PICOTEAM is a network-organisation with nodes in Africa, Latin America and Europe
  that supports efforts to bring about change and innovations for sustainable development.

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Our Experiences

Project Macadamia Innovation Platform - Strengthening Farmer Organisations
Duration 06.2003 - 12.2008
Country / Region South Africa 
Vhembe District of the Limpopo Department of Agriculture
Services delivered In 2002, the Limpopo Department of Agriculture (LDA) mobilised rural orchard farmers to sell their commodities in an organised open market. Farmers felt the need to organise themselves. At the same time, Trade and Investment Limpopo (TIL) conducted a feasibility study for macadamia nuts production in the rural areas to support emerging farmers to get into the mainstream of economy. One experienced PEA facilitator from the Vhembe District was seconded to support the macadamia initiative in line with value chain approach. The process was guided by the following steps: 
  • Facilitating macadamia farmer organisations’ strategic plan, work plan, development of the constitution and business plan. 
  • Awareness creation on the macadamia initiative to other farmers by the executive members of the cooperative   
  • Backup support to the executive members of the board during the mobilisation of the macadamia famers from the different municipalities  
  • Facilitating regular reviews and reflections workshops every six months to help the cooperative to realign the organisational goals with the changes affecting its operations  
  • Facilitating the establishment of macadamia farmers’ committees at municipal and district level
  • Facilitating the creation of linkages of farmers demand with service providers
Achievements The facilitators from Limpopo Department of Agriculture (LDA) were responsible for the strengthening of the macadamia farmers to benefit from the opportunities indentified by TIL. Main impacts are:
  • The formation of Vhembe Macadamia Farmers Agricultural Co-operative (310 members).
  • Establishment of the board of directors and six sub-committees (finance, auditing, training and skills development, project management, marketing and technical committees) to perform a variety of activities. 
  • 2.000 ha of land acquired under communal land system called permission to occupy (PTO) were acquired to plant macadamia trees.
  • Donation of 5.000 macadamia nuts grafted seedlings propagated by Henning family of New Co Mununzu farm to the cooperative
  • Training of the macadamia cooperative board of directors in team building
  • The executive committee members have internalised values of being transparent and providing feedback in their interaction with the members.
  • From this initiative, macadamia farmers managed to access to infrastructural materials from LDA through a comprehensive agricultural support programs (CASP).
Partners Trade Investment Limpopo
Limpopo Department of Agriculture (LDA)
Department of Trade and Industry
Vhembe Macadamia Farmers Agricultural Co-operative
New Co Mununzu
Traditional Authorities
Vhembe District Municipality – Local Economic Development (LED)
Nice Class Consultant
Limpopo Business Support Agency (LIBSA)
Land Bank, Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA) & Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme (CASP)
Funding Organisation Trade Investment Limpopo
Department of Trade and Industry
Limpopo Department of Agriculture (LDA)
PICOTEAM members involved Michael Netshivhodza M. and Joe Ramaru
Links / Publications Netshivhodza, M. (2003). Strategic Plan for the Vhembe Macadamia Farmer Agricultural Cooperative. A report of the workshop held in Thohoyandou, June 2003. (Unpublished Report )