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North West ready to launch agri-parks

It’s all systems go for the implementation of agri-parks in the North West province.

This after the recentvisit by Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti and the North West MEC for Rural Environmental and Agricultural Development, Manketsi Tlhape, to the agri-park at Springbokpan.

The visit was to assess the state of readiness of the Springbokpan silos. The Silo is being refurbished as part of the establishment of agri-parks in the province.

Three agri-parks have been identified for the North West province which are Springbokpan, Moretele and Vryburg.

Economically viable sites in all 27 priority districts have been identified across the country for the construction of agri-parks and R2 billion has been made available for the agri-park initiative, of which 1% will go into capacity building especially in municipalities.

The establishment of the agri-parks follows a pronouncement by President Jacob Zuma in his State of the Nation address earlier this year when he committed government to promoting agri-parks and transforming rural economies.

Springbokpan agri-parks will consist of Milling (starch and animal), mechanization warehouse, input warehouse as well as Foodbank.

In its essence, the creation of agri-parks will assist the province with amongst others, to contribute to its earmarked 6% economic growth with the Department of Rural Environmental and Agricultural Development being one of the leaders.

It is also meant to ensure job creation, generate revenue as well as to empower women and youth. It is envisaged to attract investment in both domestic and international fund markets and ensure food security in rural households and revival of food gardens in rural areas.

The agri-parks will also implement sub sector operator model to enforce clustering and processing thereby creating market access.

Elaborating on the agri-park concept, MEC Tlhape said the initiative is meant to support farmers.

She said it is important for farmers to be hands-on on the initiative.

The MEC said the farmers have the task of producing what would be in the Silos.

MEC Tlhape said government is still to decide on the percentage that farmers are to contribute to the silos.

“It is therefore up to the farmers to ensure that the agri-parks concept lives,” she said.

Minister Nkwinti spoke eagerly on this national government initiative, adding that the concept is ready for implementation and should therefore go ahead.

The Minister also echoed MEC Tlhape’s sentiments that farmers should be part of the initiative.

He emphasised the need for communities in the North West to ensure that every land is productive.

“If we have a productive land then our Silos would fulfil their purpose,” he said.

The Minister also announced government’s plan for the producers to own 70% of the agri-parks. The remaining 30% will be for government and other contributors.

Minister Nkwinti reiterated that it was important for government to look into the existing infrastructure hence the refurbishment at Springbokpan.

Morule, one of the Ngaka Modiri Molema District farmers, was excited about the agri-park initiative and urged other farmers to embrace it.

He said he was happy that government was now leading them in a way they had always wanted. He said the resuscitation of the silos was long overdue.

With the progress made on the Springbokpan agri-park, Minister Nkwinti was confident that the national launch led by President Jacob Zuma would be hosted by the North West province.

Source: Environment


 

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Tourism is the point of convergence between the economy and the environment. The prospect of tourism dollars justifies conversation and helps to place an economic value on the environment – as such the tourism sector should be a leader within the area of sustainable business practice, and for some leading companies this is the case.
Tourism is the point of convergence between the economy and the environment. The prospect of tourism dollars justifies conversation and helps to place an economic value on the environment – as such the tourism sector should be a leader within the area of sustainable business practice, and for some leading companies this is the case.

SA tourist attractions to get solar power

In an effort to improve South Africa as a destination, the Department of Tourism will be launching a pilot project to introduce solar power at tourism-related establishments.

Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom said that the retrofitting project will form part of a larger Tourism Incentive project that was launched earlier this year and will start by focusing on some identified establishments such as national parks, world heritage sites and botanical gardens.

He added that apart from the obvious Eskom-related reasons, introducing solar power will allow establishments to become cleaner and greener.

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Attend the Sustainable Energy Seminar. Click here.

“People are wanting more than just pretty scenery these days. If tourism in South Africa is eco- and socially-friendly, people will be much more inclined to pick it as their destination of choice,” he explained.

He mentioned that Robben Island would be one of the first sites to benefit from the retrofitting pilot project.

“At the moment all Robben Island’s electricity is generated by diesel engine. So, what we’re going to try to do is to allow all the energy requirements to come from solar, which would involve installing both solar panels and battery packs that go along with it,” he said.

Hanekom added that in the longer term the department was looking at helping establishments, businesses and accommodation offerings to be more resource efficient on a broader level, which would include waste and water management. They were also hoping to assist in making more places more disability friendly.

“However, right now we are concentrating on the more immediate challenge, with the limited amount of money we have, namely energy,” he told Traveller24.

In the meantime the launch of the pilot project will allow the department to learn valuable lessons regarding the installation of solar power to hopefully roll it out further afield in coming years.

Source: News 24


 

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Community tourism pays back – key to responsible tourism

Among key tourist areas in Africa set for discussion at the ongoing International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) Symposium in South Africa is the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania, one of Africa’s tourist heritage.

Community benefits from tourism development has been crucial for sustainable projects that benefit nations in Africa and raising incomes to communities living in tourist attractive sites.

In Tanzania, the local Maasai population is the center for discussion in a series of articles and news stories published by various regional and international media outlets, aiming at bridging a peaceful relationship between these communities and tourist stakeholders.

The Maasai community in northern Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Conservation Area had teamed up with wildlife conservationists to establish a council, charged to oversee daily activities of pastoralism and economic development in the area by sharing the tourist revenues.

The Pastoral Council is allocated funds by the conservation authority for social and economic development projects, focusing at education, health, livestock extension services and income generating projects including a community modern hostel to accommodate tourists visiting the local communities.

Other than revenue gains, the Pastoral Council is currently pushing for employment rights to the Maasai educated youths, said the Council’s Chairman Mr. Metui ole-Shaudo.

He said the Council would like to see more locals getting direct employment from tourist companies making business in the Conservation Area, with more involvement of those companies to attract employees from local communities.

Located some160 kilometers west of Tanzania’s northern tourist city of Arusha, Ngorongoro supports the greatest concentration of wildlife left on Earth. It is a multiple land-use system under which Maasai pastoralists share the resources with wildlife, one of the world’s earliest system to be established in order to reconcile human development and conservation.

The Conservation Area has been occupied by wildlife and the Maasai cattle herders, and have lived together side by side for many centuries. The Maasai are the only people that move freely in the area with their herds of cattle, undisturbed.

Ngorongoro is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Tanzania and as such it’s an important economic resource to local residents, safari and tour operators, hunting firms, the region, and the nation.

Source: ETurbo News


 

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