Smallholder farmers to gain more access to markets

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Cape Town – Government is planning to focus its efforts to help smallholder farmers to increase their access to markets in the year ahead.

Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa said this when she briefed media on the International Cooperation, Trade and Security Cluster’s plan of action for 2017.

South Africa’s agricultural, forestry and fishery exports increased by 18% last year to make the country a net exporter of products in this sector.

The briefing came after President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address on Thursday, 9 February.

Minister Molewa said the level of investment in agriculture increased by 9.6% in 2016. 

“We are also focusing on increasing market access for smallholders through the implementation of the South African Good Agricultural Practice and intra-African trade,” she said.

Trade between South Africa and its traditional partners in the West remains a significant contributor to the economy.

“The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU) came into force in September 2016, thus providing new market access opportunities for South African products.

“Almost all South African products (about 99%) will have preferential market access in the EU, compared to about 95% under the Trade Development Cooperation Agreement (TDCA).

“About 96% of the products will enter the EU market without being subjected to customs duties or quantitative restrictions. The other 3% will still have access, albeit partial, that is similar or improved compared to the TDCA,” Minister Molewa said.

10 Invest SA projects to be implemented in 2017

In his 2016 State of the Nation Address, President Zuma committed to the establishment of Invest SA, a one-stop shop for investors aimed at reducing the red tape that makes it difficult for investors to do business in the country.

InvestSA has since been launched and is fully operational, working with the private sector.

“Forty projects have been approved. Ten will be launched by the President during 2017. 

“Since the amendment of the Automotive Investment Scheme in 2014, South Africa has witnessed streams of investment coming through.

“In May 2016, the President launched a R6 billion investment by Toyota for the manufacturing of new Toyota Hilux and Fortuner models,” Minister Molewa said.

Tourist arrivals on the rise

The tourism sector, which presents many opportunities for youth and small enterprises, has been performing well in key markets.

A total of 793 610 tourist arrivals were recorded for September 2016, which represents an increase of over 20% in overseas arrivals for 2016.

“A total of 809 000 tourists were recorded for November 2016. This translates to 76 860 additional arrivals compared to the same month in the previous year,” Minister Molewa said.

South Africa will host the Annual Meetings Africa from 27 - 28 February 2016 in Johannesburg, which will be followed by the annual Tourism Indaba on 16 - 18 May 2017 to promote development, investment and opportunities in the industry.

Key milestones for the renewable programme

The Minister said, meanwhile, that the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) programme has already established a flagship public-private partnership model for South Africa and the rest of the African continent.

She said the six bid windows of the REIPPPP secured numerous successes, including:

  • A total of 102 projects being procured, bringing investments of R194.1 billion, of which R53.4 billion was from foreign investors. The green industry has started to develop to the point that some manufacturers have become exporters of renewable energy plant components;
  • Sixty-four (64) projects have signed contracts representing 4 006 MW capacity, of which 3 051 MW were online (including early operation) as at 17 January 2017;
  • Fifty-seven thousand (57 000 jobs) being created for South African citizens, of which more than 47% are for the youth.
  • Socio-economic development initiatives have been initiated in local communities, while a significant contribution has been made to a cleaner environment and to helping South Africa meet its international Climate Change Mitigation commitments.

“Our message remains that South Africa is open for business. The 2017 WEF Africa will be held on 3 - 5 May 2017 in Durban, providing yet another opportunity to showcase South Africa as an attractive investment destination,” Minister Molewa said. – SAnews.gov.za

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