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Limpopo Business 2022-23

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The 2022/23 edition of Limpopo Business is the 14th issue of this highly successful publication that, since its launch in 2007, has established itself as the premier business and investment guide for the Limpopo Province. Both of the province’s two Special Economic Zones (SEZs) have taken several pages in this journal in order to share their goals with potential investors. The business case for the Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone (MMSEZ) in the province’s far north has been accepted and the SEZ has received its official designation. Several investors have signed on and infrastructure development is underway. The Fetakgomo-Tubatse SEZ in the east is building up its infrastructure in terms of roads, railway sidings and water provision and both SEZs are taking an interest in renewable energy, and green hydrogen in particular. A special feature on green hydrogen appears in the front section of this journal. News related to mining, agriculture, tourism, construction and property, water, education and more.

OVERVIEW Agriculture

OVERVIEW Agriculture Schemes to support small-scale farmers are expanding. SECTOR INSIGHT ZZ2 is building a big new packhouse. These areas have been targeted: Sekhukhune District: grain and cotton; Mopani District: vegetables; Waterberg District: red meat; Capricorn District: potatoes. Private investment An irrigation scheme at Ohrigstad. Credit: Wynand Uys on Unsplash. A chicken abattoir at Lebowakgomo is due to start operating in 2022 as a means of assisting small-scale farmers and broiler producers. There will be 150 jobs created at the abattoir and many more along the value chain. There are plans to get the troubled Tshivhase Mukumbani Tea Estates into the black by producing something other than tea. Studies are currently being done to determine which crops will be best suited to the conditions and the market. Zebediela Citrus Estate, once a successful citrus producer, is another estate in need of help. In this case, a partnership agreement between the Bjatladi Community Property Association and the Humansdorp Cooperative has been signed to revive the orchards while the Impact Catalyst programme is providing help in drawing up a long-term plan for the sustainable development of the estate. Provincial government efforts to promote specific value chains in different areas are bearing fruit as various types of infrastructure are rolled out to support small-scale farmers. Farmer Production Support Units provide a cluster of services which include livestock auction facilities, mechanisation services and a training centre for farmers. One of South Africa’s biggest exporters is building a massive new packhouse about 40km north of Tzaneen. ZZ2, the agricultural company with operations in six South African provinces and Namibia, is making a major investment in expansion near the site where it all began, Mooketsi. The firm’s founder discovered that it was possible to plant and cultivate tomatoes throughout the year in the fertile Mooketsi valley and that is where an 11 200m2 packhouse will come into operation early in 2023. ZZ2 now grows a large assortment of fruits including mangoes, onions, dates, cherries, apples, pears, stone fruit, almonds and blueberries. The intention is to gradually scale up volumes until the packhouse handles 70 000 tons per year, some of which product will be from other growers. LIMPOPO BUSINESS 2022/23 38

OVERVIEW ZZ2 is one of the country’s largest producers of fruit and vegetables, with sophisticated systems and controls. Credit: ZZ2 The packhouse’s potential allows for a further 3 500ha of avocado plantings which could lead to the creation of 5 000 jobs. Cotton growing is experiencing a renewal in the province. The Limpopo Provincial Government’s programme for revitalising irrigation schemes is helping. In Ephraim Mogale Municipality about 345 hectares of cotton has been planted which will benefit 74 small-scale farmers in the area. The projected harvest is 522 tons and an estimated 300 seasonal jobs are expected to be created during the harvesting period. The Olifants River (also known as the Lepelle River) supports varied and intensive citrus, grape, cotton and vegetable cultivation, much of which is transported to the markets of the denselypopulated areas to the west in Gauteng. The Joburg Market and the Tshwane Fresh Produce Market are the primary destinations of the municipality’s products. Cattle ownership is common among subsistence farmers. Export contributions The percentage contribution of Limpopo agriculture to national agriculture is 7.6% although its contribution to provincial GDP is just 2.3%. Agro-processing has enormous potential to expand in every subsector. Limpopo’s fruits and vegetables form an important part of South Africa’s export basket and more than 45% of the annual turnover of the Joburg Market originates in the fertile province. Companies like ZZ2 are major contributors to the country’s annual production of 120 000 tons of avocados. Of the current crop, about half is currently produced in two Limpopo regions, Letaba and Tzaneen. Exports are rising exponentially. In response to this demand, ONLINE RESOURCES Citrus Growers Association: Cotton South Africa: Macadamias South Africa: South African Subtropical Growers’ Association: and the potential of the Chinese market, almost 1 000ha per year of new land is being planted with avocados in South Africa. The same amount of new macadamia planting is underway every year, according to the Macadamias South Africa (SAMAC), adding to the existing 19 000ha. The other big sellers are mangoes and tomatoes. Limpopo grows three-quarters of South Africa’s mangoes and two-thirds of its tomatoes. The Waterberg District produces large quantities of red meat while Capricorn has potatoes in abundance, and Vhembe in the north specialises in citrus and subtropical fruits. Mopani has those fruits too – and the Mopani worm. The Sekhukhune region in the south-east produces grain and the marula fruit that goes into Amarula Cream liqueur. Westfalia is another huge enterprise, part of the Hans Merensky Group, and it is the world’s largest avocado grower. It also produces significant quantities of mango, litchi, citrus and macadamia and has three agri-processing plants in the province. Greenway Farms supplies about 45% of the fresh-market carrots consumed in Southern Africa under the Rugani brand. VKB Milling runs white maize mills in Mokopane, Lydenburg and Louis Trichardt and sells via the Magnifisan brand. VKB also has eight silos and 29 retail outlets in the Limpopo region. ■ 39 LIMPOPO BUSINESS 2022/23

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