ADVERTORIAL

Public Sector Manager - - Conversations With Leaders -

THE AGRI-PARKS PRO­GRAMME

The es­tab­lish­ment of Agri-Parks in all 44 district mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties in South Africa is set to trans­form the ru­ral econ­omy by cre­at­ing em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties, in­fra­struc­ture devel­op­ment and re­vi­tal­is­ing the agri­cul­ture and agro-pro­cess­ing value chain.

It is im­por­tant to note that the agri­cul­tural in­dus­try in gen­eral has re­sponded pos­i­tively to the devel­op­ment of Agri-Parks and the depart­ment is work­ing closely with var­i­ous stake­hold­ers in this sec­tor.

At present a num­ber of key pro­cesses are be­ing fi­nalised, in­clud­ing busi­ness plans based on sound fea­si­bil­ity stud­ies that have been com­pleted in some cases, while others are be­ing re­vised and fi­nalised. Agri-Parks will serve as im­por­tant ve­hi­cles to take for­ward the Na­tional Devel­op­ment Plan’s strat­egy for ru­ral devel­op­ment, by sup­port­ing small-scale agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion and stim­u­lat­ing agro-pro­cess­ing in ru­ral ar­eas. They are a strate­gic in­ter­ven­tion that will kick start Ru­ral Eco­nomic Trans­for­ma­tion and en­cour­age growth of the small­holder farmer sec­tor in the ar­eas that have seen slow growth due to lack of re­sources, in­clud­ing mar­kets for the sale of pro­duce, live­stock, skills and in­fra­struc­ture.

THREE ARE OP­ER­A­TIONAL AL­READY:

These are: Ncora Agri-Park in the East­ern Cape, Spring­bok­pan in the North West and the We­stonaria Agri-Park in the West Rand. There are cur­rently 11 agri-hubs in the 44 dis­tricts where con­struc­tion is tak­ing place. These in­clude:

• In But­ter­worth an abat­toir is un­der con­struc­tion. Farm­ers in the sur­round­ing ar­eas are be­ing mo­bilised to sup­ply red meat to the abat­toir.

• In Ncora fenc­ing and ir­ri­ga­tion in­fra­struc­ture has been con­structed and two dairies are op­er­a­tional. The milk­ing par­lor on av­er­age milks 1 800 cows twice daily at each di­ary. In ad­di­tion, the farm­ers have mo­bilised fund­ing from the

Jobs Fund for the silo, mill and stor­age fa­cil­i­ties. The re­tail out­let for milk is also be­ing es­tab­lished and the next phase of pro­cess­ing will com­mence in the 2017/18 fi­nan­cial year. The projects at Ncora sup­port 10 pri­mary and one sec­ondary co­op­er­a­tive. Each pri­mary co­op­er­a­tive con­sists on av­er­age of 100 farm­ers.

• In Thaba Nchu the abat­toir has been up­graded, the ac­cess road has been re-grav­elled and the boundary fenc­ing has been com­pleted.

• The Spring­fontein agri-hub in the Xhariep district is be­ing de­vel­oped and the fenc­ing and wa­ter con­nec­tions have been com­pleted. The depart­ment is work­ing with the Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­men­tal Af­fairs, the district and the Free State gov­ern­ment on the es­tab­lish­ment of a game abat­toir in the agri-hub in the com­ing year.

• The We­stonaria fa­cil­ity in­cludes state of the art ver­ti­cal hy­dro­ponic tun­nels, as well as a pack house and train­ing fa­cil­ity amongst other sup­port­ing in­fra­struc­ture. There is cur­rently one en­ter­prise and one co­op­er­a­tive farm­ing in the 20 avail­able tun­nels on the site. The co­op­er­a­tive com­prises of peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties. The depart­ment will mo­bilise an­other 300 farm­ers in the area in the com­ing fi­nan­cial year.

• In Bush­buck­ridge, a pack house and cold stor­age fa­cil­ity will be­come fully op­er­a­tional in the 2017/18 fi­nan­cial year to sup­port 2 000 farm­ers that are pro­duc­ing in the area.

• In Dr JS Moroka mu­nic­i­pal­ity, within the Nkan­gala District Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, a fresh pro­duce mar­ket is com­plete and the fa­cil­ity will be­come fully op­er­a­tional in the 2017/18 fi­nan­cial year. Fresh pro­duce to the fresh pro­duce mar­ket will be sup­plied by 1150 farm­ers.

• In the Capri­corn agri-hub the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment has

THE DEPART­MENT’S PRO­GRAMMES AND PLANS THAT ARE IN LINE

WITH SOLV­ING SOUTH AFRICA’S TRIPLE CHAL­LENGES OF POVERTY, UNEM­PLOY­MENT AND IN­EQUAL­ITY

com­pleted the Ralet­jena pack house and dryer for a black farmer. This pro­cess­ing and pack­ag­ing fa­cil­ity sees the es­tab­lish­ment of one of our first “black in­dus­tri­al­ists” as a re­sult of the Agri-Parks pro­gramme.

• The Nwanedi pack house is un­der con­struc­tion and upon com­ple­tion in the cur­rent fi­nan­cial year, it will pro­vide sup­port to 150 farm­ers.

• In Ceres we have com­pleted the up­grade of the roads and elec­tric­ity sup­ply. We have also re­cently pur­chased an abat­toir, which will as­sist the sur­round­ing farm­ers with value ad­di­tion and mar­ket ac­cess.

• In Spring­bok­pan 3 950 ha of sun­flower and maize were har­vested and taken to the si­los. To date 249 jobs have been cre­ated and 61 farm­ers have been sup­ported in the area.

Pol­icy Frame­work on Strength­en­ing of Rel­a­tive Rights (SRR) of Peo­ple Work­ing the Land, com­monly known as the 50/50 pol­icy

IM­PROVED FOOD SE­CU­RITY

The Strength­en­ing of Rel­a­tive Rights of Peo­ple Work­ing the Land is one ex­cit­ing ex­am­ple of in­clu­sive agri­cul­tural devel­op­ment: the state pur­chases a stake in the agri­cul­tural en­ter­prise on be­half of the farm­work­ers re­sid­ing and work­ing on the farm. The work­ers and the former em­ployer (farmer) be­come equal part­ners in the farm­ing en­ter­prise.

In 2015 the pi­lot­ing of the ini­tia­tive was an­nounced dur­ing the State of the Na­tion Ad­dress by the State Pres­i­dent who called for the pi­lot­ing of 50 projects by 2019. The depart­ment signed a Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing with the Na­tional Em­pow­er­ment Fund to be­come the im­ple­ment­ing agent for the pro­gramme. To date:

• 91 project pro­pos­als have been re­ceived

• 5 were de­clined/with­drawn

• 86 pro­pos­als are at dif­fer­ent stages of im­ple­men­ta­tion; and

18 pri­ori­tised for im­ple­men­ta­tion by NEF in 2017/18

• 20 projects have been ap­proved of which 15 have been

im­ple­mented and trans­ferred

• Of the 15 farms trans­ferred, four farms were trans­ferred in the

year end­ing March 2016 to the state and these are in: I. East­ern Cape (Bir­bury farm)

II. Free State (Oat­lands, Di­a­mond and Kalkput farms) amount­ing to just over 2 600 hectares at the cost of R36-mil­lion

PROGRESS TO DATE:

In the fi­nan­cial year 2016/2017, 10 of the 15 com­mer­cial farms have been trans­ferred to:

• East­ern Cape (Klein Mon­den Rivier)

• KWAZULU-NA­TAL (West­cliff, Paard Fon­tein and Hoghton),

Lim­popo (Dabchick)

• North West (Stars Away – Twee­fontein 58, Wil­low­park 41,

Oliven­bult 61 and Stinkhout­boom 43)

• Western Cape (Solms Delta and 803 Worces­ter) amount­ing to

over 8 252 hectares at the value of R56 mil­lion.

• Gaut­eng: In the fi­nan­cial year 2017/2018, one farm trans­ferred in (Marolien), amount­ing to R31 mil­lion – ben­e­fit­ing 105 ben­e­fi­cia­ries at 65 hectares.

There are 606 farm work­ers that have ben­e­fited from these ac­qui­si­tions on 11 303 hectares at a cost of R325 mil­lion.

The ac­qui­si­tion of eq­uity by farm work­ers must be seen to be a fun­da­men­tal game changer in the agri­cul­tural sec­tor. It in­tro­duces co-man­age­ment of the farm based on rel­a­tive eq­uity hold­ings and the ca­pac­ity of each par­tic­i­pant in pro­duc­tion and man­age­ment of the agri­cul­tural en­ter­prise.

This ini­tia­tive con­trib­utes to­wards gov­ern­ment’s ef­forts at re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion and trans­for­ma­tion of the ru­ral econ­omy through the so­cial and eco­nomic em­pow­er­ment of farm work­ers and com­mu­ni­ties. As a con­se­quence of this pro­gramme, farm work­ers and dwellers will no longer have rea­son to fear the spec­tre of evic­tions be­cause land ten­ure will have been se­cured.

The One House­hold One Hectare (1HH1HA) Projects Sum­mary Small­holder farmer devel­op­ment and sup­port (tech­ni­cal, fi­nan­cial, in­fra­struc­ture) for agrar­ian trans­for­ma­tion.

The depart­ment ini­ti­ated a land devel­op­ment pro­gramme called One House­hold One Hectare in the year 2015 tar­get­ing state-owned farms, pro-ac­tive land ac­qui­si­tion (LAS) farms and com­mu­nal land with the pur­pose of cre­at­ing ru­ral small­holder pro­duc­ers at house­hold level to en­sure food se­cu­rity, re­duce poverty, sus­tain­able em­ploy­ment, broaden the skills base and to sup­port the Agri-Parks pro­gramme.

Cur­rently, the depart­ment has granted ap­proval for the 158 sites ben­e­fit­ing 5 734 house­holds across the coun­try and the min­is­ter launched six sites: three in East­ern Cape, one in KWAZULU-NA­TAL and two in Mpumalanga, at the value of R30.4 mil­lion, ben­e­fit­ting 689 house­holds: four­teen in Go­rah, 221 in Kruger­post, 373 in Man­tusini, 18 in West­wood, 41 in KwaMasha­bal­ane and 22 in Lib­haba CPA.

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