SMP-19059 | Rapid water availability assessment for irrigated farming in KwaZulu-Natal

Bert van ReesMissie D, Project, SMP-projecten, South Africa

Project title: Rapid water availability assessment for irrigated farming in KwaZulu-Natal
Project number: SMP-19059
Requesting country: South Africa
Year: 2019
Budget: € 40,000
Project leader: Jochen Froebrich
Knowledge institute: Wageningen University & Research
Project partners: Royal Eijkelkamp, Kucheza, Meet Mekaar

Strengthening agripreneurship is key for the sustainable development in rural areas in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The food security and economic empowerment of the Zulus is weak. There is a need to foster the raise of emerging farmers, where farming is actually perceived as business. Until now an adequate vocational training that include key aspects such as ongoing innovation, networking, identification of business opportunities and cooperation for faster innovation and stronger marketing is completely absent. King Goodwill demands hence the establishment of the KwaZulu-Natal innovation cooperative in Banghoek as a nucleus for training of agripreneurs. He has invited the NL-Food Security Alliance (NL_FSA) to enable an exchange of Dutch expertise in agribusiness innovation and technology that will enhance the farming productivity, livelihoods and employment for the Zulu’s.

The NL-FSA is creating a joint partnership with a trust of the local community that have the land rights in a public-private-partnership cooperation. The task of the NL-FSA members is to provide expertise (capacity building, etc.) and technology (monitoring equipment, irrigation equipment, etc.). The trust is to provide labour and land. The KwaZulu-Natal Innovation Cooperative will be an innovative combination of four distinct modules:

  • the commercial production unit that will produce on an area of 300 ha irrigated tree crops to sustain the basic financing of the center
  • the experience center that facilitates an ongoing demonstration of latest technology adapted to the local needs
  • the vocational agripreneurship training that enables the actual training-on-the job and
  • the agribusiness incubator as an networking facility to exchange the collaboration between agribusiness parties who are looking for new products and sourcing opportunities in the field of innovative circular agriculture, and the graduated agripreneurs as local high capacity partners.

The strong involvement of Dutch Food security alliance members within the establishment of the KwaZulu-Natal Innovation Cooperative offers an unique gateway that will provide trade and technology partners from the Netherlands access to the emerging agribusiness market in KwaZulu-Natal, granting long lasting access to the local experience and the substantial support by King Good-will, as actual powerholder related to land use permits and agricultural development in KwaZulu-Natal.


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