shapers initiative aims to create jobs and boost the economy of farming in the province by passing down knowledge and farming practices from generation to generation in horticulture, business development, marketing opportunities as well as related industry farm visits for exposure to the commercial farming scene.

i3A through their unique curriculum development strength, training style and academic edge, sets them apart with their offering of the programme. Through the unique Efficiency Drivers initiative, headed by the Garcias for Africa Programme, participants have seen a significant change in their view on how to farm, and how to approach their businesses with a smart and successful mindset.

As part of their training, the youth is also encouraged and mentored in developing a farm business plan, which will essentially give them a different perspective on their business ideas and ventures. This farm business plan is at the end of the 9-weeks training programme presented in the format of a business canvas to a panel of professional mentors selected by Metropolitan. The reward for the winning Collective Shaper through Metropolitan is R 50 000.

Peter Mashapu, first beneficiary of the Metropolitan Collective Shapers programme

“We are very passionate about this initiative at Metropolitan because it doesn’t mean throwing money at a problem in the hope it will disappear.” says Metropolitan CEO Peter Tshiguvho. He went on to emphasize that “the idea is to provide people with the tools to create long-term and sustainable opportunities that will eventually form part of the natural cycle of knowledge and the business landscape in Polokwane and elsewhere.” (Metropolitan Website; 2021).

One of the collective shapers, Mphashe Tlaba also had a great review of the training. He goes on to elaborate in the video below: ​

Agribusiness presents a bright future for young farmers and the youth. Whenever mentorship programs are done well, numerous open doors are within reach.

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