President Jacob Zuma will on Tuesday, 11 April 2017 conduct a site visit to the Westonaria Agri-Park as part of revitalising and transforming the agriculture and rural economy.
The Agri-Parks Programme has become the cornerstone of the government’s priority to revitalise agriculture and agro-processing value chain, which is also one of the priorities of the Nine-Point Plan.
The establishment of Agri-Parks in all 44 district municipalities is set to transform the rural economy by amongst others, creating a market and support for small holder farmers, creating employment opportunities for rural communities, infrastructure development and revitalising the agriculture and agro-processing value chain.
The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform has over the last 18 months conducted an assessment of the economic potential of each of the 44 districts in the country. The purpose was to assist government to make informed decisions on which commodities to prioritise in each district.
To ensure their sustainability, government will provide financial and material support for Agri-Parks for a period of ten years, after which farmers in the various districts must assume complete control.
The Agri-Parks are an integral part, and driver, of the Rural Economic Transformation Model, which focuses on the generation and stimulation of both subsistence and commercial enterprises. 70% Equity in the Agri-Parks shall be owned by producers, with the state and other commercial interests anchoring the other 30%. The state’s strategic support will diminish over a period of 10 years with producers taking full control.
Due consideration was given to, amongst others, Government’s Programme of Action, the Medium Term Strategic Framework (2014-2019) and the objectives and the 18 key targets of the National Development Plan (NDP). The NDP’s approach of targeting high value commodities (most of which are labour intensive) to stimulate industrial growth will be accompanied by measures that ensure sustainable production on redistributed land and an improved institutional support system.
Source: The Presidency Republic of South Africa