Agriculture and food security need to become priorities on government’s agenda, as it has a significant impact on the economy, says Agri SA president Johannes Moller.
“We view food security as one of the State’s primary responsibilities, and we would expect policy and economic application to be geared towards enhancing this sector and not to hamper it,” he told attendees at the 2016 Agri SA Congress, in Centurion.
Moller further revealed that, amid the ongoing drought, the organisation’s Drought Disaster Fund, which was started in collaboration with Media24 and Senwes, had assisted over 13 000 commercial farmers in the last year. The fund had raised R16-million from 1 300 donors.
The fund has also assisted 3 053 emerging farmers.
However, he pointed out that the country was still in the grip of the drought and called on the corporate sector and general public to continue with their ﬁnancial contributions to the drought fund.
Meanwhile, Moller highlighted that, although it was seen as a threat to agricultural jobs, it was imperative for farmers to embrace innovation and technology changes brought on by the fourth industrial revolution.
“We will not escape this. If we want to stay internationally competitive, we need to stay at the forefront of technology,” Moller urged.