Striking up a conversation on agriculture

“South  Africa cannot survive without farmers.  Agriculture is the only industry which can ensure sustainable economic growth and wealth", says Mr Andries Gamede, Mpumalanga MEC for Agriculture, Rural Development, Land and Environmental Matters.  Nationally and internationally it is time to realise the extent of the impact of agriculture on South Africa and the community and this is where Nation in Conversation plays a role.
Nation in Conversation serves as a "voice" for the producer and its key partners and goes from strength to strength in making a world-wide positive impact.  Communal, small and commercial farmers are mostly excluded from discussions which really matter, since such discussions are traditionally regarded as taboo. This often results in the agricultural sector not being heard and in ignorance being exploited, which is usually to the detriment of the farmers. 
This is why Nation in Conversation was initiated and why it includes important role players in the agricultural sector, namely AFGRI, Engen, John Deere, Grain SA, Monsanto and Nedbank.  It takes place under the leadership of Senwes at the NAMPO Harvest Day at Bothaville.
This year will be Nation in Conversation's fourth year at the NAMPO Harvest Day.  This forum attempts to inform the average South African of the important role played by agriculture in our country, the world and the role it will play in the future.  The objective is to encourage dialogue amongst leaders from different affiliations, political backgrounds and the business sector in order to find common ground upon which the case of agriculture can be strengthened.  "We hope to motivate farmers and the community alike to think differently about agriculture and agricultural issues", says Francois Strydom (Group Chief Executive of Senwes).
Senwes works in the interest of the agricultural sector.  By making human resources available, mobilising role players in the agricultural sector and putting initiatives in place, Senwes helps to motivate thought leaders to initiate discussions on sensitive agricultural issues and to find solutions. “It is in the interest of all concerned to ensure the safe and stable functioning of the agricultural sector, in which producers will be supported and motivated.  For this reason we attempt to reach consensus and to overcome the challenges faced by agriculture.  We attempt to bring about co-operation which will lead to a better and more sustainable future for agriculture", Strydom explained.
This year's Nation in Conversation will attempt to encourage dialogue of an exclusive and solution driven nature from 17 - 20 May and we are excited to have a number of main stream media partners on board. 
Nation in Conversation will also have a larger digital footprint this year with increased functionality, more platforms and it will be more user friendly.  Users can look out for the Nation in Conversation application which will be available in various App Stores in due course.  This application will place Nation in Conversation in the palm of the public's hand and will expand agricultural and topical matters further than ever before.
Enthusiasts can also follow all the studio discussions during NAMPO via YouTube, on the Nation in Conversation website and/or on the application.  Interactive participation is high on the priority list in order to include viewers, listeners and readers in the discussions and to discuss their comments and questions in the studio.
Nation in Conversation will have two external broadcasting areas (in front of Farmer Patents and the Hinterland Hall) with huge LED-screens.  This luxury will make it possible for more NAMPO visitors to follow discussions and to be part thereof. 
Provision will also be made for those concerned about band width and megabytes by means of social media, which will be used to take the discussions to the nation.  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn will keep users abreast of every day's discussions.
In a continuous attempt to discuss problems and other issues as soon as possible, the discussions will be viewed on various TV-channels during the following week.
Keep an eye on the media and our website for the program, subjects to be discussed and guest speakers.  For more information on Nation in Conversation, visit