Western Cape
Boompie Project in full swing
10:54 (GMT+2), Mon , 15 September 2014
Western Cape
There are certain things we all know: one of these is that very little is happening to support smallholder farmers. As is the case with most “they say” stories, this knowledge is wrong; especially if the various role-players take hands to create a success story. As part of its “Commodity Approach” the Western Cape Department of Agriculture and the Deciduous Fruit Industry in 2009 initiated the “Boompie Project”. The purpose of this project is to enhance the livelihoods of (new and established) smallholder fruit farmers by expanding their area under production and to include them in the existing and globally competitive value chains of the South African Deciduous Fruit Industry. Projects were planned jointly and the Department used its money to prepare the land and installed drainage, irrigation and trellising. As the industry took responsibility to provide plant material (boompies) and technical advice, the farmers was ensured of good quality planting material producing fruit in demand by consumers. In this manner almost 313 hectares of fruit trees were established on the land of previously disadvantaged fruit farmers in the Western over the period 2009 to 2012 (Table 1). In the process 469 long-term sustainable jobs were created at the once-off cost to government of R22 736 per job (industry average of R119 082). At the same time the participating farmers can depend on an annual income stream of R83 135 per hectare in perpetuity. If government did not enter into this partnership, it would have been able to establish only 59,7 hectares and created just 89,5 jobs.

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