About 660 emerging black farmers based in the Free State are set to benefit from a multimillion-rand training initiative formed by the Jobs Fund and the Sernick Group. Sernick successfully applied to the Jobs Fund in 2016 during its seventh funding round, scoring R165m of grant funding and a R100m loan, which it matched with R237.6m. The fund had called for proposals on industry change for "scaling inclusive job creation models". Sernick pitched its initiative, described as a "comprehensive intervention" that will recruit, train, capacitate and provide them with opportunities to be integrated into Sernick’s value chain. Emerging farmers (50 in all) who did exceptionally would be given an opportunity to acquire shares in the yet to be established Sernick Wholesale. "These farmers will, through an Emerging Farmers Trust, be granted a 20% share ownership," said the head of the Jobs Fund, Najwa Allie-Edries. She said the emerging farmers the programme was targeting were primary producer...

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