Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development at Work

Agri-parks, a saving grace for black land reform farmers

On a mission to kick start rural economic transformation in an industry that has seen slow growth, the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has rolled-out the Agri-park programme, an incubator for smallholder farmers within the Gauteng region.

702’s Joanne Josephs sits down with GDARD’s Charles Manyaga and Tediso Malepo to talk about the concerted effort that is being made to ensure that emerging black farmers flourish in an oligopolistic market.

The idea was to assist emerging farmers who couldn’t access market because of the small volume that they produce, as well as the distance from their farms to the bigger market.

Charles Manyaga, Scientific Manager of research and Agri-parks

To facilitate farmers in need of assistance – which includes community garden, land reform and smallholder farmers mainly in peri-urban areas, the Department identified an area within their vicinity where they would be able to aggregate production and get their product to market.

In addition to this, the Department has provided the farmers with pack house facilities, fitted with machinery and equipment, vastly contributing to their operational efficiency and economies of scale.

You need to look at it from a business perspective… and, as a way of incubating these smallholder farmers so that they go to the next level.

Tediso Malepo, Director of agricultural, economics and marketing division

Watch Joanne Joseph in conversation with Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development's Charles Manyaga and Tediso Malepo.

Since its establishment, 14 agric-enterprises operatives has seen a creation of 120 direct and indirect jobs, a total of 98 beneficiaries comprised of mostly women and, continues to make significant in-roads within the agro-processing industry of South Africa.


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