The KAL Academy was first established in 2008 and has since grown into a training centre that has produced hundreds of upskilled graduates, some of whom have secured supply contracts with South Africa’s biggest retailers. The Academy is based in Porterville in the Western Cape.
The KAL Academy’s primary focus is to contribute to the empowerment and transformation of South African agriculture. It is our flagship social responsibility programme that has paved the way for us to uplift communities through education.
We empower new commercial farmers and farmworkers with training across two AgriSETA-accredited programmes: the Farmer Development Programme and the Farmworker Training Programme.
Farmer Development Programme
The Farmer Development Programme is specifically designed to provide new generation farmers with theoretical, practical, and managerial knowledge that will equip them with the skills to pursue successful commercial farming careers.
Annually, around 60 applicants are selected for this programme, which is entirely funded by KAL Group. Students may enrol in either the Animal Production or Plant Production courses. These courses are National Certificate programmes offering candidates NQF4, NQF3 or NQF2 level qualifications. The coursework itself centres on commercial farm management, sustainable farming practices, livestock, and crop cultivation.
The farmer development programme traditionally required that applicants reside in either the Western or Northern Cape and have access to land. Yet today, new virtual learning opportunities have allowed the training centre to reconsider future intake requirements. As a result of the pandemic, the teaching format has been amended to make greater use of online contact, thereby reducing the time students are required to be on site. Currently, the programme is composed of online learning, video-based facilitation, and practical experiential learning. These adjustments will likely be adopted in the future.
To date, nearly 400 students have successfully completed the programme. Three students have won AgriSETA’s Learner of the Year award, while several others were finalists.
The KAL Academy established a Farmworker Training Programme in 2010 due to the lack of skills training in this area. The programme consists of practical short courses that equip farmworkers with essential skills such as learning how to operate a digger-loader or to monitor an orchard. The training schedule and course content are regularly adapted to suit industry needs.
This training service brings added value to KAL Group clients and producers by giving them the opportunity to support their staff’s skills development, whilst funding it via their KAL Group account. The courses are presented at KAL Group branches and client premises as and when required. To date, the Academy has trained more than 6000 farmworkers.