Limpopo’s MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Basikopo Makamu officially opened the R150 million Nwanedi Pack House. The agri-hub in Musina Municipality will serve more than 200 rural farmers who will be able to package and send their products to the South African market and the rest of the world. Before the construction of the pack house, local framers had to travel long distances to send their products to the market.
Despite being a rural geographical site, the Nwanedi farming area boasts top world renowned award winning farmers like Annikie Malakuta, Angelinah Mulaudzi and the late Dr Ntuseni Nesane.
MEC Makamu said the existence of the agri-hub is expected to create more than 600 direct and indirect jobs. “This facility meets the world and international standards and it is the first of its kind in this area. This means that when we have this facility, we will definitely have more people who will venture into farming. Most farmers did not have the courage to produce more because they don’t know where they will sell their products after harvesting. This facility is here to overcome those types of challenges.”
Makamu said the agri-hub will promote bulk buying, reduce costs and contribute to the development of the local economy. “Government is aware that farmers in the Nwanedi area are counted amongst the best in the country and it is important for us to assist them. The best thing for us to fight and win the war against hunger, unemployment and underdevelopment is to support farmers because they provide the nation with food. Any government that does not supports its farmers is doomed for failure.”
He thanked partners like the Timbali Technology Incubator, Jobs Fund, Musina Municipality and local traditional leaders for contributing towards the realization of the agri-hub initiative.
Musina Mayor, Cllr Mihloti Muhlope said the initiative came at the right time when the municipality is preparing to become a city. “Besides being a provincial growth point, we are a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) which will contributed immensely to the South African economic development. We are happy that our local farmers now have something to be proud of.”
Representing local farmers, the Chairperson of Nwanedi Secondary Cooperative, Mr Michael Makoale thanked the government for coming to their rescue. “Our secondary cooperative has seven primary cooperatives that will highly benefit from this initiative. We are very happy because the operation of the agri-hub will reduce costs which will automatically lead to an increase in our production.”