Agri leaders speak out before State of the Nation Address

The eyes of the country are fixed on South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma, who is due to deliver his 2016 State of the Nation Address on Thursday, 11 February at 7pm.

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Farmer’s Weekly spoke to three leaders in the sector on what they hoped to hear in the address.

Johannes Möller, President of Agri SA: “We would like to see policy certainty on land, labour and economic growth so that foreign investors’ confidence in South Africa can be restored. This is the one opportunity for the president to redeem South Africa and portray a positive image of our country. Agri SA has put together a drought task team to advise the government on how to manage the drought in an effective and affordable manner. We would like government to refer to this initiative.”

Dr Mandla Buthelezi, deputy president of the National African Farmers’ Union of South Africa: “The government should address smallscale farmers’ accessibility to markets and financial institutions. Without accessibility, we are left outside and will stay small forever. A hungry stomach knows no law and therefore government should also centre on job creation to eradicate poverty in South Africa.”

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Piet Karsten, mega farmer and Agricultural Writers of SA’s Farmer of the Year: “The government should focus on better collaboration with the agricultural sector. They should reach out to farmers, regardless of their race, to provide them with the necessary assistance and support.”