Att:  ALL EDITORS All Journalists
All Media Houses
Date: Tuesday, 07 February 2023


A total of eight small scale farmers in the North West Province have recently received a stamp of approval from the South African Good Agricultural Practice Programme (SA GAP) after completing the twelve (12) months programme. The SA GAP programme’s main objective is to assist 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. During the twelve month training programme, th ese smallholder producers were amongst others empowered with efficient farm management practices, received training to comply with legislation on food safety, environmental protection and animal and workers’ welfare, assisted in mobilising the financial me ans for realising necessary infrastructural and other related investments in the agricultural value chain. The certification programme ensures health and safety to consumers and helps producers to gain gradual recognition and acceptance from mainstrea m commercial markets. One of the beneficiaries of this programme is the thirty year old (30) Kelebohile Matsose from a small farming town of Makwassie near Wolmaransstad which is in the Dr Kenneth Kaunda District Municipality. In their farm, together with her family, they do mixed farming. They keep livestock, plant maize, sunflower and various vegetables. But Kelebogile’s priority is production of chia seeds and tea made from Chia plants. Her passion and dedication to her craft saw her being selected to be part of the South African Good Agricultural
Practice Certification Programme (SA GAP) in the year 2022. As an intervention and through the SA GAP programme, the Department has assisted Kelebohile Matsose with a package of marine container (12m) equi pped with steel sinks, tables and shelves. She has received a mobile cold room from the Department, harvesting crates and packaging/processing equipment. Since then, Kelebohile has never looked back. Currently she has three permanent workers and five (5) seasonal workers. Kelebohile has expressed her appreciation to what the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has done for her. “I am grateful for what the Department has done for me. Through this SA GAP I have learned a lot about farm mana gement, data recording, traceability of products, financial management, food safety and handling and a whole lot of other stuff in this business,” said Kelebohile.
Her dream is to see herself dominating the sector particularly with her organic tea, having a tea producing plant,
supplying the international market. As the country is experiencing a lot of unemployment, she is working hard to expand her enterprise so she will be able to hire more people in the next five (5) years. For the producer to be considered for participation in the certification programme, the following basic conditions should be met i.e the producer must understand the need, requirements and advantages of being certified; be fully committed to participate in the programme; be willing to implement the recommendations from the auditors; be in production and utilise available production facilities to their utmost best (if the produce produced is out of season.
The producer must be willing to continue with production in the new production season/cycle), have access to irrigation water, land and other basic production infrastructure, have production infrastructure which is in reasonably good condition (i.e. the programme is not designed for dilapidated business entities). For more information on SA GAP Programme, farmers can liaise with Extension Officers or visit the Local Agricultural Offices in their area or District Offices.

Issued by:
Communication Services Directorate
Enquiries: Ms Emelda Setlhako
018 389 5684 / Cell: 060 745 4020
Twitter: @nwpg _dard

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