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Nation in Conversation asks if the ADA is worth waiting for

  • 15 May 2019
  • 1853
  •  press-release

The discussion was anchored by Leona Archary, Head of Agriculture at Bigen, who spoke to Malcolm Ferguson; retired ambassador and In Transformation Initiative consultant; Peter Setou, chief executive of the Vumelana Advisory Fund; Aggrey Mahanjana,  group managing director of NERPO; Brenda Tlhabane, chairperson of the Commodity Committee and NEC member of AFASA; and Chris Venter, CEO of AFGRI.

The key outcome of the discussion was that the Agriculture Development Agency is a partnership between the private sector and government. Funding for the ADA will come from both local and off-shore business interests.

Brenda made the point that “if the agency does not address the needs of the most vulnerable producers, it will not be effective.”

Malcolm shared his experience as ambassador saying that “the creation of an independent agriculture agency has proven successful “in other countries where incidents like civil war, for example, had resulted in a dysfunctional agri-sector.
Aggrey said that the proposed ADA, insofar as it represents a partnership, “was definitely the way to go. However, the biggest problem experienced over the last ten to fifteen years is the uncoordinated approach by the various government departments.”

Chris reminded the panel that the objective of any famer, regardless of scale, should be to sustain a profitable business. “We have to make the right business case.”

Peter made the point that “it is important for us to take a step back and look at what has not worked in the land reform process so far, so that we do not repeat the mistakes.”

When pressed for a time frame on the establishment of the ADA, Malcolm would only say that “overpromising and under delivering, can really hurt your brand, however, government has given us very stringent time-lines, so watch this space.” 

To stay abreast of this exciting development, go and watch the entire show at

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