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Nation in Conversation aims to bring different views in the agricultural industry closer to consensus

  • 11 September 2015
  • 996
  •  Nasie in Gesprek
  •  nasieingesprek

Following the success of a series of discussion forums at the annual NAMPO Harvest Day agricultural trade exhibition in May this year, Senwes-initiated Nation in Conversation concept will now be extended into a thirteen part dialogue series which will be broadcast on Kyknet, Business Day Television and Soweto TV from mid-September through to December 2015. 

With the support of Senwes, AFGRI, Fort Knox, Hinterland, Monsanto, Nedbank and NWK the important issues raised through the Nation in Conversation forum can now be brought to the attention of a wider audience. “We all need take cognisance of what is happening in the agricultural industry as access to quality and affordable food resources affect our entire nation’s well-being,” says Theo Vorster, CEO of Galileo Capital and anchor of the Nation in Conversation series. 

Despite the numerous challenges facing South Africa’s agricultural producers, it is clear that role players within the industry as well as business and political leaders have the will to seek common ground to ensure the stability and future sustainability of this strategic industry. 
“As an industry, agriculture wishes to open up more commercial farming opportunities, create stable business environments and ultimately ensure the food security of our nation,” says Senwes Managing Director, Francois Strydom. 
There is consensus within the industry that reform is inevitable. Discussions are focused on creating greater cohesiveness amongst the various role players and our society at large, and ensuring a solution-driven approach towards a new dispensation in agriculture. 

Agricultural producers form part of the great tapestry of our nation and play an essential role to ensure the country’s stability and economic growth through food production. The fate of these producers is inextricably linked to every aspect of society.

“It was clear from our participation at NAMPO Harvest Day 2015 that there is a need to encourage and expand the narrative around agriculture. Producers in this industry operate in a highly competitive and demanding environment; and they have to meet various political and commercial challenges. How the future of agriculture unfolds will impact on the growth and development of South Africa and its people. We cannot afford to take this lightly,” says Vorster. 

The Nation in Conversation television series will be hosted in English and Afrikaans and will focus on the following topics:
  • Land reform – current proposals and models for successful reform
  • Land ownership – what are the alternatives to private land ownership
  • Building sustainable enterprises – agricultural enterprises as commercial entities
  • Labour relations – mentorship and development of new farmers, managing resource challenges
  • Food value chain – maximizing resources through partnerships
  • Promoting and protecting locally produced products
  • New developments in primary production – how is it expected to change in the next five years and in the long run
  • Affordability of food – role of producers and retailers
  • Improving agricultural efficiencies through technology and precision farming
  • Environmental challenges, protection of our scarce resources and access to alternative energy sources 
  • Organic vs bulk farming and production – ensuring biodiversity and sustainability 
  • Conservation agriculture – Fairshare/Fairtrade, community-based initiatives, research and development and sustainable growth
  • International trade – import and export demands on agriculture
The Nation in Conversation programme schedule, list of panel members and news updates are available on Join the conversation on Twitter: @NationConverse

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