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Chicory agreement to help create jobs in E Cape
An agreement between the Department of Trade and Industry (dti), the Eastern Cape Provincial Government and Nestle is expected to result in the creation of 800 jobs by 2019, says Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies.

The signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is part of the public-private sector collaboration between industry and government for the chicory sector.

This chicory programme is aimed at encouraging local farmers to grow chicory to supply Nestlé for use in its manufacturing of Ricoffy thus contributing to the revitalising of rural economies.

The agreement, signed in Alexandria in the Eastern Cape on Thursday, is expected to create 800 permanent and seasonal jobs by 2019.

Minister Davies said the department saw it fit that there be a MoU between the major agro-processor of chicory in order to provide a platform for emerging farmers, chicory producers and government interaction on managing the challenges affecting the industry.

“This development in the chicory industry [is] within the pronouncement of the National Development Plan and the nine-point programme that President Jacob Zuma announced during his State of the Nation Address earlier on this year, which has set a target of one million jobs for the agriculture and the agro-processing sector,” said Davies.

Minister Davies added that the agro-processing sector, especially chicory farming, has the potential to generate an industrial impetus that can create jobs and answer some of the economic challenges that the country is currently facing.

The Director for Communication and Public Affairs representing the CEO of Nestle, Ian Donald; Ravi Pillay said he was optimistic that the agreement with the Eastern Cape chicory farmers will assist with addressing some of the regression currently facing the industry in South Africa.

He said Nestle will provide technical support to ensure optimal quality and specification of chicory in the KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape provinces.

He further added that this is a long term commitment of five years with the dti to curb imports and promote local procurement in South Africa. –

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