LEPHALALE — “The Lephalale Agriculture Masterplan, an overall strategy funded by Exxaro, resulted in the creation of a long term integrated plan to develop projects in the agricultural sector to stimulate economic growth and to create jobs in the Lephalale area” says Jacques Snyman from the Lephalale Development Forum (LDF).
Stakeholders in the area are currently busy packaging smaller, manageable projects from the overall strategy and plan. The next step will then be to facilitate the necessary funding to make these projects a reality.
“Spending money on projects in the agriculture sector has the biggest impact on job creation when compared to any other project. This is why the LDF put a lot of emphasis on agricultural projects” Jacques says.
There are a number of projects being proposed, including a non-nicotine tobacco project to generate bio-fuel and other products, a Marula project to directly benefit communities in the area, as well as other projects with similar planned results, growing prickly pears and bamboo. The biggest challenge remains the funding of all these different initiatives. Although it normally takes long to finalise funding, stakeholders are continuing to push these projects forward by pursuing various sources of funding.