Increased demand for affordable protein creates opportunities for SA’s dry white bean farmers

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The demand for dry white beans has seen tremendous growth, with South Africans consuming 32,000 tons of beans per year. The Schoeman Group has produced dry white beans in South Africa for the past 60 years. In anticipation of sustained future growth in demand, it increased its dry white bean production capacity in 2017 by expanding operations to include contract farmers across the country.

Schoeman began working with 140 contract farmers producing around 10 000 tons of small white beans annually, which has steadily increased to over 200 farmers producing 29 000 tons in 2022/21.

The group has also established a cleaning facility in Delmas that cleans and sorts the beans, before delivering them directly to canning factories. Schoeman is the main supplier of small white canning beans to South Africa’s canning industry. The cleaning plant was recently upgraded to include the latest in grain sorting technology and can now produce over 18 tons of canning grade beans per hour.

Schoeman supports contracted farmers by securing:

  • Upfront contract prices per ton
  • Payment seven days after delivery
  • Providing disease free certified seed, at the best seed prices (seed delivered direct to the farms).
  • An option to purchase fertiliser from TriFert at zero percent interest (costs deducted from tons delivered by the farmer)
  • Both seed and fertiliser are advanced at zero percent interest and deducted from the farmer’s delivered beans.
  • The dissemination of expert knowledge in bean production and cultivation among farmers (from the Schoeman team and experts at partners Laeveld Agrochem and Agri Technovation)
  • Trial fields, where different bean cultivars, crop protection and fertilisers are tested every year. Schoeman field agents also visit farms and advise on what needs to be done or adapted to deliver the maximum yield.

The group continuously recruits new contract farmers who have experience in planting small white beans and who have access to the correct planting and harvesting equipment for the contracted hectares. A minimum hectare criterion as well as a screening process for farmers applies.

Farmers wanting to plant dry white beans under contract with Schoeman who meet all necessary criteria can find out more at Schoeman Group’s upcoming Farmers’ Days.

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