Scelo Kunene Agricare



REDEFINING HOW SK Agricare social enterprise operates

 Sicelo Kunene (Ms), after having come from a health professions background and having gained experience in the Community Development Field, decided to start working on programmes that would contribute to Sustainable Livelihoods in rural villages and townships. This included and involved facilitating capacity building sessions for community leaders as well as working with the public sector partnerships in addressing community ills by introducing sustainable living practices that are also an essential part of producing own food at local level and keeping the money circulating at village level, as well as developing the trading wing of the entity for international trading

Our Mission is to advance capacity development programmes that enable rural communities to improve productivity and participate in sustaining the local economy, and be knowledgeable in managing natural resources by working with nature in the presence of climate change challenges

Our Values

Like most successful learning organisations, we are proponents of:

Integrity, fairness, honesty, trustworthiness, respect but most important for us, our values are guided by:

  • Fairness
  • Health of the people
  • Care for People and the Environment
  • Principles of sustainable agriculture and sustainable food security:

Our Vision

Sustainable livelihoods with zero hunger through sustainable triple bottom-line


To have capacitated at least more than a hundred agri-preneurs and agri-processors in identifying, mobilising and utilising renewable resources for sustainable living within the next few years.


We entrench our growth strategy on the strength of our protégés, for as long as they have acquired relevant mentorship from us, they are able to grow from small and medium size businesses which would bring our organisation to the next growth level.


Ms Sicelo Kunene-Nkabinde is the Founder and Programmes Director in the entire organisation. Farm operations are in the hands of Mr Bonisile Siwili, Bonisile is the Farm Manager. Ms Cingelwa Mhlaba oversees all seasonal programs including harvest and post-harvest teams as well as seasonal staff.

SK Agricare deliver their services nationally, and as such, provincial, district and local networks partake in implementing contemporary programmes that would be guided and managed at master level, lead farmer level and farmer group formations. Farmers that get capacity development from SK Agricare go on to create employment in their villages and townships emphasising sustainable farming operations and agri-processing that yield benefits in the local economy.


SK Agricare is certified 100% organic as from December 2022. We are in the process of finalising our application for accreditation with the Agri-SETA.

THE SK Agricare Capacity development

The long-term goal is to enable farmers to adapt and adopt practices that suit their farming systems and give them opportunity to test their sustainable land use systems without ignoring their own tradition and culture but adapt and adopt where needed. Farmers that enrol at SK Agricare would come from subsistence farming where they have used a combination of crop enhancers that range from chemical based to organic enhancers. The farmer development field school aims to develop them into sustainable farming systems users, based on organic/ natural farming principles. The organic farming system they engage on has been coined CHABUTHI farming systems. CHABUTHI is an isiZulu word for Organic (CHA means NO and BUTHI refers to chemicals/ poisons, therefore, NO Chemicals)

The organic certification process is pricey for small scale farmers. The SK Agricare Farmer Development Field School promotes a Participatory Guarantee Systems approach for beneficiary farmer groups who are engaged in producing the same crop that will have been confirmed as a secured market crop. The farmer groups who are involved and engaged in OVOP (One-Village-One-Product) Programme participate by observing the sustainable farming systems. The OVOP crop is promoted within the alley cropping systems to avoid monocropping in small farms. We have adopted a Japanese development programme, OVOP as a vehicle used to promote mass production of a particular crop to meet market demand. The crop in promotion is a crop whose market has been identified and the buyer secured in documentation. The CHABUTHI Farmers get capacity in product development in terms of quality, quantity, and CHABUTHI integrity as well as capacity in small business management.

The SK Agricare School participants are graded by the Internal Quality Systems Manager working with Internal Inspector(s) (II) Teams for the purpose of group cohesion. The school purports to develop Internal Inspectors (II’s), Field Officers (FO’s), Buying Officers (BO’s), Documentation Officers (DO’s) and all five portfolios form an approval committee to whom the internal inspectors report. 

SK Agricare are currently promoting the Global Soil Doctor programme, (a United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation programme) at country level in South Africa.

(Ms) Sicelo Kunene has represented SK Agricare in live radio broadcasts on three local radio stations (some recordings) and published a weekly column, on Sustainable Farming Systems in the National Newspaper (ILANGA) from 2015-2018.


The Organic Farmer Development Programme is offered at four levels:

1.      Level One

Addresses practical learner needs for individuals who cannot read or write. Learner material for this sector is in graphics complemented with workshop and mentor sessions

2.      Level two

Offered as on-the-field training and mentorship for farmers who do not want to sit in class for theory, but prefer specific technical assistance on the field, which is supplemented with information and knowledge shared live through a local radio station where S. Kunene has a weekly broadcast on sustainable farming systems

3.      Level three

Addresses learner needs of farmers who can assimilate and internalise isiZulu learner material. We have translated, compiled, and produced the whole book detailing all nine modules in isiZulu

4.      Level four

Addresses English language literate farmers who can assimilate theory and practice content well, and these learners receive SAQA (South African Qualifications Authority) Unit standard-aligned learner material. SK Agricare are a partner in the Global Soil Partnership of the United Nations’ FAO and participate in promoting the Global Soil Doctor programme which also incorporates promotion of International Partnership in Soil Biodiversity (NETSOB). Learners in the programme represent their provinces and districts in complying with guidelines in Sustainable Soil Management


As a Social Enterprise we believe that social factors are important in influencing the way societies organise their resources to cope in health promotion and disease prevention, and as a Consulting Agency in Sustainable Farming Systems and Sustainable Soil Management, we are wary of not undermining cultural norms and values as we engage farmers in the capacity development of sustainable farming systems that is innovative and scientifically aligned. 

While Sustainable Livelihoods are the main goal to be achieved, we emphasise on sustainable triple bottom-line. The service is offered to small scale organic farmers who are empowered with knowledge and skill while also accessing markets on their behalf for their produce. 

SK Agricare were nominated for South African Agricultural Awards in 2023.We are currently offering in-service training to third year students from Owen Sitole Agri-college.

 We are currently trying out Arabica Coffee Cultivation with a few of our farmer beneficiaries who are also receiving capacity development in coffee production and coffee processing. This is done while observing organic principles and hence we refer to them as CHABUTHI Farms (Organic Farms). The CHABUTHI Business Model is our point of reference.


We facilitate access to local and export markets for our beneficiary emerging Agri-preneurs and Agri-Processors. Cultivating own produce inevitably occupies the same space as Agri-processing, because produce that does not meet customer standards or excess produce should not go to waste but will be preserved/ processed. This is, however, a starting point while we gradually develop superior quality produce which will in future be graded for mass production once mechanisation has been acquired.


1.      We are active members of WAVE (Women Adding Value to Economy) Business Forum

2.      IFOAM - Organics International

3.      WOESA (Women in Oil and Energy South Africa)

4.      A Partner in GSP (Global Soil Partnership of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation)

5.      SAOSO (South African Organic Sector Organisation)

Our efforts in remaining current and relevant without missing the global direction in the world order our main intention is to promote goal number two of the Sustainable Development Goals that the world committed to achieving from 2015 - 2030. 

By promoting and supporting small scale farmers by securing sustainable market outlets for their produce, we believe we can contribute to ending hunger by 2030. 

The core of our development model (even though this is only at phase three of the programme) is anchored on reforestation with Pure Plant Oil (PPO) trees, that, in time will produce oil that will be used in renewable energy processes, thereby contributing to sustainable development goal number seven, of affording people easily accessible clean energyThe long-term expectation is to see communities benefiting from carbon credit programmes attained by engaging in carbon sequestration

We have developed a multi-pronged programme focusing on the promotion of:

  1.  One-Village-One-Product (OVOP) to meet product quantities demanded by market agents:                                              OVOP is based on a Japanese Development Model in which small scale farmers with small plots for cultivation are engaged in a network that participate in market-led production. This they do in a staggered cultivation system to ensure product availability at all seasons, ensuring market demanded quantities are met 
  2. Servicing emerging organic farmers via an ambit referred to as CHABUTHI Farms. CHABUTHI is an isiZulu word for Organic. Farmers are empowered with knowledge of orientation in the sustainable farming systems embracing principles of all sustainable farming systems that prioritise care of the people, care of the ecological systems and sustainability of profits to maintain sustainable livelihoods
  3. Re-forestation using pure plant oil trees, and fruit trees, inter-cropped with perennial herbs and seasonal crops following marked-led development approach.
  4. Soil Rehabilitation with focus on soil biodiversity.           Soil biodiversity is promoted and maintained through offering of Sustainable Soil Management (SSM) programmes as detailed in the services page 
  5. Agriprocessing and Food preservation           Capacity Building offers include but are not limited to:
  • Operating a Food Safety Quality Management System
  • Basic Food Safety
  • Fruit and Vegetable Preservation
  • Processing Herbal Food supplement capsules and tinctures
  • Processing Botanical Skin Care Products
  • Soapmaking with organic botanicals from the SK Agricare Model Farm
  • Processing perfume notes from snuff
  • Processing Cosmetic Oils from Calendula

We are identifying and inviting farmers countrywide to participate in one or all our programmes for the benefit of rehabilitating our soils, nurturing our ecosystems, and managing a sustainable triple bottom line for farmer enterprises.