It is the mission of PHI to transform the global competitiveness of the South African fresh horticultural industry by funding research, development and innovation (RDI) efforts in high-priority areas in the postharvest leg of the value chain. In addition to providing a platform for RDI, PHI aims to build critical mass and institutional capacity to support innovation in the fresh horticultural industry.
However, a more robust public-private partnership model is required to ensure the sustainability of the PHI Programme beyond 2014. To this end, PHI engaged extensively with HORTGRO Science, Citrus Research International, the South African Table Grape Industry and the Subtropical Growers’ Association, as well as smaller and emerging industry representatives such as the Pomegranate Association of South Africa, Cape Flora SA, the Tomato Producers’ Organisation and the Ceres Onion Producers. This process provided input into the submission of a funding proposal to the DST to extend the support of the Programme for a third three-year phase, under the DST’s Sector-Specific Innovation Fund (SSIF). The outcome of the application was successful, with a further funding award of R30 million for the next three years.
On the 1st of April 2014, the third three-year phase of PHI officially commenced and will continue until 31 March 2017.