The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform is pleased with the progress made toward the establishment of Agri-Parks in the Western Cape.
Five Agri-hubs and ten Farmer Production Support Units (FPSUs) have been identified in five District Municipalities.
The Agri-Park programme is one of the key interventions of government, as such the Department is fast-tracking the process toward their establishment in all nine provinces.
Farmer Production Support Units and Agri-hubs are key components of Agri-Parks. A total amount of R2bn in the 2016/17 financial year has been allocated toward the establishment of Agri-Parks in all forty-two (44) district municipalities in the country.
Farmer Production Support Units are rural outreach units linked to the Agrihubs.
They comprise of storage facilities, processing for the local market, and extension services including mechanisation.
In the Western Cape Province, the process of identifying sites for the Agrihubs; Farmer Production Support Units, as well as Rural Urban Market Centres, has been rounded off through the Agri-Park Master Business Plan (APMBPs) for each District.
Each Master Business Plan includes the identification of short-term, medium and long-term interventions related to each of the FPSUs. For 2016/17 financial year, two Farmer Production Support Units have prioritised in each District.
At a recent stakeholder consultative meeting, between senior government officials of the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform and all the Executive Mayors of the Districts in the Western Cape Province interventions to ensure continued progress is achieved were discussed and potential challenges were identified.
Mayors present at the meeting included the West Coast District Executive Mayor, Councillor Harold Clophas, Cape Winelands District Executive Mayor, Councillor Neels de Bruyn, Overberg District Executive Mayor, Councillor Lincoln De Bruyn, Central Karoo District Executive Mayor, Councillor Edward Njadu and Eden District Executive Mayor, Councillor Wessie van der Westhuizen. The provincial Department of Agriculture is in partnership with the Department of Rural Development in this Agri-Parks programme. The Department has also welcomed the co-operation and support of the District and Executive mayors, councillors and all stakeholders in the province.
Definition: An Agri-Park (AP) is a networked innovation system of agroproduction, processing, logistics, marketing, training and extension services, located in District Municipalities.
The Agri-Park will comprise of three basic units:
- Farmer Production Support Unit
- Agri-Hub Unit (AH). The AH is a production, equipment hire, processing, packaging, logistics and training (demonstration) unit.
- The Rural-Urban Market Centre Unit (RUMC). The RUMC has three main purposes;
- Linking and contracting rural, urban and international markets through contracts.
- Acts as a holding facility, releasing produce to urban markets based on seasonal trends.
iii. Provides market intelligence and information feedback, to the AH and FPSU, using latest Information and communication technologies.
The Agri-Parks initiative seeks to, among others boost the rural economy, create jobs and ensure food security.
The programme is aimed at supporting small-holder farmers through the provision of capacity building, mentorship, farm infrastructure, extension services, production inputs and mechanisation inputs. In addition to this smallholder farmers will also gain access to markets for their produce.
The table below shows the 2 prioritised FPSUs per district and the location of each Agri-hub site.
|DISTRICT||PRIORITY FPSU 1||PRIORITY FPSU 2
|Haarlem||Oudtshoorn||Deciduous fruit; Flowers, Ostriches|
The department is confident Agri-Parks will play a pivotal role in reducing unemployment in rural areas.