The Northern Cape Provincial Government has invested an additional R6.7 million on farming implements to the Richtersveld Growers farm in the Namakwa District.
The Richtersveld Growers project, which is situated at the banks of the Orange river, is owned by the Richtersveld CPA, who are owners of the irrigation farms; Dunvlei, Beauvallon, Brandkaros, Beesbank and Arriesdrft.
The project produces maize, raisin grapes, almonds, lucern and seed potatoes.
The MEC for Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Rural Development and Land Reform, Mase Manopole visited the Richtersveld Growers farm on Tuesday (18 January 2022) as part of the commitments which were jointly made last year by the Richtersveld CPA, the strategic partners and the Provincial Government.
The MEC also unveiled the production implements for potatoes and assessed the readiness of the raisins harvesting season.
The MEC was accompanied by the Richtersveld Local Municipality Speaker, Ms. Marlene Fredericks and the ward councillor, Ryno Thomas.
The Department has purchased one Potato Planter, two Potato Harvesters and two Potato Trailers, to the value of R3.2 million, for the project.
The Department will further purchase and donate one Maize/Wheat Harvester, one Drying facility for raisins and one Centre Pivot, at an amount of R3.5 million.
Because of the potential and positive signs of growth, the Department has so far invested R8.3 million in to the Project, which will see a total production of 171 hectares of maize, 27 hectares of raisins grapes, 10 hectares of almonds, 89 hectares of lucern and 13 hectares of seed potatoes in few years to come.
Currently, the project has 13 hectares of seed potatoes, 54 hectares of lucern, 121 hectares of maize, and 12 hectares of raisin grapes planted at the Beauvallon farm.
A further 35 hectares of maize is planted at the Dunvlei farm and an extra 15 hectares of raisin grapes, 15 hectares of maize and 35 hectares of lucern in the Brandkaros farm, is under production.
MEC Manopole said the project, has got the potential to become one of the flagship projects in the Namakwa District.
“The project has created more than 60 jobs and has got a potential of creating even more jobs in the next four years or so. I would like to thank the CPA for making sure that they preserve and protect the land which was bought back to the community by government,” said MEC Manopole.
“We have invested a lot of money in to the project with the hope of seeing the livelihood of the people of Richtersveld and surrounding areas being restored and impacted positively. We are happy with the work that has been done by the CPA and strategic partners in making sure that they turn the project in to an economic powerhouse of the province.”
MEC Manopole said she has been engaging with other stakeholders such as the Land Bank and Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) to come to the fore and assist government transforming the sector.
With the floods from the nearby Orange river threatening food security in the area, MEC Manopole said she is working hard to get money to complete the flood wall which will cost more than R500 million.
The CPA representative, Abraham Cloete, said their partnership with strategic partners has seen the project growing from strength to strength.
He said they will require more skill transfer from various stakeholders including the Department in order to make the project grow.
“A lot of jobs have been created already and we are hoping to create more especially seasonal work opportunities.
“The provision of the implements by the Department has assisted us to harvest plant and harvest more hectares of potato seeds which have been sold to commercial farmers,” said Cloete.