Better cooperation with development projects needed – Agri SA

The South African farmers union – Agri SA – has started conversations between industry groups, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, as well as stakeholders like agricultural businesses, banks and insurance companies to establish greater cooperation on development projects.

Work sessions started last week with a report on Grain SA’s development projects and progress with government’s Operation Phakisa, aimed at accelerated agricultural development and land reform.

Jane McPherson, head of Grain SA’s farmer development programme, said more than 9 000 emerging farmers were involved in Grain SA’s different programmes. She invited everyone in the industry to get involved.

“We have the land, as well as suitable farmers. We need more agri-businesses to work with us to get involved with their inputs. Grain SA will provide mentorship and financial systems,” was her invitation.

Rowena Joemat, project manager of Operation Phakisa at the department, said the process of giving feedback to participants who helped with the setup of the plan, was completed last week. A report on it will also now be finalised. Next will follow agreements on the implementation of the programme.

Christo van der Rheede, deputy executive director at Agri SA said the time for talk is long gone. It is now time to take action.

A similar session with the horticulture industry is being planned.

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