Mpumalanga government has proposed the establishment of a world class fresh produce market in Mbombela Local Municipality. The Mpumalanga Fresh Produce Market is expected to provide food security, job creation and improved nutritional standards.
It will also provide the province’s emerging farmers with a market for their produce, either locally or internationally, and give retailers and distributors access to fresh fruit and vegetables at their doorstep.
All of this will unlock the province’s agricultural potential in a big way and give opportunities to the small-scale emerging farmer who is otherwise struggling to sell his produce.
The market will be a facility of international standard complying with the practices in terms of food safety measures, traceability, modern facilities, cold chain and ripening facilities.
A main feature of the Mpumalanga Fresh Produce Market will be the linking of small-scale producers and cooperatives (through the creation of agri-hubs) with the main market (with associated exposure to local, regional and international consumers) whilst improving the local supply logistics chain.
In essence it involves the establishment of local agri-hubs under the management of secondary co-operatives where emerging small-scale farmers, organised in primary cooperatives, can supply their produce for further distribution and ultimate exposure to a much wider regional, national and even potential international market.
As the projects is envisaged to develop and evolve from the establishment and creation of the agri-hubs over a period of time, the phasing and growth of the market facility should provide for the aforementioned growth. To this end, the project has to be phased, taking cognisance of, and allowing for versatility, flexibility in the growth and evolution of the project over a number of years.
This project will be funded by both MEGA and Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Administration.