The concept for Agri-park draws from existing models both, locally and abroad, including educational/experimental farms, collective farming, farmer-incubator projects, agri-clusters, eco-villages, and urban-edge allotments and market gardens.
These models may exist on both public and private lands. Agri-parks can serve as transition zones between urban and agricultural uses.
The term evokes the traditional model of an agricultural business park or hub, where multiple tenants and owners operate under a common management structure.
Agri-parks provide networks of contacts between producers, markets and processors, but also provide the physical infrastructure required for the transforming industries.
The focus of the Agri-park is primarily the processing of 'agricultural products' (and the mix of 'non-agricultural' industries may be low or non-existent). Of prime importance will be linkages between the parks and surrounding agricultural land for production;
The Agri-park approach will include the selection and training of smallholder farmers, as well as selecting farms per province for the placement, incubation and training of unemployed agricultural graduates and other agro-entrepreneurs
The Agri-Park Programme forms part of Government's undertaking to review all land reform policies as enunciated in the 2011 Green Paper on Land Reform and the support that needs to be provided;
The model will have a strong social mobilisation component so that black farmers and agri-business entrepreneurs are actively mobilised and organised to support this initiative.
The DRDLR's strategic partnerships with key government departments such as the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Departments of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, the Department of Trade and Industry, the Department of Water Affairs and Sanitation and other spheres of govt.
State land will be used for both production and processing (the 25 state farms per Province, linked to the DRDLR's Animal and Veld Management Programme).