Mahikeng – Constrained and limited access to markets particularly for smallholder farmers is one of the key barriers to the province’s attempts of accelerating agriculture sector growth.
In order to address this, MEC Desbo Mohono on Thursday, 25 May 2023 at the Provincial Legislature, said her Department is working tirelessly to make sure that farmers have access to the markets.
“With the solemn intent of creating a platform to link smallholder farmers to the market and to showcase their produce to open market opportunities, the Department took it upon itself to collaborate with the hospitality industry and mining houses to expose our farmers to the possible market. I am committed to engage both industries in pursuit of market access for the benefit of farmers in the North-West,” said MEC Mohono during her budget vote address.
She also announced that the Mining Development Agency (MDA) is partnering with the Department to develop communities by training farmers in much needed and relevant skills and through this partnership. Sibanye mine funded the construction of an Agri-Hub through the MDA in Marikana near Rustenburg and is also developing and training farmers in the Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District.
During the previous financial year, the Department in collaboration with the Perishable Product Export Control Board (PPECB), implemented the South African Good Agricultural Practice (SAGAP) certification program. This program is intended at assisting smallholder producers to access both local and international markets by producing good quality products that comply with food safety and quality standards as required by the market.
The certification program ensures health and safety to consumers and helps producers to gain gradual recognition and acceptance from mainstream commercial markets. Since the inception of this programme, fifteen (15) vegetable producers have been awarded compliance certificates, seven (7) in 2021/22 and eight (8) during the financial year 2022/23. The Department will this year enroll six more smallholder farmers to the South African Good Agricultural Practice (SA-GAP) Program.
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Issued by the Communication Services Directorate
Enquiries: Ms Emelda Setlhako
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