Localising supply chains

Madikwe Game Reserve

ESA is partnering with Madikwe Futures Company (MFC), a non-profit company and a Public benefit organisation, representing 33 lodges in the Madikwe Game Reserve in the North West Province of South Africa, to uplift the communities bordering the game reserve through:

  • A comprehensive capacity building and skills transfer strategy across the communities, including leadership, development of current and potential employees, current and future enterprise owners, local government, etc.
  • Localising supply chains governance, leadership development, and in the technical aspects of establishing and maintaining the anticipated service-based and agri-wildlife economy enterprises.

The Madikwe programme is based on the ESA agri-wildlife model, hence ESA is a key partner in the success of the programme.

This model has the ability to transform tourism-aligned, rural livelihoods across South Africa and we

believe Africa and the potentially the World. The principles being built into the local economy are robust and transferable and the SMEs that surround protected environments, communal land and habitats will be significantly uplifted.

The model incorporates an incubator-based approach to establish and support local enterprises within the value chain of the protected area in order that they are able to supply a range of food products and services to the lodges within Madikwe. The incubator will provide skills training, mentorship, capital investment into the enterprises, and linkages to markets, in order to get them to a point where the supply chain enterprises are financially and technically self-sufficient.

The MFC brings its internal expertise and networks as well as appointed specialists into the team depending on the need of each SME opportunity – to support development of the infrastructure and operationalisation of each of the enterprises. Importantly we take the demand risk out of the equation by gaining the commitment of individual lodges to support local businesses over nationally based suppliers given that quality, reliability and price are equivalent. Key to this ability is close control over cash, and quality inside each enterprise through our close mentorship system.

“This model has the ability to transform tourism-aligned, rural livelihoods across South Africa and we believe Africa and the world.” Clive Poultney.

A range of complementary enterprises will be created at first to satisfy lodge demand but later to satisfy community, regional and even national and international demand. These will include micro and small enterprises that supply many products and services from laundry, bricks, waste management, to electrical, plumbing and bookkeeping. They will also include the building of larger enterprises that breed wildlife and cattle for the local tourism and community markets, but potentially also for the domestic and international red meat markets, and ‘climate smart’ Eco-Farms that produce high quality chicken, milk, eggs and vegetables. Detailed business plans underpin each of the planned enterprises.

The model in its final form will provide a huge stimulus to the local rural economy. Its immediate success depends on the resilience of the tourism market post Covid but is balanced by its ability to supply goods and services to satisfy local community demand.

Environmental Sustainability Agency, the ESA, Developing African Conservation Leaders, Developing agri-wildlife hubs, Inclusive rural economic development, Localising supply chain, conservation leaders, clive poultney,

Longer term, its climate resilient wildlife and indigenous disease resistant cattle production units (which are both adaptable to the changing African climate) and water wise food production using the Eco-Farm concept will be positioned to uplift large portions of the local community through being co-owners of a range of enterprises within a larger sustainable food production system. The model will create wealth (due the co-ownership for the community) as a whole, create jobs and small enterprises opportunities, increase education and skills levels. It will further enhance community leaders’ capacity to govern and lead their communities more effectively.