Minister Davies Reiterates the Importance of Agro-Processing Sector in the South Africa

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies reiterates the importance of agro-processing sector in the South African economy, particularly in job creation. Davies was speaking during the launch of R100 million investment plant Dursots and All Joy Tomato Processing Plant in Modjadjiskloof, Tzaneen yesterday.

Minister Davies says two weeks ago the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) launched the 8th iteration of the high impact Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP). According to him, this year's iteration of IPAP acknowledges agro-processing as one of the vital sectors in realising value added growth and in the context of the on-going efforts to support labour-intensive sectors of the economy. Minister Davies sited Dursots and All Joy Tomato Processing Plant as a good example of the industrialisation objectives of building manufacturing capacity, job creation, local procurement and support to small micro medium enterprises and needed to be celebrated.

Minister Davies who quoted the McKinsey (2015) report saying, that in 2014, South Africa's agro-processing industry contributed 78 billion rand to Grow Domestic Product and employed 362,000 people. According to the report, from 2004 to 2014, processing grew at 1.9 percent per year, and from 2008 to 2014, employment grew by 57,000 despite a contraction in employment in the manufacturing sector as a whole, against this background, Davies emphasised that it is the hard work of companies such Dursot and All Joy that makes South Africa to have such a strong agro-processing industry.

He adds that the company has an opportunity to create many more jobs in agriculture and higher value crops in the farms that are being growth.

The Founder of All Joy Foods, Mr Marci Pather says the launch of the Dursots and All Joy Tomato Processing Plant processing plant which currently employs 70 people would produce 200 more jobs in the next two months and over 300 by year end. Pather adds that, all these jobs will be for the locals.

According to him, 15 000 tons of tomatoes will be sourced from 14 emerging farmers creating much needed jobs.

A female farmer, Ms Rachel Maphoto, expressed appreciation of the plant in the vicinity, which she said will help her grow her business. According to her previously she planted 2 hectors of tomatoes and now she has increased to 6 hectors, which translate to more jobs.

Dursot Food Corporation is one of the leading organically-grown food manufacturing businesses in South Africa, producing a wide range of canned vegetables and legumes, peanut butter, sauces and condiments, mayonnaise, bottled water and tomato paste. This investment is favoured by Limpopo's warm climate that provides a suitable environment for tomato production. The group is committed to using more than 90% of all its raw materials and packaging from South African producers, ensuring consistent quality, natural taste, and reliable supply.

Source: Department of Trade and Industry Republic of South Africa