Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow, 2022-23
- Home country: South Africa
- Specialization: Agriculture and Rural Development; Agribusiness economics and value chains; Inclusive agri-food industries and financing for small-holder farmers
- Current role: Agribusiness development officer, Agroville Farming Ltd
- Education: MSC Agribusiness, University of Melbourne
- Connect: mrm377 [at] cornell.edu (Email) | LinkedIn
Meselane Molepo is a farm manager and agribusiness development officer at Agroville Farming Ltd in South Africa. His role is two-fold, first as a farm manager responsible to ensure that the company meets its strategic objectives of long-term profitability and sustainability. And through his contributions, the company has become one of South Africa’s largest black-owned potato producer, which is a real land reform success story. Secondly, he manages the company’s CSR initiative as agribusiness development officer where he identifies and develop subsistence and small-holder farmers to meaningfully participate in the mainstream economy. He develops business cases, financial forecasting, access to both credit and markets and conduct accredited agricultural training related to financial management, marketing, budgeting and succession planning. Through this CSR initiative, numerous success stories have been reported where farmers are profitable, bankable and with secured market contracts to large retailers in South Africa. Meselane is an agricultural economist by training with a master’s degree in Agribusiness from the University of Melbourne, Australia, a certificate in entrepreneurship from King’s College London, UK, and an accredited facilitator and assessor of agricultural training. With over ten years of industry experience, Meselane worked as an economist at Department of Agriculture (DoA) and as a marketing specialist at the Agricultural Research Council (ARC). He is a member of the Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA), volunteer at Youth in Agriculture and Rural Development (YARD) and often gets invited to attend and/or present at industry related conferences, symposiums, or information days.