The agri-parks are expected to be fully operational by 2025.
Speaking at the ceremony to induct the DAMCs at the KZN Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s (KZN DARD) Cedara headquarters, MEC Cyril Xaba said the aim of the agri-parks was to “kick-start rural economic transformation in the province”.
“By successfully getting our agri-parks off the ground we will be changing the face of rural KwaZulu-Natal. We will be directly addressing the issues of food security, poverty eradication and unemployment,” said Xaba.
The concept, which is rooted in the National Development Plan, aims to consolidate as much of the agricultural value-chain as possible in key areas of the country. The parks will incorporate the likes of primary production, processing and value-adding facilities, and logistical infrastructure. They will also offer marketing, training and extension services.
There are currently a total of 44 agri-parks planned across South Africa, with R2 billion set aside for their development.