Officials from the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) and Commodity partners met last week to extend their Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) for another three years. This sets the platform for commodity organisations to continue to support new farmers with advice, mentorship, training, inputs, market access, and mutual in-kind contributions.
Agreements were signed with the National Wool Growers Association (NWGA), Deciduous Fruit Producers Trust (DFPT), Vinpro (Wine), South African Table Grape Industry (SATGI), South African Poultry Association (SAPA), Potatoes SA, Raisins SA, and Grain South Africa.
Commenting on the signing of the MOUs, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture Ivan Meyer said that the WCDoA recognises strategic partnerships as the key to addressing the agricultural sector’s complex challenges.
Meyer: “The Department has developed strategic partnerships over several years. These partnerships complement our work and enhance the impact of our service delivery initiatives. One such initiative is the Commodity Approach, which, over the past decade, has contributed significantly to the success of our commercialisation programme.
According to Dr Mogale Sebopetsa, Head of the Department of the WCDoA, the partnership with commodity organisations aims to promote capacity building, mentorship, market access and resource mobilisation.
Sebopetsa: “The Commodities also have the liberty to participate in the Commodity Project Allocation Committees (CPACs), which are crucial in the appraisal of farmer applications processed and oversight thereof. With the commodity approach, the Department can augment its resources by leveraging the industry’s expertise and financial resources, thus improving our service delivery to the farmers. The WCDoA will also sign with the Citrus Growers Association, South Africa Pork Producer Organisation (or SAPPO), Ruminants (Red Meat Producers), and Berries SA.”
Meyer: “I am encouraged to see how keen the partners were to renew their commitment to collaborating with the Department. I am also excited to welcome our new partners, Raisins SA and Berries SA. They have also seen the value of such partnerships and are keen to walk the journey with the Department.”
Partners acknowledged the value of the commodity approach in advancing the transformation agenda and support of the producers towards commercialisation.
One such partner, Mariette Kotzé, Group Operations Manager, Hortgro, said, “This partnership has been around since 2011. The impact has been immeasurable. It is about making a difference out there. But, it’s also about creating an enabling environment for our growers.”
Rico Basson, Vinpro, “We believe our industry has enormous potential. The WCDoA has no equal in the country. We have a reliable partner in the Province.”
“The MOUs solidify our joint commitment to transform the agricultural sector, grow the economy and create jobs through the Commodity Approach,” concluded Meyer.