South Africa


Despite being a middle-income, emerging market with an abundant supply of natural resources, South Africa continues to face high unemployment, poverty and inequality.

TechnoServe’s work is closely aligned with the government’s new National Development Plan, which aims to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by drawing on the energies of the people, growing an inclusive economy, building capabilities, enhancing state capacity and promoting leadership and partnerships.

TechnoServe's vision is to help generate sustainable growth across the country and to make the benefits and opportunities of economic growth accessible to everyone. TechnoServe is working with smallholder farmers to build competitive farms and gain access to formal markets and financial services. We are also working with entrepreneurs from a wide range of sectors to help grow successful businesses that generate jobs and income in their communities.

On The Ground



Technical Assistance Facility

Access to finance is an obstacle to entrepreneurship, particularly in the agricultural sector in Africa. The African Agriculture Fund (AAF), a private equity fund, was created to help increase investment in agriculture and agribusiness in the region with the ultimate objective of increasing food security. TechnoServe serves as the implementing agency of the Technical Assistance Facility (TAF), which provides technical assistance to the portfolio companies invested in by the AAF. The TAF is funded primarily by the European Union and managed by IFAD. As of 2016 the TAF has funded 32 projects with 10 portfolio companies across Africa and supported five SMEs with their growth strategies. TAF has committed €3.6m and has €3.4m remaining for projects in the pipeline.
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Empowering Urban Women Entrepreneurs

The Accelerating Urban Women Entrepreneurs in South African Metros (AUWESAM) program aims help support aspiring women and young entrepreneurs in metropolitan areas, create jobs and make efficient use of enterprise development funds. AUWESAM will support 30 entrepreneurs through mentorship, business development services and access to finance to improve their small businesses. Outcomes will be documented and a paper will be produced and disseminated to key enterprise development entities, provincial entities and the Incubation Support Programme run by the South African Government’s Department of Trade & Industry.



Directly from the Smallholder to the Shelf

In 2012, TechnoServe and Massmart Walmart launched a direct farm program which aims to put locally produced small-scale farmers’ produce on the shelves of Massmart. TechnoServe’s role involves training, mentoring, technical assistance and establishing links to both finance and retail markets for the farmers.

The program started as a twelve-month pilot with eight farmers in Limpopo in order to test and modify the underlying assumptions contained in the smallholder blueprint strategy and ensure the scalability of the direct farm program for smallholder farmers.

Since launch, several hundred tons of produce have been delivered and sold. The success of this project has led to a continued partnership with Massmart in which TechnoServe is working with approximately 87 new smallholder farmers.


Massmart Walmart

Promoting Sustainability in Agricultural Value Chains

In 2013, TechnoServe launched a program to improve the scalability and sustainability of our existing agricultural value chain programs in South Africa. This program addresses key shortcomings in the support systems and structures in which farmers and agribusinesses operate. By facilitating continued access to finance and markets, and promoting interventions to enhance the government’s enabling environment (extension services as well as policies), TechnoServe is helping the farming businesses in our programs continue to create economic opportunities in their communities long after the interventions end.

Blog Posts

March 16, 2016

Women in Rural South Africa Take On Climate Change

TechnoServe and Kellogg Company are partnering to help build female farmers’ resilience to climate change in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa.

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October 29, 2015

Q&A: The Role of Agribusiness in Youth Unemployment

Rural development expert Cleopatra Ngulube explores the role of agribusiness in addressing youth unemployment.

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August 31, 2015

Green Bread: How One Entrepreneur is Changing His Community

Lufefe Nomjana, 25, is growing his bakery and improving the health of his community with business development support from TechnoServe.

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TechnoServe South Africa

13th Floor, Metal Box Building
25 Owl Street, Auckland Park
2092, South Africa

Tel: +27 11 482 6001
Fax: +27 11 482 5588

Sagay Moodliar

Country Director