Dr Martha Tshitshi Mbatha
Promoting Agribusiness through Partnerships & Knowledge
The Agribusiness Development Agency is a public entity that was established in 2009 to serve as a special purpose vehicle to drive socio-economic transformation in the agricultural and agribusiness sector in KwaZulu-Natal.
The Agency provides holistic agricultural support services to entrant commercial farmers, focusing mainly on previously disadvantaged farmers, who have acquired land through the government's Land Reform Programme and on private basis.The ADA also aims to develop strategies to address inequities, create opportunities for the farmers to participate in the value chain, provide access to markets and foster sustainability in the agricultural sector.
Since its inception, the major focus has been on the turnaround strategy to rescutitate distressed farmers who had suffered skills gaps, financial support and access to the markets. In the three years of operation ADA has managed to support over 180 large and small commercial farms under individuals, restitution, recapitalization, labour tenant, cooperatives, etc. Over 2040 seasonal and permanent jobs were created mainly on the farms and most of these farms were supported in on-farm infrastructure development, inputs, skills development and training. ADA realized that there are tremendous milestones which can be achieved through the development of Private Public Partnerships (PPP).
The Agribusiness Development Agency (ADA) is a catalytic vehicle that facilitates the growth of a strong, transformed, diversified, dynamic, competitive and sustainable agro-processing industry in KwaZulu-Natal, in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD).
I serves as a catalyst for agribusiness development in the province, through focussing on projects that are catalytic in nature and have the following attributes:
• Benefits beyond direct beneficiaries
• Economic spinoffs
• Embrace the whole value chain
• Speed up the development in the whole geographical area.
On Strategic Review
The strategic review outcomes indicate that ADA needs to operate more as a business unit to ensure effectiveness and relevance in developing the agribusiness subsector. This requires investment drive to induce maximum production, value addition and marketing. Through partnering with investors and other organizations, ADA's interest will be centered on the development of the black commercial farmer and elevation of the subsector in meeting the development plans priorities.