At Potatoes South Africa, we believe that real and meaningful transformation and empowerment are essential for the long-term sustainability and success of the potato industry.

In order to achieve these ambitions, we actively promote and support initiatives that foster economic empowerment and drive the creation of development opportunities that enable all sector players to succeed and prosper.

We strive to enhance the skills, knowledge, and capabilities of all industry participants, including farmers, processors, and other stakeholders. By providing training, resources, and support, we empower individuals and communities to thrive and contribute to the growth and development of the potato industry.

Our Strategic Goals


Offer comprehensive support for strategic knowledge management within the industry.


Foster the development of Black commercial producers through focused Enterprise Development initiatives.


Offer technical assistance, guidance, and essential resources, to assist enterprises in adopting best practices.

Enterprise Development

Potatoes SA’s Enterprise Development Programme aims to support the establishment, growth, and viability of new potato producing enterprises.

The specific objectives are to:

Develop an economic programme that promotes sustainable potato production by smallholder farmers, utilising available land and optimising the benefits of an integrated production system.

Enable smallholder farmers to grow and produce commercially in a sustainable manner.

Potatoes South Africa's four-year Enterprise Development Programme supports producers by providing financial aid for pre-feasibility studies, seeds, mentor remuneration, and industry exposure activities. The support is phased, with 100% seed funding in the first year, decreasing to 25% by the fourth year. The program aims to create commercial producers, encouraging existing participants to expand to a minimum of 30 hectares. The phased support structure also applies to expansions, with potential for a third support cycle based on the farmer's status. This approach offers diverse benefits, including:

  • Savings and resources increase as producers benefit from better economies of scale
  • Support services become more willing to visit farms, making better use of time and capacity
  • Cost savings on travel and accommodation can be redirected to other programme areas
  • Ongoing access to specialised support helps participating producers acquire essential knowledge and skills for successful potato farming
  • Suppliers are more willing to participate in the programme due to the advantages of scale

New entrants into the enterprise development programme receive mentorship support from experienced commercial farmers, potato production experts, and previous graduates.
The mentor's role includes


Conduct pre-season planning, monitor implementation, and maintain regular check-ins and engagement

Farm Operations & Management

Provide ongoing support, guidance and skills transfer, identify training needs, connect with training agencies

Network Building

Connect participants with input suppliers, marketing agencies, financial institutions, government services and nearby commercial farmers


Submit concise reports, detailing visits and communications, encompassing key observations, progress, problems and solutions


Coordinate activities in-region, linking participants with other development programmes and commercial producers


Identify the Project

Identifying black potato producers involves criteria such as land ownership, farming leadership, track record, and accessibility. Once a potential farmer is found, a pre-feasibility study is conducted covering farm details, water, infrastructure etc.


Present to BDU

The BDU (Business Development Unit - Comprising Potatoes South Africa personnel, input suppliers, technical experts, and core business representatives - jointly recommends projects for the Enterprise Development Programme. Additionally, it helps secure stakeholder support.


Present to Committee

After the BDU makes recommendations, these are presented to the Transformation Committee. The committee then forwards its recommendations to the Boards of Directors of both Potatoes South Africa and the Potato Industry Development Trust for final approval.


Craft Business Plan

A comprehensive business plan is developed for each farmer, delving deeper into the pre-feasibility study's elements, including a detailed SWOT analysis, along with financial, HR, and operational plans. The plan outlines timeframes and sequences for operational activities.



During the implementation phase, the farmer, mentor, and PSA officials work collaboratively to bring the business plan to life. The collective expertise and support ensure a smooth and effective transition from planning to action, fostering the success and sustainability of the agricultural enterprise.


Monitor & Evaluate

Continuous monitoring and evaluation are integral to the process, enabling the timely identification and resolution of problems and challenges. Additionally, stakeholders, particularly those invested in crop production, actively contribute to ongoing assessments.

Number of Enterprise Development Programmes


Small grower

The Small Grower Development Programme focuses on engaging communities that primarily plant potatoes for food security, with any surplus crop being sold within the local community.

Disseminate production and business information through effective trials

Provide practical training to farmers focused on industry-leading best practices

Utilise cultivar or demonstration trials as a means of educating, training, and sharing vital production information.

Offer essential assistance and expertise to communities, enabling them to enhance food security by producing and selling surplus potatoes.

By providing support, training, and access to important information, the programme contributes to the success and sustainability of small-scale potato growers, promoting food security and economic development within these regions.

"The Small Grower Development Programme aims to enhance food security and promote successful potato production through disseminating information, providing training, and offering assistance to communities."

The programme identifies suitable participants, recommends them for approval, and serves as a pathway for potential graduation into the Enterprise Development Programme for emerging Black commercial producers. Potatoes South Africa's role includes partnerships with agricultural departments, facilitating seed distribution, supporting cultivar trials, and promoting good production practices through various communication channels and local cooperatives.

Farm-based training

Implemented in accordance with the Skills Development Act, the farm-based training initiative within Potatoes South Africa is designed to enhance the skills of new black producers. This programme aims to uplift decision-making abilities, and develop technical and business skills essential for profitable farming. The overarching objective is to elevate the overall knowledge base, thereby enhancing the quality of potato production. The program strategically offers concise, tailored courses for black farming communities and focuses on identifying and nurturing the skills of emerging producers. By fostering long-term sustainability and promoting best practices, the ultimate aim is to empower these individuals to operate more efficiently and effectively within the agricultural landscape.

"Empowering emerging farmers in South Africa through on-farm training is not just an investment in agriculture; it's a commitment to cultivating the roots of sustainable growth"

Tertiary skills

The Tertiary Skills Development Pipeline is a comprehensive initiative encompassing bursaries, internships, and work experience, strategically designed to cultivate a skilled workforce and bolster the potato industry.

The programme focuses on:

1. Developing technical capacity: Developing technical capacity: By awarding bursaries to deserving black students, the initiative aims to foster technical expertise within the potato industry.

2. Internship training opportunities: Primarily targeting bursars, the program intends to offer internship training in relevant study disciplines. This includes practical exposure and qualification-specific conditions to heighten their suitability for job opportunities.

3. Workplace experience opportunities: Focusing on bursars in relevant study disciplines, the program aims to provide workplace experience, enriching their skill set and amplifying their employment prospects.

The anticipated results of the programme include fostering the development of young talent through tertiary education, enabling them to contribute significantly to the sustainable enhancement of the potato industry. The program also aims to provide practical exposure to the potato value chain, fostering early relationships with stakeholders in the initial stages of students' careers. By ensuring that the youth are better informed, the program empowers them to make well-considered career decisions based on their exposure and hands-on experience.

  • 1a

    Student Selection (by end of October)

    Identify and select students from existing black potato-producing enterprises or second-year onwards at colleges/universities.

  • 2a

    Bursary Allocation (January)

    Allocate funding for deserving candidates for tertiary education.

  • 3a

    Tertiary Institution Placement

    Place selected candidates in relevant institutions.

  • 4a

    Induction Course

    Provide an induction course for a better understanding of the potato industry.

  • 5a

    Knowledge Enhancement

    Facilitate participation in industry events for undergraduates and postgraduates.

  • 6a

    Internship and Work Experience

    Coordinate placements with stakeholders for practical exposure.

  • 7a

    Holiday Work and Progress

    Organise holiday work and regularly monitor and evaluate progress.

Our Projects

our projects