South Africa’s Project CHANGE
FRESH PLAZA / 06 SEPTEMBER 2019 - 16.44 / STAFF REPORTER
Project CHANGE, is a transformative and replicable broad-based initiative within the agricultural sector. It has recently come on-stream via the conclusion of a transaction between citrus and grape farmer, Schoonbee Landgoed, and pioneering black-owned company, Thebe Investment Corporation.
The CHANGE initiative can potentially provide an innovative, long-term model for partnerships between established white commercial farmers and black institutional investors, while empowering local communities and supporting new entrants (including smallholder) farmers in achieving financial viability.
A profit-for-purpose agricultural model
Project CHANGE is an initiative focused on the commercial production, packaging, marketing and sales of table grapes and citrus. Grounded in the spirit and principles of the National Development Plan, the goal is to become a market-leading, black-owned ‘profit-for-purpose’ farming initiative that is able to service local and international markets with premium products. At the same time it strives to empower the communities involved in the project through job creation and will provide education, training, and healthcare services.
The project consists of two recently developed farms with existing income contributed by Schoonbee Landgoed. It also includes Thebe Investment Corporation’s equity contribution towards the acquisition of just under 400ha of additional land with recognised water rights for further citrus and grape development. Packhouses will be constructed as well as three primary healthcare and educational facilities for the surrounding communities.
As explained on agriorbit.com¸ it is anticipated that Project CHANGE will create over 1,200 new jobs with an estimated impact on 8,000 jobs throughout the complete value chain in the country.
Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER