An outcomes evaluation of the NDC fruit Processors factory in Nkowankowa, Greater Tzaneen, Limpopo province

STATUS: Current
PROJECT LEADER:Van der Bergh, GM (Mr Gray), Mupela, EN (Dr Evans)
OTHER TEAM MEMBERS: Booysen, AS (Ms Denise), Ndlovu, MP (Mr Phumlani), Hart, TGB (Mr Tim), Ngandu, NSC (Mr Stewart), Galante, C. (Ms Charmaine), Ramoroka, KH (Dr Kgabo), Mhula Links, AL (Ms Alex), Owusu-Sekyere, E (Dr Emmanuel)
DEPARTMENT RESPONSIBLE: Economic Perfomance and Development (EPD)
DATASETS: View Datasets

Abstract

The study is in response to the Terms of Reference (ToR) drafted by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) Innovation for Local Economic Development Unit. The DST includes a focus on innovations for inclusive development (formerly referred to as Science and Technology for Social Impact) that ensures that science and technology also benefits the people in rural areas. What this means is that the DST, through partnerships with knowledge institutions, funds innovative technology solutions for the beneficiation of local natural resources; activities to stimulate the economies in areas of deprivation; and skills transfer. These interventions are aimed at increasing human capacity, reducing unemployment and inequality to achieve the government's broad objectives. The European Union (EU) has provided funding for Sector Budget Support (SBS) to the DST. This programme is contributing to the Department's policy and strategy of using science and technology for reducing poverty through job creation, enterprise development, economic growth and the improvement of the quality of life of people. The Wolkberg Fruit Processors, WFP (formerly known as the Nkowankowa Demonstration Centre, NDC) in Tzaneen, Limpopo Province, is essentially a technology and knowledge transfer initiative that demonstrates the role of technology, knowledge and innovation in local economic development, job creation and small enterprise development. The WFP/NDC project involves two primary aspects, namely, entrepreneur development and the operation of an agro-processing factory. Entrepreneur development: A total of 52 local retailing entrepreneurs were trained in marketing and business management and are operating small businesses. Based on market demand, good quality products are sourced from suppliers who agree to supply the WFP/NDC at wholesale prices since bulk purchases are made for the WFP/NDC warehouse. The entrepreneurs, who have secured a customer base, purchase from the warehouse in quantities they can afford and resell the products at reasonable prices. Agro-processing factory: the WFP/NDC was designed to meet a market gap for the pulping and drying of bulk supply of fruit produced in the area e.g. mangoes, guavas, bananas. This market need was addressed by entering into uptake agreements with potential buyers and supplier agreements with locals including Black/Communal Property Association (CPA) farmers and procuring from households that can supply stock (e.g. mangoes) to the factory. This is the background against which the study will be carried out. The broad purpose of the project is to carry out a socio-economic impact assessment of the WFP/NDC operations in the Greater Tzaneen area. There are two key objectives: 1. Determination of the socioeconomic impact of this project on the local economy and its actors. 2. Development of an appropriate business model to transform the project into a fully-fledged enterprise. 3. To draw lessons and recommendations from the results of the study.