McCain Foods has officially opened its Farm of the Future Africa in Lichtenburg, North West — the second of three locations planned by 2025, an April 26 news release said.
This is the second Farm of the Future, following the first Farm of the Future in Florenceville, N.B. which opened in 2020. The release noted these farms are aimed at gaining a better understanding of regenerative agricultural practices as well as their impact, costs and benefits. The Africa farm will become a research hub that will focus on regenerative agriculture techniques for South Africa’s potato industry.
“The Farm of the Future Africa project reaffirms McCain’s commitment to the growth of South Africa’s agricultural and agri-processing industries,” Charlie Angelakos, vice-president of global external affairs and sustainability for McCain Foods, said in the release. “This flagship initiative not only showcases South Africa’s sector expertise but also the implementation of industry-leading regenerative agricultural practices that boost productivity and profitability, while accelerating sustainability.”
The farm will also serve as a platform for recruiting and training talent, the release noted. This is in line with Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister, Thoko Didiza’s, recent call for sector players to create mechanisms that will help the next generation of farmers to succeed. Additionally, stakeholders will be granted access to the labs and facilities onsite, further facilitating the promotion of local research and development.
“Farm of the Future Africa will test and feature innovative processes and technologies, specifically tailored for the Southern Hemisphere, in a collaborative hive that will bring together academics, industry and technology partners and farmers, working together to reimagine the way we grow a potato – approaches that are better for farms and the planet,” Unathi Mhlatyana, managing director of McCain Foods South Africa, said in the release.