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OVERVIEW District Municipality, is looking for investors to further develop an agri-processing hub near the King Shaka International Airport and Dube TradePort. KwaZulu-Natal has two colleges offering higher qualifications in agriculture, Cedara in the Midlands and the Owen Sitole College of Agriculture near Empangeni.

Plans to grow Five co-operatives in the Mzimkhulu area have received R34-million to help them plant and work soya beans on 1 500ha. The money was made available by the Masisizane Fund and the KZN Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. There are plans to double the size of the land to be planted. Masisizane has an agribusiness development unit that not only loans money to small farmers but also provides research and sets up agricultural clusters so that farmers, processors and traders can benefit from being in proximity to one another. The national Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR) has launched an Agri-parks programme to support small-scale farmers and to boost other businesses related to agriculture such as abattoirs and transport operators. KwaZulu-Natal is one of four provinces where pilot projects have been carried out. The plan is to have an agri-park in each of South Africa’s 44 district municipalities with ownership vesting at least 70% with farmers.

There are three components to the fully realised agri-park concept: The Farmer Production Support Unit: links farmers with markets, collection and short-term storage, local processing, mechanisation • The Agri-hub: equipment hire, processing, packaging, logistics, training • The Rural Urban Market Centre: contract-based links to local and international markets, long-term storage, market intelligence. The Kwa-Zulu-Natal Provincial Government allocated R1.2-billion to its Agri-villages programme in 2016/17 which has resulted in some investment into previously ignored areas. Good news on the land claims front came in the form of a 50/50 voluntary land share programme between the Muden community and the local farmer. Delays in the implementation of the Upgrade of Land Tenure Programme have been the cause of some frustration. Without title deeds it is very difficult, if not impossible, to get loans, and without loans it is very difficult for farmers to buy the sort of machinery or storage facilities that would allow them to expand and enter the formal economy. A KwaZulu-Natal Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (KDARD) initiative to help small farmers become commercial farmers has 3 483 participants and 122 communal estates have been registered as legal entities. Another upliftment project will see R14-million spent on assisting five small-grower collectives to become effective sugar-cane farmers at Qoloqolo (uMzumbe Local Municipality). Massmart, the retail group that has been bought by US giant Walmart, will invest R15-million to 2017 in creating opportunities in its food chain for emerging farmers. TechnoServe, a non-governmental organisation, will oversee the programme. The Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Willies Mchunu, has committed his government to Operation Vula which aims to create economic opportunities for social enterprises and co-operatives, led by African people in particular. They are to benefit from state-led infrastructure programmes, as well as from the buying power of the state through the supply chain. •

CONTACT INFO Coastal Farmers Co-operative: Fresh Produce Exporters Forum: KwaZulu-Natal Agricultural Union: KwaZulu-Natal Department of Agriculture and Rural Development: Milk Producers Organisation: National Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries: Royal Agricultural Society of Natal: TWK:



KwaZulu-Natal Business 2017/18  

KwaZulu-Natal Business 2016/17 is the eighth edition of this highly successful publication that has since its launch in 2007 established its...

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