The City of Cape Town is set to embark on an exciting initiative with the launch of the Philippi Agrihub Project in Philippi East. Following Council approval, the City has committed R40 million in grant funding to support the project, aiming to boost small and medium-sized businesses, provide training, and generate job opportunities in the area. The agreement was recently signed between the City and the Philippi Economic Development Initiative (PEDI), a local non-profit organization serving as the implementing partner.
"The purpose of the project is to revitalize small and medium-sized urban farming businesses, offer training, and increase job opportunities in Philippi. This investment comes at a time when COVID-19 is threatening the health and livelihoods of local communities. Collaboration between the local government, communities, the private sector, and non-governmental organizations is needed more than ever before in strengthening our resilience and overcoming challenges," emphasized Alderman Dan Plato, the City's Executive Mayor.
The Philippi Agrihub Project will be situated within the Philippi Opportunity Area and will consist of three key components. Firstly, an expanded and upgraded agri-processing and packaging plant will be established, equipped with state-of-the-art technology and machinery to facilitate various processes. Secondly, an expanded waste-to-fertilizer manufacturing facility, including earthworm farming, will help reduce solid waste volumes in landfills, benefiting the environment. Lastly, a modern agri-training facility and support center will be developed, offering a diverse range of training and skills development programs focused on small-scale organic farming techniques, principles, and business development.
"Philippi has significant potential for economic development given its proximity to the Cape Town International Airport, a well-established industrial area in the east, and the Philippi Horticultural Area (PHA) which produces over 100,000 tons of fresh produce annually. By harnessing the productive capacity of the PHA, the City can strengthen existing agri-value chains while improving market access for local farmers by utilizing the infrastructure at the City's Philippi Fresh Produce Market," explained Alderman Marian Nieuwoudt, the City's Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment.
Furthermore, the project aims to expand the Philippi Fresh Produce Market to include a new facility that provides local access, serving as a cost-effective trading option for small-scale and emerging community farmers. This expansion will contribute to the establishment of an 'Aerotropolis' in the Metro-south East, acting as a pilot project to leverage a potential Special Economic Zone at the 500-hectare Swartklip site owned by ACSA. The envisioned industrial complex will focus on mass processing of fresh produce grown in the PHA.
"It fills me with joy knowing that this initiative will stimulate growth and development among local small-scale farmers, drive economic progress for the broader Philippi community, and provide formal and informal training opportunities to enhance farming techniques. The City believes that this project will serve as a catalyst for real economic transformation in Philippi," expressed Alderman Grant Twigg, the City's Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Management.
The Philippi Agrihub Project represents a significant investment in the future of Philippi, promoting sustainable agriculture, fostering economic development, and supporting the local community. By combining resources and expertise from various sectors, the City of Cape Town is taking proactive steps to ensure a prosperous and resilient future for Philippi and its residents.
Source: City of Cape Town Media Office