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Challenges in agriculture force the farming industry to be resilient

  • 14 May 2024
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Anlie Hattingh anchored the session and noted that excellence does not come from a place of comfort. “It comes from people who are challenged to innovate and think of solutions not easily available.” Anika de Beer, meteorologist and ESG analyst at Restore Africa is of the opinion that natural and man-made systems are adapting to current climatic conditions. “Climate change is increasing the rate of change beyond the speed at which natural adaption can take place. Southern Africa experiences the impact of climate change sooner and more intensely due to a higher rate of climate change comparing to the rest of the world.” She shared that we should be entering a weak La Niña phase – wetter and cooler conditions – at the end of the year and expanded on the possibility of carbon revenues when producers lower their carbon emissions.

Dewald Olivier, CEO of RIMS, highlighted that the red meat industry looks at ESG to make their own plans instead of waiting for government to do it. “Attitude and resilience are critical. The attitude that biosecurity is not my neighbour's problem but my own has already shown significant results. The interconnectedness between animals and humans is a reality, and traceability stays my own responsibility.”

Kotzé argued that we need to understand how climate works and incorporate it with the passion for farming. “We love the earth. We love nature. We need to combine this concept. Farmers are risk managers. Risk is what we do. But it is the factors feeding into that risk that we need to change to become more climate smart.”

Corné Louw, senior economist at Grain SA, reckoned that South African agriculture is resilient and need to be at the forefront of technology. “We have built a free market which made us number two when it gets to food security in Africa. But a free market forces us to do accurate planning; save in the good years to be able to survive bad years.”

The session concluded with the handing over of a cheque to Hartbeesfontein farmers’ union. This was made possible by AgriRewards+, the Senwes platform where Senwes producers nominate a farmers’ union to receive a benefit based on the producer’s business done within the Senwes Group. “Senwes decided that farmers’ unions know best where the need in their communities is and therefore it just makes sense to channel donations via this platform,” Francois Redelinghuys, Marketing Manager of the Senwes Group, concluded.

Watch this discussion here if you missed it. Book your seat for upcoming Nation in Conversation sessions here.

Issued by Nation in Conversation: 14 May 2024

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