MINISTER of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Thoko Didiza will deliver a keynote address at this year’s Eastern Cape Agriculture Indaba.
Organised by Nascence Advisory and Research, it will be held this Friday, 20 August 2021, at the East London Industrial Development Zone and through virtual platforms.
Managing Director Xhanti Payi said agriculture and agro-processing have been identified as key drivers of growth and job creation in South Africa with Minister Didiza having announced the release of up to nine million hectares of agricultural land in the pursuit of land and agrarian reform
This, said Payi, presented an opportunity for inclusion of a wider range of players to enter the sector, as well as existing stakeholders and supporting businesses to expand their work.
“A good deal of that land will be in the Eastern Cape and directed to medium and large commercial farming. This means there is a need to drive discussions on how collaborative engagements between various sector and regional players can work together to unlock the potential of this critical sector towards shared prosperity.”
Payi said the Indaba was a critical platform to discuss the constraints holding agriculture back, as well as key levers to unlock the potential of the sector. Specifically, a discussion on the support services for agriculture, including enabling infrastructure, with a focus on transport, logistics, water, and financing instruments such as insurance.
“Further, panellists will unpack how to propel the sector forward through research, and innovation.”
Other speakers include Portia Derby, Group CEO of Transnet; Wandile Sihlobo, Chief Economist of the Agricultural Business Chamber of South Africa; Ariane Labat, Counsellor: Climate Action, Environment and Agriculture for European Union; Mokete Tshiame, South African Grain Farmers Association; and Professor Sylvester Mpandeli from the Water Research Commission.
“In our efforts to diagnose the problems, key questions have to be addressed, such as how we design a system with built in resilience, and an inclusive agricultural sector that supports and capacitates junior, emerging farmers within provinces such as the Eastern Cape,” Payi said.