Limpopo Agro-Food Technology Station
Limpopo Agro-Food Technology Station (LATS) was established in 2007 and officially launched in 2008 at the University of Limpopo. The Station establishment was an initiative by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) through the then Tshumisano Trust to improve agro processing services in Limpopo Province. The station is now under Technology Innovation Agency.
SMME’ Agro processing sector in Limpopo Province is involved in turning primary agricultural products into other commodities for national and international markets. It is a dynamic and fast growing sector and therefore has the potential to provide opportunities for income generation and employment in the Province and the country at large. The advantages of agro processing include among others, (1) reduction of crop and fruit wastage, (2) enhancement of food security and (3) improvement of livelihoods for low-income groups in the rural areas in the Province.
The station is meant to ensure that there is food processing information available, especially to people living in rural areas of Limpopo Province. And to alleviate poverty as it builds on the assets of poor people (indigenous knowledge and skills and local natural resources).
Its strategic partners are Limpopo Department of Agriculture (LAD) and Limpopo Department Economic Development, Environment & Tourism (LEDET). LATS offers its services to SME’s, Agricultural co-operatives and Food Industries to help them meet the national and international product market requirements.
The Station is based at the University of Limpopo, Turfloop Campus under the School of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (SAES). The station also helps in student training through internship programs and postgraduate training in partnership with several departments within the university.
To be a centre of excellence that improves SMME’s agro processing services in Limpopo Province and other parts of South Africa by means of using cutting edge technologies.
To improve agro processing services rendered by Small Micro Medium Enterprises (SMME) mainly in Limpopo Province and other parts of South Africa through modern technologies and partnerships.
- To analyse and test food product nutritional composition from SMMEs’ and commercial farming sector.
- To help SMMEs’ turn primary agricultural products into commodities that meet market requirements.
- To improve SMMEs’ product processes and development.
- To research on indigenous primary agricultural products.
- Testing and analysis of processed and unprocessed foods
This service involves testing the products that are ready for markets from the SMMEs and food industries.
- New products development
The SMME’s are trained by food technologists on how to process product of their choice based on SABS standards.
- Product and process improvement
This involves improving a low standard product or process of SMME.
- Training SMME’s on food processing
The Station trains SMMEs based on client’s drawings or specifications.
- SMME’s technology audit
This involves Audits performed at SMEs, often in SMEs premises as a first contact or on a newly installed machines/Production plants to identify the potential for improvement and the required interventions.
The Station trains interns in food processing and also postgraduate students working on food processing related projects. The Station receives funds from DST for annual internship programme.
Tel: +27 (0)15 268 2785/3359
Fax: +27 (0)15 268 3246