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.

PICOTEAM Ltd. PICO Southern Africa PICO Uganda PICO Tanzania PICO Latin America
PICO Academy for Practitioners PICO Knowledge Networking

Our Experiences

Project Developing an Innovation Platform on Organic Farming  in South Africa
Duration 06.2005 - 12.2007
Country / Region South Africa 
Five municipalities of the Limpopo Department of Agriculture, namely Thulamela,
Greater Tzaneen, Thabazimbi, Polokwane & Fetakgomo
Services delivered The Limpopo Department of Agriculture (LDA) in partnership with NECOFA (Network for Eco-Farming
in Africa) initiated a market–oriented organic production and farmer controlled enterprise with the
purpose of enhancing the development of organized groups of smallholder farmers. The facilitation and implementation of the innovation platform on organic farming was guided by the following process steps:
  • Facilitation of the stakeholder planning workshop organized for the purpose of conceptualizing the process in line with organic farming value chain for the economic development of smallholder farmers in Limpopo Province.
  • Setting up the implementation team within LDA and its endorsement by mid-level and top management.
  • Organization of the exposure visit to commercial farmers who are already practicing organic farming.
  • Continuous reflection and re-planning by the established management team.
  • Mobilise resources from the private sector and NGOs to cover costs on some important aspects of the initiative that cannot be funded by government.
Achievements Lessons from the implementation of PEA created an opportunity to test them on the market–oriented organic farming initiative in line with the commodity approach which is one of the four focal systems of service delivery adopted by LDA for supporting emerging smallholder farmers. The impact of the organic farming innovation process are summarised as follows:
  1. Innovation task teams  
  • Establishment of a 12 member Provincial Steering Committee composed of ten coordinators from LDA and two NECOFA representatives. The committee is chaired by a senior manager from one of the piloting municipalities.  
  • Establishment of a four member management team to coordinate planned activities with the support of 30 indentified municipal staff composed of extension officers, crops scientist and economists.
  • Establishment of an innovation platform with stakeholders participation in the identified components of organic farming value chain, namely, farmers organizational development, on–farm demonstration and research, production, training, organic certification, processing
    and marketing.
  1. Competency development
  • The implementation team of 30 LDA officers were given competencies in the technical aspects of organic farming, organizational development, organic certification and facilitation skills.
  • Half of the 30 officers who have been involved in the facilitation of organic farming are ready to backstop others to start new initiatives of this nature.
  1. There has been a responsive municipal infrastructural support to four  of the five projects through the Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programs (CASP).
Partners Limpopo Department of Agriculture (LDA) (Division of Indigenous Knowledge Research & Innovation,
Tompi Seleka & Madzivhandila Colleges of Agriculture,
Municipalities of  Thulamela, Greater Tzaneen, Thabazimbi, Polokwane, (Fetakgomo),
Municipal Local Economic Development,
NECOFA Partners (Biowatch, Organic Farms Groups, Organic Freedom Project, LEMATHARI, Organic
South Africa, AFRISCO),
South Africa Agricultural Academy; Pilot projects
Funding Organisation Limpopo Department of Agriculture (LDA)
PICOTEAM members involved Limpopo Department of Agriculture (LDA)
Links / Publications