Smallholders to benefit from Tiger Brands partnership

Smallholder farmers in Gauteng, Limpopo, North West and Western Cape are set to become the first beneficiaries of a partnership between the agriculture department and JSE-listed Tiger Brands.

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This after a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed by Senzeni Zokwana, minister for agriculture, forestry and fisheries (DAFF), and the fast-moving consumer goods company in Pretoria recently.

The MoU focused on enterprise development within agricultural commodities including sunflower, maize, non-genetically modified maize and soya, groundnuts, beans, sorghum, tomatoes, peanuts, peaches and apricots.

The MoU was as a result of Tiger Brands’ Agricultural Commodities Enterprise Supplier Development programme which aimed at contracting producers and “offer guaranteed off-take agreements on sunflower and maize”, among crops.

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The partnership, according to Zokwana, was premised on the department’s priorities and intervention areas including food security, job creation and contribution to the GDP.

He commended the company for sourcing locally 63% of the 1,9 million tons of agricultural commodities it procured annually.

“The parties are now in the process of signing a Service Level Agreement which will see implementation starting in the Western Cape, Limpopo, North West and Gauteng provinces. The priority crops are beans, tomatoes and sunflower,” Zokwana said.

The department would continue to “strengthen participation of state and non-state partners in the sector towards improved food security and job creation”, according to him.

Afasa secretary-general Aggrey Mahanjana said: “We welcome the partnership. We are going to key a sharp eye to see to it that the agreement is implanted.”