JOHANNESBURG, South Africa: Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)referring to establish a strategic partnership in horticulture. The aim of the collaboration is to develop the Gauteng’s horticultural industry to a more intensive, sustainable and profitable sector. By combining the Dutch technology and expertise and the local expertise of growers and knowledge institutes, both parties believe the partnership will create a real win-win-situation.
Although there are many Dutch companies active in Gauteng, last year the coloration was formalised in the RSA-NED Horti Business Platform. The platform, participated by about 15 South African stakeholders and 5 experts from the Dutch sector, has its focus on connecting the network and initiating projects on capacity building, technological development and empowering the sector. Since last year several projects have started already.
In order to intensify the collaboration, a formal commitment on policy and budget was needed between both governments. By the signing of the MoU, the road is cleared for more joint projects on horticulture.
In the MoU, the RSA-NED Horti Business Platform is positioned as the joint platform for identifying bottlenecks and initiating projects suiting the joint goals. With this MoU, further steps can be made on:
– The introduction of a liaison officer between South Africa and the Netherlands;
– The collaboration between the Dutch SMART-consortium and Jomajoco, lettuce-grower in Gauteng;
– A knowledge project on realisation of 8 practical training centres in Gauteng;
– Possible development of showcases on energy saving and alternative energy;
– Possible joint development of Agrohubs.
The Dutch horticultural industry has gained a reputation for successful completion of major, complex, multidisciplinary cluster projects in the horticulture sector in international markets. The joint challenging is to create appropriate solutions for food en flower production and supply chain from high to low tech, and for all kinds of climate and market circumstances in South Africa.
Pictured left to right: Mr. Jan Odink (NEPLUVI), Mr. Roald Lapperre (Deputy Director General: Agro & Food), Mrs. Lilianne Ploumen (Minister of Foreign Trade and Develoment), Mr. Adv. John Nesidori (Deputy Director General: Natural Resource Management of GDARD), Mr. Harm Maters (Greenport Holland International).