Jun 27, 2008
R24m packhouse seen as crucial to formalisation of emerging KZN farmersBack
Agriculture|Construction|DURBAN|Natal|Africa|Development Bank Of Southern Africa|DGS Contractors|Eskom|Gijima KwaZulu-Natal Fund|PROJECT|Africa|South Africa|Food Secur|Services|Hibiscus Coast|South Coast|Department Of Agriculture|Eskom Foundation|European Union|Thamsanqa Khwela|Traditional Authorities|Hibiscus Coast|Ugu|Composting
© Reuse this The Ugu district municipality, on KwaZulu-Natal’s South Coast, is establishing a R24-million packhouse and processing unit to add value to emerging farmers’ produce and help merge them into the mainstream economy.
The area, which comprises six local municipalities, has been given a budget to construct earthworks, bulk services, a whole- salers’ complex, retailer cubicles, a taxi rank, ripening and cold storage rooms, a composting plant, offices, ablution facilities and a training centre.
The market is the first of its kind in South Africa to develop, package and implement such an integrated business model.
Construction on the packhouse started a month ago. It is expected to be completed by the end of August and to be commissioned by October. The cold storage facilities are already fully functional.
Ugu Fresh Market marketing manager Thamsanqa Khwela says that fresh fruit and vegetables will be washed, sorted, graded and packed according to customer needs, helping emerging farmers compete with commercial growers. The agriprocessing plant will be operated as a value recovery facility.
“This means that produce that is not suitable to be sold fresh on the floor in terms of market standards will be considered for processing,” he says. “Emerging farmers will, therefore, still be paid for all the effort they put into growing the produce, thus helping to alleviate poverty and to address some of the food secur- ity issues.”
The project has been funded by various parties, including the Department of Agriculture (R8-million), the Ugu district municipality (R6-million), the Eskom Foundation (R5-mil- lion), the European Union-funded Gijima KwaZulu-Natal Fund (R2,9-million) and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA, R840 000). In addition, the Hibiscus Coast municipality has donated a plot of land valued at a R2,7-million and the DBSA has granted a soft loan of R5-million.
The Ugu district municipality council has committed a further R9,5-million over the next five years to ensure the market’s sustainability.
“Further funds are available from the Land Redistribution for Agricultural Development Programme, the Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme, the Local Economic Development Programme and Gijima,” says Khwela.
“Other funding has been secured and more will be sought to fund the development of the supply base, the on-site activities and the downstream trading opportunities that the Ugu agricultural market will kick-start.”
Negotiations are under way to secure the second tranche of funding for the establishment of the agriprocessing plant, together with collection depots at strategic points.
Farmers in the largely rural area will be mentored in a coordinated effort between the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Land Affairs and the House of Traditional Authorities.
“The Ugu district municipality has also secured the services of two highly reputable agents who are among the biggest in South Africa and who also have vast experience in the marketing and distribution of fresh produce,” says Khwela. “This was done because we strongly believe that, for a project of this nature to [achieve] its objective, it has to be able to create a demand for produce. This, we believe, is only possible through coalitions and partnerships of this nature.”
Khwela says an intensive survey has been conducted as part of the business plan review.
“One of its key specific aims was to establish the entire status quo in terms of fresh produce that is turned over within our own district and surrounding towns. The rationale behind choosing a wider marketing area was that we want to position the market as a regional facility, as opposed to just a district project.”
As a result, the survey did not only cover chain stores but also bed-and-breakfast facilities, hotels, informal traders, green grocers, wholesalers, mini markets and spec buyers.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other News This Week News
Updated 1 hour 32 minutes ago The retail price of 95-grade petrol in South Africa will drop by 45 cents or 3.3 percent a liter from next Wednesday, while wholesale diesel will decrease by 4.9 percent, the government said on Friday. Petrol will cost 13.16 rand ($1.20) a liter while the wholesale...
Updated 1 hour 47 minutes ago Special purpose vehicle GreenCape will, by the end of 2014, make an application to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Western Cape provincial government and the City of Cape Town to declare Atlantis, on the Western seaboard, a special economic zone...
Updated 2 hours 17 minutes ago The German government has committed a further R70-million towards the second phase of the Non-Motorised Transport (NMT) programme. The NMT programme forms part of the Department of Environmental Affairs’ 2010 FIFA World Cup National Greening Legacy Programme.
Recent Research Reports
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
This Week's Magazine
In the next 20 years, it was expected that, in Africa, more people would live in cities and towns than in rural areas, United Nations Habitat executive director Dr Aisa Kirabo Kacyira said at the Human Settlements Indaba that took place earlier this month in...
Tough-talking Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has committed government to building 1.5-million low-cost houses over the next five years, telling the Human Settlements Indaba in Johannesburg on Wednesday that the State would achieve this target through the...
Over the past 20 years there has been persistent concern about deindustrialisation in South Africa, as well as the fact that locally produced manufactured products have been increasingly displaced by imports.
Financial agreement for Ghanian independent power producer (IPP) Cenpower Generation Company’s $900-million, 350 MW combined-cycle gas-turbine power plant was finalised earlier this month, paving the way for the project’s construction to begin before 2015 in Tema,...
The revenue implications for South Africa of ‘base erosion and profit shifting’ by corporate taxpayers are firmly in the crosshairs of the Davis Tax Committee (DTC) and Judge Dennis Davis hinted last week that recommendations were being considered to “detect and...