An exciting future awaits the South African agriculture sector. To unlock it, all the role players need to embrace the opportunities on offer.
“There is a lot of optimism out there and we have to grab opportunities to make the most of it,” says Praveen Dwarika, managing director of Afgri’s Lemang Agricultural Services, about the changes coming to agriculture in South Africa.
Among the changes Dwarika refers to is the Agriculture and Agro-processing Master Plan (AAMP) signed in May this year by the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Thoko Didiza.
The aim of the plan is to rebuild the sector’s competitiveness, recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, ensure food security, achieve inclusive growth and create sustainable jobs.
“We are quite excited about AAMP. It is going to bring about major changes in the agriculture industry,” says Dwarika. “I think it is about time the economy receives the resuscitation it needs. Covid-19 has put a damper on a lot of activities, but we saw the resilience of the agriculture sector. We also now need younger farmers to come in and take the reins.”
However, he points out that the implementation of the plan will require everybody to pitch in. “It’s a framework in which we have to work. There needs to be collaboration, not only within the private sector but also in public-private partnerships. How we pull this together is going to make or break it.”
Innovation is another important element of the bright future awaiting agriculture, but Dwarika cautions that it needs to trickle through to all farmers for the industry to grow.
“There is a lot of technology coming to the sector,” he says. “On the commercial side it has been embraced, but we need to get it to the new-era farmer as well. There are enough affordable technologies out there for that.”
For more information, visit www.afgri.co.za/lemang-agricultural-services