New Agricultural Development Agency set to bridge the gap between government and the private sector

  • 21 Februarie 2020
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Champions of the initiative including In Transformation leader Roel Meyer, Farmer and Businessman Kallie Schoeman, Head of the Project Management Office in the Presidency Rudi Dicks, Leona Archery AGDA interim CEO, Nick Serfontein, Chairman of the Sernick Group and Associate in the In Transformation initiative Malcom Ferguson gave keynote addresses at the launch. 

The launch of the agricultural development agency (AGDA) was a monumental moment for the agricultural community. Several key role players in the agricultural sector collaborated to birth what could be a game-changer in the way that government and the private sector work together to elevate south African agriculture to compete with the rest of the world.

“I think this has been a dream for many of us. We express the desire to come forward and support the idea of establishing something that could actually take care of the need to bring more farmers into the agricultural space.” Said Roelf Meyer, one the head runners of the initiative, in his address to the audience attending the launch. Meyer also reiterated that while this initiative will work hand-in-hand with government, it remains a private initiative.

Minister of agriculture Thoko Didiza expressed great optimism and assured AGDA full government support through a pre-recorded video message that was played to the audience at the launch. “This initiative follows a call that was made by the president in 2018 for the private sector to work together with government to resolve agricultural and land reform issues that our country faces today.” She expressed that government appreciates that this agency will join other organised agricultural structures to mobilise resources for the betterment of the sector. The minister recognised the work that Senwes and other companies do to provide aid to farmers in building their business, but also acknowledged that the commencement of the agricultural development agency will be pivotal in bringing about necessary changes in the sector.

One of the of the main takeaways from the launch of the agency is that it plans to operate as a body that holds government accountable for the implementation of the many policies that exist in relation to agricultural land reform and other pressing matters. Leona Archery will lead AGDA as Acting CEO. She expressed that the main driver for the success of the agency will be partnerships. They plan to partner with government, agri businesses, farmers and the financial sector to establish a foundation that can catapult South African agriculture to greater heights.