Farming co-operation call
AGRISA president Johannes Moller condemned radicalism and called on leaders to refrain from making inflammatory and extremist statements that gave rise to the violence against the farming community.
Moller was addressing stakeholders at the AgriSA 2017 congress in Muldersdrift yesterday.
He told stakeholders in the agricultural industry that they needed to work together if they wanted a South Africa that worked.
While the meeting highlighted the importance of strategic partnerships for the country, Moller said several of the organisation’s provincial structures embarked on training initiatives that aimed to improve skills and knowledge of emerging black farmers. It was important for the organisation to form partnerships that inspired hope and perseverance so that farmers kept farming irrespective of the political climate of the day. The event brought attention to challenges confronting the agricultural sector such as damage to produce, water scarcity and natural disasters.
Moller said: “Our economy is at an all-time low with growth of less than 1% and prospects looking dismal of recovery in the short term. The agricultural sector, after the 2016 drought, bounced back with a 22% uptick – by far the best-performing sector in the economy,” he said.
He said the sector couldn’t tackle the problems it faced in isolation and needed continued engagements with the government and the private sector.
Funding for emerging farmers and land reform were important issues for the industry.