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South Africa: Encouraging Economic Development in Rural KZN
Source: SA - the Good News
Source Date: Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Focus: Health
Country: South Africa
Created: Aug 27, 2013

“Many rural communities and some peri-urban settlements still remain on the periphery of development, but World Vision South Africa has managed to bring social and economic infrastructure as well as other services to these communities."
"The key to economic development is to start with the market you have. In the lxopo and Umzimkhana areas, we have many small-scale farmers as well as a community that has to eat. This community is the target market to which farmers need to appeal."
"Small farmers are often excluded from participating in profitable agri-business value chains and are simply relegated to the role of consumers. However, World Vision South Africa has developed an integrated approach that seeks to improve the income of small farmers through the provision of structured capacity building, training and mentorship."
"I will work closely with farmers in the area to educate them about looking at the needs of the market and determining how to meet these. However, I must stress that I will not be building a business model for the farmers, but will instead show them how to execute it, as economic development needs to have longevity and this can only occur if the projects we implement are sustainable."
"My greatest hope for this project is to bring the farmers together with the Departments of Agriculture and Social Development as well as other key role players in the public sector in order to discuss local economic development. As such, part of my training with the farmers will be to teach them the language of business so that they are better equipped to discuss matters with local government and reach solutions together."
"It is my aim that when the Department of Agriculture allocates budgets, they are aware of the needs of the people and can look at funding solutions. This should see small-scale farmers producing the right volumes of produce for the formal markets and consequently improving rural household incomes.”
Dlamini concludes by saying “If we want to encourage economic development in South Africa, we have to look at balancing social needs with economic benefits. For small businesses trying to enter the market, there are many social challenges that first need to be addressed and by encouraging small scale or local economic development we are able to balance these two extremes and use the one as a solution to the other.”
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