Category: <span>Wesgro</span>

15 March 2022 Media Release: Growth And Development Of The Agricultural Sector In The Garden Route

Media Release: Growth And Development Of The Agricultural Sector In The Garden Route

15 March 2022
For immediate release

Clyde Lamberts from the Western Cape Department of Agriculture was invited to speak at the first Garden Route Skills Mecca (GRSM) Forum of 2022 and his focus was on the growth and development strategy of the department for the Garden Route. He opened his comprehensive presentation with the following quote by Allan Savory:

“Agriculture is not crop production as popular belief holds – it’s the production of food and fiber from the world’s land and waters. Without agriculture, it is impossible to have a city, stock market, banks, university, church or army. Agriculture is the foundation of civilization and any stable economy”.  

To put this quote into perspective, Lamberts shared one of the Department’s recent success stories: A farm in Herald was in a dilapidated state due to a lack of interest in purposing the land. A businessman who was passionate about farming bought it, and spent the next five (5) years turning it into a viable business that now produces honeybush and proteas. He is the first black commercial farmer to produce honeybush in the Southern Cape. It is because the Department assisted him that his business was able to create sixteen (16) permanent jobs, with opportunities for an additional twenty (20) seasonal workers.

Before this, in Waboomskraal, the Department assisted another farmer, who became the first black farmer in the area to produce proteas and hops.

Lamberts noted: “When all spheres of government work together in an integrated fashion, these are the type of results we will see”. 

Lamberts listed the activities and services the Department provides to farmers and all other stakeholders as the following:

  • Independent agricultural advice and information
  • Supporting Livestock farmers – Development program. Livestock Forum
  • Performance testing/annual evaluation/ID limitations and opportunities
  • Investigating and implementing new hardy breeds and crossbreeding
  • Investigations in lowering inset cost through conservation agriculture – cover crops
  • Investigations into pasture species for marginal lands
  • Crop production advice and information
  • Niche crops/markets
  • Training

The type of training that is provided includes evidence-based and practice-based farmers’ capacity building. This is done through farmers’ days, demonstrations, peer-to-peer learning, and face-to-face interactions. Since 2018, the department trained 820 beneficiaries and this ranged from vegetable training to farm implement operation training.

The Department has a memorandum of understanding with GRDM and vacant land has been identified that the municipality owns which is conducive for agricultural development opportunities. The Department is researching the potential of commodity processing facilities in the Garden Route, which will be a source of immediate job creation – a game-changer for job creation in the region.

The Department furthermore envisions the building of Agri-Business Platforms for clients where potential products can be processed ready for consumption. Through Conservation/Regenerative agriculture, farmers are encouraged to rehabilitate and look after their own soil to turn it into organic matter that fertilizes with very few chemicals. Trials on livestock projects have yielded very positive results to date, and the global view is that going regenerative holds many financial and ecological benefits.

Agritourism needs to be promoted as it holds several untapped opportunities for the tourism sector. There is a need to compile tour packages to visit farms and processing facilities for both local and international tourism. The Roads Department has a role to play as well, as it must ensure easy access through regular road maintenance and upgrades.

The Department is in the process of revisiting mechanization which would allow for a central point that offers services such as ploughing, for example, as well as repair and maintenance services on farm implements.

Lamberts concluded his presentation by saying that we can be very proud of our district and that the Department is very excited to continue its work in the area.

Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) has entered into a collaborative strategic partnership with Wesgro to promote tourism,  investment and trade across various areas and economic sectors

17 February 2022 Media Release: Wesgro enters into a contract with Garden Route District Municipality to drive economic growth

Media Release: Wesgro enters into a contract with Garden Route District Municipality to drive economic growth

17 February 2022
For immediate release

The Western Cape Tourism, Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Wesgro) recently entered into a three-year partnership agreement with Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) to accelerate the region’s economic growth, investment, trade and tourism. Clear targets and deliverables are set out in this agreement.

According to Lusanda Menze, GRDM Executive Manager for Planning and Economic Development, “Wesgro has committed to attracting local and international investors and will use the GRDM investment prospectus to do this”.

“They are, amongst others, required to develop a database of businesses per strategic sector, a list of local and international stakeholders, potential investors they engaged and provide a report of the potential leads they generated,” he said.

Speaker of GRDM, Ald. Georlene Wolmarans signs the partnership agreement
Speaker of GRDM, Ald. Georlene Wolmarans signs the partnership agreement, with her is Yaw Peprah, Wesgro Chief Business Officer.

The agreement also states that one-on-one mentorship of 30 companies across the region has to happen. Exporters in the Garden Route shall be given practical guidance on how to implement business processes to become export-ready. Targeted export promotion of Garden Route companies to international clients is also required at international trade exhibitions where companies will be matched to potential buyers, distributors and importers.

The final part of the agreement will require Wesgro to promote tourism promotion by creating awareness of attractions, properties and itineraries in the Garden Route. Fifteen (15) participants from the travel and trade media companies from Gauteng and Western Cape will be invited to the Garden Route to place a spotlight on the region’s domestic leisure market. The focus will be primarily family- and budget-friendly activities and accommodation such as caravanning, mountain biking, watersports, high-adrenalin and nature-based tourism.

Feature image: Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) has entered into a collaborative strategic partnership with Wesgro to promote tourism,  investment and trade across various areas and economic sectors. Pictured (fltr): Joshua Palm (Wesgro Assistant Export Manager), Towfiq Hendricks (Wesgro Head of Investment Promotion), Germaine Habiyaremye (Wesgro Administrator: Agribusiness Investment Unit), Sibylle Pfeiffer (Wesgro District Portfolio Manager), Yaw Peprah (Wesgro Chief Business Officer), Ald. Georlene Wolmarans (GRDM Speaker), Melanie Wilson (GRDM Manager: Economic Development and Tourism), Lusanda Menze (GRDM Executive Manager: Planning and Economic Development) and Passmore Dongi (GRDM Manager: Projects, properties, facilities and resort management).