SHEP story in South Africa dates back to 2014 when SHEP Training course took place in Japan and Kenya. Officials from three Provinces (Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KZN) launched the SHEP Action Plan in their respective areas after that training.
Farming conditions in South Africa varies due various factors such as weather, market situation and the circumstances of small-scale farmers. This led to focus on provincial specific SHEP Models backed up by JICA dispatch of two Japanese experts to DAFF (Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries) and LDARD (Limpopo Department of Agriculture and Rural Development) in South Africa since 2016 to ensure SHEP promotion.
Through the two years, we have confirmed that SHEP beneficiaries and Extension staff have substantial positive feedbacks on SHEP. One of target farmer said, "we knew what vegetables we would possibly sell s in winter by using existing irrigation facility". Another said that we could identify new potential markets by ourselves after SHEP because we could learn how to do Market Survey. Some extension staff felt confidence because using well crafted visual materials like flipchart in the In-Field Training made it easy to do skill transfer and enable interactive workshop between extension staff and farmers. Market players such as buyers also benefited from SHEP. Thanks to SHEP for mitigating the information gap between the market and farmers through SHEP Market Survey, buyers could find unlocked potential from local farmers and proceeded to buying more fresh vegetables from them with less transportation cost.
In order to expand SHEP benefits to wider parts of the Provinces, KZN and Limpopo SHEP Team held intensive SHEP Workshop respectively. Workshops received 90 participants without SHEP background from KZN and 50 officials in Limpopo who also were new to SHEP. SHEP Teams proudly took the participants through all the theoretical information and procedures of SHEP Approach. Attendees of the workshop in Limpopo went to both formal and informal local markets to exercise SHEP Market Survey supported by Limpopo SHEP Team member. Officials who participated in were motivated to do SHEP Market Survey with farmers in their respective area after the workshop and easily adoptable the approach through the practical sessions.
It is expected that SHEP approach will be scaled up to Provincial-wide through collaborated with SHEP Team members. We are still standing on the prologue of the story. Collaboration for implementing SHEP in South Africa will continue toward its epilogue of "South Africa SHEP Model established".
SHEP Workshop in KZN Province
SHEP Workshop in Limpopo Province: Market Survey Practice at Informal Market