The City of Tshwane, previously and internationally known as Pretoria, is the single-largest metropolitan municipality in South Africa, comprising seven regions, 107 wards and 210 councillors, and the third largest in the world in terms of land mass. Tshwane, a metropolitan municipality in South Africa, is home to 154 foreign missions, making it the second-largest diplomatic hub in the world after Washington D.C. The city’s strategic location and proximity to Johannesburg, an international hub for southern Africa, make it an attractive destination for both temporary and permanent international residents and the perfect host to the Agri-CoE.

The merger of the City of Tshwane into a metropole, has resulted in agriculture taking prominence in the City’s development. Agriculture is a prominent sector in the under-served regions of the City of Tshwane, despite its low contribution to the GDP in comparison to other economic sectors. The City of Tshwane is committed to increase opportunities in the agricultural sector, which has greater potential to benefit developmental communities and support the battle against hunger and the sustainability of food security. The agro-processing sector, within the agricultural sector, is a significant contributor to the City’s economy and therefore a focus area. Agricultural processing is a highly effective tool to initiate and facilitate transformation in agriculture.

An Agri-CoE catalyst project, Ikangala, as agro-processor, demonstration platform and governed learning organisation within the Eastern development sector of the city, addresses constraints faced by smallholder, marginalised and emergent farmers. These constraints as Agri-CoE primary dedication unlocked a model specifically designed to address the inadequate support to farmers by providing markets, expertise partnerships, technology transfer, infrastructure development, as well as industry and academic education linkages to address capacity building through training and skills transfer programs. City of Tshwane partnered with this initiative in 2016 as part of the City’s economic development program, under its Vision 2055, which includes ensuring food security, project sustainability, and providing a platform for incubation by capacitating entrepreneurs, as well as developing SMMEs, especially within the township economy by linking it with a technology platform to its agricultural sector. A further vision of the City of Tshwane is exporting its knowledge base into the continent, therefore the Agri-CoE and its capability for it.

Initially beef production as a commodity with all its challenges, and industry excellence was targeted by the expertise deployed from the Agri-CoE, to demonstrate and provide a platform of the proof of concept for this developmental model’s ability of value chain integration. This integration is done through traceability, land and resource management, asset verification and management as well as human capital development. With this specific commodity’s proof of concept established and demonstrated, supplementing commodities now follows to be demonstrated for duplication on this platform.

This collaboration effort unlocked interest, endorsement, and further collaboration to other food security programs, such as the South African National Forces Department, and the Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) Food Security Program. The aim of this collaboration is the duplication of this developmental model in the SADC region, ultimately making it available for implementation and assimilation within other countries in the continent to achieve the goal set by the African Union during the Maputo Declaration on Agriculture and Food Security.

More impact and sustainability focus evolved over time through this focused initiative by the Agri-CoE, such as the Eco-Industrial Park Framework adopted by our South African Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) and the National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa (NCPC-SA) as a national programme of government that promotes the implementation of Resource Efficiency and Cleaner Production (RECP) methodologies to assist industry to lower costs through reduced energy, water and materials usage, and waste management. It is hosted by the CSIR on behalf of the DTIC.

The NCPC-SA is a member of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation and the United Nations Environmental Programme’s global Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production (RECP) network and plays a leading role in the African Roundtable on Sustainable Production and Consumption.
The World Bank Group, United Nations Development Organization (UNIDO), and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH developed the first joint international framework on EIPs, An International Framework for Eco-Industrial Parks, which defines the minimum parameters for environmental, social, and economic performance of EIPs.

To assist Ekandustria as EIP where Ikangala Foods as based as agro-processor the NCPC-SA’s service offerings include:

  • Raising awareness, advocacy, and demonstration of the benefits of RECP
  • Technical support to industry through RECP methodologies and tools
  • Facilitating the implementation of RECP in industry
  • Capacity building and development of RECP skills.

The supply chain dedication and solutions within the Ikangala Foods model as agricultural processor, more opportunity became evident regarding grassfed beef production, its carbon benefits and trading potential as well as all data captured within the track and traceability deployment, which can enable a blockchain model.

This is but one example in systemic innovation to bring about change for impact. We encourage and invite through this introduction and trust you are motivated to contact us.

Contact us today and become a collaborator for change!