I am in the Eastern Cape today, attending The Co-Op/Landbou Weekblad conference. The main theme of the conference is Opportunities for Farming. The inputs or presentations from various farmers showcase the good work that’s currently being done across the province.
The common catalyst across all the successful farming business and projects discussed thus far focuses on the importance of joint ventures for agriculture development. This eases access to additional capital from established agribusinesses to be blended with State resources that supports some developing farmers. But most importantly, is the pass-through of the “know-how” from commercial farmers to the new entrants.
This message is in line with the view in the National Treasury’s recent economic policy paper – Towards a Growth Agenda for the South African Economy. The question now is how to replicate the successful projects (or farming businesses as farmers insist, should be called that way). The hope is that the Sector Master Plans that are currently being developed across various ministries will respond to the aspirations of the people on the ground as that could result in real progress or development.
The other points that came out in the discussion are the land reform, access to finance and water regulations. These are points that were discussed also in Free State last week (see here).
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