Farmers talk on their own behalf to ambassadors – Agri SA

Organisation says point was put across and there was general consensus that EWC is a bad idea

Farmers talk on their own behalf to Ambassadors

3 September 2018

Agri SA is continuously in discussion regarding the principles of a sustainable agricultural sector with the international community in an official and balanced manner. Affiliated farmers from Gauteng, the Free State and North West as well as industry leaders conducted successful discussions with South Africa’s largest trading partners last week. This is part of Agri SA’s continued engagement with decisionmakers.

Agri SA and its farmer-representatives discussed trade and the strengthened relations with international markets, farm security, as well as its opposition to expropriation without compensation (EWC) and farm landgrabs.

In no way was any reference made to organisations and their actions,” said Tommie Esterhuyse, a farmer and Vice-president of Free State Agriculture. “We had more than enough time to put our point across and there was general consensus that EWC is a bad idea.”

There are a few facts that Agri SA would like to set straight:

South African agriculture and our trade relations is incredibly important for the sustainability of our economy.

Commodity organisations and Agbiz was part of the discussions and provided constructive inputs.

During the meeting, Agri SA put the interests of the farmer first.

The farmers made use of the opportunity to formally and informally talk to the Ambassadors.

The farmers also used the opportunity to have rational discussion regarding farm security.

The Ambassadors voiced their concern over EWC with us.

It is was clear from the discussion that South Africa should focus on a total value chain approach to ensure a future for agriculture.

It is now the time for South Africans to stand together and promote our mutual interests, and not polarize the community,” said Esterhuyse.

Agri SA has a standing policy to engage with all role-players in the country that work towards a sustainable, transformed and competitive agricultural sector.

Issued by Thea Liebenberg, Media Liaison Officer, Agri SA, 3 September 2018