The agricultural sector needs to pursue collaboration to mitigate the various challenges it is facing, as well as to grow the sector, says Agri SA Commodity Chamber chairperson Dr Pieter Prinsloo.
Speaking at Agri SA’s Commodity and Corporate Chamber Conference, in Pretoria, on Wednesday, he emphasised the need for greater collaboration, rather than duplication; highlighting that isolationist and protectionist behaviour would not provide an answer to the shared challenges of the future.
These challenges include the effects of climate change, such as drought, famine and other irregular weather phenomena.
Further, in South Africa, there is massive unemployment, increasing poverty and inequality, low economic growth, heightened social and racial tensions, political uncertainty, political uncertainty about land reform, weak State-owned enterprises (SOEs), rural decline and urbanisation, institutional decline and corruption, weak water infrastructure and impeding legislation.
Prinsloo said the industry should accept that the political ambiguity would not stop in the near future, nor would failing SOEs recover in the short term.
Therefore, the agricultural sector needs to pursue mechanisms to survive in an economy that is not growing.
He called for the sector to assume the onus to create opportunities and mitigate challenges and to strengthen partnerships with academic institutions and stronger like-minded organisations.