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South African Aquaculture company wants to create more employment with Dutch support
Lodges, a cheese factory, cash crops; PAMP, the farm of Peter and Gerty Venter, is multifaceted to say the least. The couple visited Business Link in the Netherlands to buy equipment for the fish farm that they are setting up. "We want to create work for people in our area."
Peter Venter: “Our farming set-up is quite complex: we have lodges, game, cash crops, a clothing factory, we make cheese and butter, and we are currently trying to get our fish farm off the ground. That is to replace our poultry business, which we stopped because of the dumping of imported chicken meat in our country. Because of the situation in South Africa, we are not as fortunate to be able to get any grands or easy loan.” The entrepreneurial couple approached PUM, after which fish-breeding expert Arie de Bondt flew to South Africa to provide PAMP with advice. “The company's request for help was as follows: how can we help them improve the aquaculture at their lodge? We have found a place there with a pond. A concrete tank of 160 cubic meters, which we have already converted into a fish farm. We hope that we can get the aquaculture in that region up to a certain level. And we also hope that people from that region are also interested in aquaculture.”
After the advisory mission, Arie proposed a visit to the Netherlands to PAMP. Entrepreneurs who show potential for international trade can come to the Netherlands via PUM for a Business Link visit. Here the visit several companies together with a PUM expert to set up partnerships. "For example, today we are in Stellendam, where we went to the fish auction," says Arie, who also accompanies the couple during this visit. “Not directly related to fish farming, but it is about fish and everything that comes with it. For example, making ice, processing fish, fishing nets. We are now at a cooperative where they make nets. They may be able to do business with this group of people in the future if they [PAMP] want to set up cages in their ponds.”
"Gerty and I spoke about why we started our aquaculture business," says Peter. “Why do we want to set up a fish farm and what do we want to achieve with it? The reason is to create work for people in our area, the indigenous people and for our own children. Being here in the Netherlands really helps us move forward. With all the information we receive, we want to set up a profitable fish farm in South Africa. At the moment there is a lot of aquaculture, but nothing is profitable. "
"We want to create work for people in our area, the indigenous people and for our own children."
To make their fish farm a success, PAMP still has to conquer a number of challenges. Gerty: “There are people in the southern parts of South Africa that make fish feed, but not in the northern parts where we reside. We are trying to gather knowledge here in the Netherlands and perhaps also the equipment to make fish feed ourselves. We would also like to purchase a water filter here.” In addition to the fish auction, the Venters also visited a goat farm and cheese factory on Goeree-Overflakkee, where they purchased several funguses to use in their South African cheeses.
Text & Video: Elise Mooijman