Chicory industry set to create 800 new jobs

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed between Nestlé South Africa, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Eastern Cape provincial government that may see 800 permanent and seasonal jobs created by 2019, according to a DTI press release.

The MoU is part of the public-private sector collaboration between industry and government in the chicory sector. The programme is aimed at boosting the number of local farmers who grow chicory and supply Nestlé South Africa.

The development in the chicory industry falls within the pronouncement of the National Development Plan, and the nine-point plan to ignite economic growth in South Africa as announced by President Jacob Zuma in his State of the Nation Address.

These two growth and development plans have set a target of one million jobs for the agriculture and the agro-processing sector, said Minister of Trade and Industry Dr Rob Davies, according to the release.

“Nestlé will provide technical support to ensure optimal quality of chicory in the KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape provinces. This is a long term commitment of five years with the DTI to limit imports and encourage local procurement in South Africa,” said Ravi Pillay, director for communication and public affairs for Nestlé South Africa.

The MoU signed with the Eastern Cape chicory farmers will assist in addressing some of the regression currently facing the industry in South Africa, said Pillay in the release.