GRAIN SA ASSURES NEW MINISTRIES OF PARTNERSHIP COMMITMENT

Grain SA Communication
Gepubliseer: 3 Julie 2024

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The new ministers of Agriculture and Land Reform & Rural Development can be assured of Grain SA’s partnership commitment – a partnership with the focus on grain producers’ and environmental sustainability and contribution towards an inclusive national and rural economy.

We eagerly anticipate depoliticised government service delivery, with a focus on public service efficiency and international competitiveness. Grain SA believes that the Government of National Unity focused on nation building and inclusivity through economic growth will support the different departments to achieve goals as captured within the various well-developed plans.

The agricultural sector has a substantial capacity to sustain and create jobs in rural areas, especially if the departments focus on commercialisation of farmers and fostering an export-led agricultural sector. Agriculture already contributes significantly to social and economic job creation and growth in the broader economy and can do more with the right support.

Public-private partnerships (PPPs) in the South African agricultural sector can play a pivotal role in driving growth, enhancing productivity, and fostering sustainability. By combining and optimising resources, the partnerships can improve service delivery, and aid in developing necessary infrastructure such as irrigation systems, storage facilities, and transport networks. Infrastructure is a critical component for agricultural success.

The adoption of modern technologies can revolutionise farming practices. Effective partnerships will stimulate and promote the use of technology in agriculture, enhancing productivity and sustainability. Combining resources will improve the focus on training and skills development, equipping producers and workers with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in today’s competitive agricultural landscape. Working together can help South Africa to gain better access to grain and oilseed markets, both locally and internationally, ensuring fair prices and wider distribution of produce.

Given the inherent risks in South African agriculture, forming a crucial partnership to implement comprehensive crop insurance schemes is essential. This collaboration would leverage the private sector’s efficiency, innovation, and capital with the public sector’s regulatory framework and extensive reach, effectively mitigating risks for farmers.

Activating rural economies requires a comprehensive approach that includes prioritising infrastructure, often overlooked on the national agenda, and promoting local and rural manufacturing. Supporting rural communities through training and creating business opportunities linked to urban markets is essential. To counteract or slow down strong urbanisation, we must create local opportunities, establish infrastructure connections to urban markets, and ensure safety and security.

Agriculture is the backbone of the national economy with substantial potential to contribute even more to the country’s growth and development. This potential can be realised through robust PPPs and the creation of an enabling environment that supports the agricultural sector’s expansion and innovation. The future of South African agriculture depends on our collective efforts to nurture and sustain this vital sector.