For those who might have missed it, the Department of Trade and Industry’s 2018/19-2020/21 Industrial Action Policy Programme (IPAP) were announced at the end of last month.
 
Some of the IPAP interventions have been met with remarkable success. In the leather and footwear sub-sector, for example, exports of leather and footwear have grown by 167%, from R 1.98 billion to R5.29 billion, with a peak employment figure of 21,190 in the sector, “clawing back jobs to a level last seen in 2007” (IPAP, 2018). Accordingly, we pay attention to where the dti’s interventions are being directed.
 
Agro-processing, in one form or another, usually features. Rightly so. The value chain currently employs around 283,000 people, contributing 20.3% to manufacturing GDP and 2.7% to total GDP (IPAP, 2018). The country is a net exporter of agro-processed products and so by strengthening this sector, we can work on our trade deficit.
 
The latest IPAP diagnoses investment needs, contrainsts and opportunities. Key Action Programmes in agro-processing are planned in the following sectors:
 
  1. Indigenous plants, identified as having “enormous wealth of agro-biodiversity and have the potential to contribute to improved incomes, job creation and local economic development”.
  2. To identify the potential of underutilised agro-processing facilities and turn them around as viable, sustainable, job-creating agribusinesses.
  3. Facilitate the development and competitiveness of the Halal industry.
  4. To work with stakeholders and investors to unlock constraints in the poultry value chain that currently inhibit new investments, deeper localisation and inclusive growth.
  5. Agro-Processing Export Development. This targets Rooibos and fruit export development, and sugar industry development.

Find the IPAP on the dti website, www.thedti.gov.za.

In the Agri Handbook, find the following chapters of relevance: agro-processing, indigenous medicinal plants, poultry, rooibos, fruit and sugarcane.