Farming community mourns passionate small farmer, Cobus Dowry

Former minister of agriculture in the Western Cape, Cobus Dowry (67) died on Monday, 5 May, after a long struggle with pancreatic cancer.

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Orton King, group executive director of the Agri Mega Group (AMG) and Jerome Topley, executive director of Agri Mega NPC said in a media statement that Dowry will be remembered for his passion for farm workers and smallholder development.

Dr John Purchase, head of Agbiz, said in a letter to Topley and King, that Dowry was someone with a love for agriculture, especially developing agriculture.

Dowry was a director of the Agri Mega Group until November 2012. He was involved in organised agriculture and served as chairperson of the United South African Agricultural Association (USAAA) since its inception in 2008.

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After his retirement Dowry and his wife, Judy started farming with olives in Tulbagh.

He grew up in Klapmuts, became provincial minister and served as a priest and radio news reader. At the time of his death Dowry was completing his doctoral thesis at the Stellenbosch University.

“He was our foundation. He was unselfish and cared for people. He also kept them at the feet of the Lord. He leaves a big gap in our lives and will be missed,” said Dowry’s son, William.

Dowry leaves his wife, eight children and 14 grandchildren. The funeral will be held on 10 May in Tulbagh.