Trading Up and Rural Agro Industrialization Project Project
Partner name: Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative – South Africa–Eastern Cape Development Corporation
Project name: Trading Up and Rural Agro Industrialization Project
Funding round: CFP 1
Funding: Jobs Fund grant R72 766 000
Matched Funding R18 192 000
Window: Enterprise development
Location: East London, Eastern Cape
Partners: Agricultural Research Council, Industrial Development Corporation and Masisizane Fund
Problem statement:
About 4 million people in the Eastern Cape’s rural areas do not have access to jobs related to large commercial operations because these farming communities live far away from production industries. These communities face a number of challenges, including substantial transport costs to access markets, limited access to value-adding services, poor access to inputs and a general lack of infrastructure.
The Agricultural Research Council, the Industrial Development Corporation, the Masisizane Fund and the provincial government of the Eastern Cape (Eastern Cape Rural Development Agency and the Eastern Cape Development Corporation) have partnered to establish an agro-processing and group marketing project to support emerging local farming communities to become commercial enterprises. Through the project, beneficiaries receive technical expertise in the form of training, mentorship and access to finance.
The project aims to boost the competitiveness of communities by linking production, processing and group marketing. The communities benefit through access to products, services and opportunities. The project will improve skills in communities by providing training in general farming methods and agro-processing. It will also help set up the primary production of crops/livestock, develop agro-processing sites and provide market support to ensure the offtake of product. The project achieves compact product value, made possible through physical trading posts that house micro mills and other value-adding operations. The addition of agro-processing in the area means that the crops produced increase in value before leaving the community. The result is that the money is kept “alive” within a community for as long as possible, benefiting as many members as possible before it leaves. Jobs are created through primary crop production and agro-processing (milling, storage and cattle handling).
Expected results:
New permanent jobs 629
New short-term jobs 120
Time-bound internships completed 8
Training completed 720