Climate change hits South African agricultural productivity and food security due to the increase of extreme droughts and rainfalls. The Western Cape has been one of the most affected regions, so much that in 2018 Cape Town became the first major world city to run out of water. Besides, unemployment is at a record of 39%. The agricultural value chain could absorb much of this labor force. These developments result in the business idea of setting up a Hortipreneurial Centre of Excellence by a South African – Dutch partnership with the aim of demonstration, education, and training activities for farmers, young agripreneurs, and students.
In the partnership Stellenbosch University, Greener Solutions, Ridder Group, Ludvig Svensson, RijkZwaan, Koppert Biological Control, Control Union, and Delphy realize a centre at Stellenbosch in 2021 showcasing both production and post-harvest aspects. The center will be used for demonstrations of climate-smart technologies and solutions, post-harvest management, and (vocational) training of proposed target groups. The program is funded by the initiated partnership and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency. Supportive partners are the South African retailer Woolworth, Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute (EATI) and the Dutch Embassy in South Africa.