In addition to massive investments by the private sector over the years, one key catalyst for the agricultural progress South Africa enjoys today and food security is the government’s and regulators’ embrace of science. South Africa’s openness to crop protection, improved seed varieties, and better genetics, among other inputs, has enhanced the yields in our agricultural sector.

The scientific embrace is also one of the differentiating factors between the broader African and South African agricultural output. Of course, there is much more related to mechanisation and better farming methods. Still, the government’s embrace of science has been vital to our agricultural progress.

As new genetic improvements in animals and plants and crop protection become available to the market, South Africa must maintain its original openness to science. I undoubtedly get this progressive approach when interacting with the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development leadership.

Simultaneously, the South African government must revitalise its breeding programmes at the Agricultural Research Council and other organisations. We need these while simultaneously being open to what the global stakeholders bring to market. Food security is national security.

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