Agricultural Research Council, South African Veterinary Council & National Agricultural Marketing Council on their 2016 Strategic & Annual Performance Plans, with Minister in attendance
Author: Ms M Semenya
There was not enough appreciation of the role of agriculture and the food sector in the country’s economy and society. The Portfolio Committee heard this when three entities of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries were briefed on their annual performance plans. The National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) said that the cost of the staple food basket had increased by approximately 19% from January 2015 to January 2016. It projected a further increase of 10% in quarter 1 of 2016, and expected it to reach 30% by the end of the year.
The entity said there had not been enough progress in addressing the integration of black smallholder farmers into South Africa’s mainstream economy. One of the founding objectives of NAMC had been to increase market access for all participants. It was leading a project to develop a composite index as a measure of progress towards achievement of “market access for all participants”, especially for black smallholders. A reference group had been set up to advise on the development of the Smallholder Market Access Tracker (SMAT) index.
The Agricultural Research Council (ARC) said it was working with Jermat Seeds and Capstone Seeds to market water-efficient (WE) 3127 and 3128 hybrids in RSA. Capstone had committed to produce 50 tonnes of certified seed while Jermat had committed to produce 80 tonnes to meet the demands of small holder farmers for the 2016/17 summer planting season.
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