Mpumalanga opens first avocado oil production plant

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The Mpumalanga Agriculture economy is set to receive a major boost in the avocado industry. This follows the official opening of an avocado oil production plant, Cultivate Trading, in White River, outside Mbombela.

The plant will enable local avocado farmers to supply their produce for the production of unrefined avocado oil, including the production of cosmetics.

The opening of the factory will create more than a hundred jobs.

Spirits were high as the crowds went to witness the grand opening of the Cultivate Trading Avocado Oil Production Plant.

The event was graced by various dignitaries including experienced and aspiring avocado farmers.

The project, supported by the Department of Small Businesses, will contribute towards job creation, revenue creation, whilst expanding avocado cultivation in Mpumalanga.

The farmers now have a local market for their produce with some expressing joy at the opening of the plant.

“We don’t send our A grade here, of course. We send the ones which we can’t send into the market – the ones that got the hail damage. Those are the fruits we can send to the oil processing plant. We don’t lose everything. At least now, we’ve got a place where we can send them,” says farmer Sipho Ndebele.

Another farmer, Selu Zondo added that, “With regards to the global gap, it is really strict to get our products overseas. So, we are doing it locally. So, that means we will get more money.”

Mpumalanga contributes an estimated 33% of the country’s avocado production.

The CEO of Cultivate Trading, Zarko Taric, says they want to up production in the province.

“We’ve found out that there’s plenty of black farmers that we are going to be able to cooperate with. We got a huge percentage of the company given to the farmers to make them excited and happy to see for themselves that they can increase the value of that product,” said Taric.

Chief Director of the Department of Small Business Development Jeffrey Ndumo has promised more support to these farmers.

“What we want to do is to give them equipment to be able to farm and produce avocado which then can then be brought here for processing which will then give us oil. That oil can then produce a number of products that could be value-added products,” said Ndumo.

The Mpumalanga Department of Agriculture says the project will revitalise the province’s agricultural sector, which contributes massively to the provincial economy due to international interest in the avocado oil.