Nation in Conversation blows winds of foresight during Nampo Cape 2019 opening session

  • 06 September 2019
  • 114



That conversation was led by well-known Nation in Conversation anchor, Theo Vorster. On the panel were Jannie de Villiers (Chief Executive: Grain SA); Francois Strydom - Agbiz Chairman and Senwes Group Chief Executive Officer); Dr. John Purchase (Agbiz CEO); Leona Archary - Head of Agriculture: Bigen Africa); and Dr Ivan Meyer (Western Cape Provincial Minister of Agriculture).

The discussion focused on the challenges facing the proposed Agricultural Development Agency, and the government's five-year plan to work with the private sector in its initiatives.

Dr Ivan Meyer stated that he was very pleased and excited that the President and Minister thought it appropriate to prioritize agriculture for economic growth. Jannie de Villiers's message to the Minister on behalf of the private and agricultural sector was: “Thank you, we are now on the right track. As a private sector, we now want to help and join hands with the state to implement the plans that include partnerships and innovation, among others.” Leona Archary added that the PPGI (Public and Private Growth Initiative) is truly a good place where South Africans can develop new ideas and ways to drive the economy and growth of the economy.

Francois Strydom's message was that everyone in SA should take ownership and that we should not expect anyone else to save the situation. He further states that we are now at a critical junction with a bare plundered land and that it is time to rebuild. With economic stimulation and remuneration, South Africans can make any initiative work. Dr. John Purchase added that SA really has a huge asset in agriculture. “We have risks and challenges in the larger agricultural sector, but we create jobs and generate revenue in foreign countries.

Relations, innovation, skills development and better market access were identified by the panel as agricultural success factors with exports to Africa at the heart of economic growth. About half of SA's agricultural exports go to Africa. Dr Ivan Meyer pointed out that Africa will soon have 1 billion people, they are hungry and need to be fed. "This is where our focus should be on exports, with an export-driven economy providing opportunities for access to the market."

The overall message was that both the private and public sectors will not be able to achieve economic growth alone and that the private sector must take the state's hand to implement the plans.

To watch this conversation again or for more information regarding Nation in Conversation visit www.nationinconversation.co.za. Also download the Nation in Conversation app and experience Nation in Conversation as if you were sitting in the studio.