The GRDM source R1 million for Garden Route Agro-processing Support ProjectCasidra
CAPTION: Representatives from GRDM and the WCG Department of Agriculture with experienced facilitators from Elsenburg during the fact-finding mission.
The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) has been able to source R1 million funding, after a project proposal was submitted for an Agri-processing project. This initiative forms part of the GRDM’s Joint District and Metro Approach (JDMA).
As part of the JDMA approach, a growth and development strategy was developed, which requires specific clusters (groups of experts), to drive projects. This specific project forms part of the Resilient Agriculture Cluster. The funding, which was applied for through the GRDM, was provided by the Western Cape Department of Local Government.
One of the conditions of the grant is for a steering committee to drive the implementation of the project. Key stakeholders of the project include the Department of Agriculture, CASIDRA, Oudtshoorn Municipality, Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA), the Department of Local Government and the GRDM.
A multi-purpose processing unit to support the value chain for indigenous products, such as honeybush, within the Garden Route district will be constructed through the project.
This project is prompted by a dire need for more processing facilities in the region. “Communities that are mostly wild harvesters are dependent on a few processors within the Southern and Eastern Cape for processing of the tea, with no value adding opportunities existing for these communities,” said Natalie Arries, Senior District Economic Development Officer for GRDM. “The project aims to provide one processing facility located on the Nooitgedacht Farm (Oudtshoorn) property which is owned by the GRDM, she added”.
Earlier this year, GRDM and the WCG Department of Agriculture embarked on a fact-finding mission to learn from the experienced facilitators at Elsenburg, and to discuss an implementation approach with the Agricultural Research Council.
The success of the project will ensure that emerging farmers process tea of high quality, which will be exported to local and international markets.