The year 2020 is drawing to a close. It will probably be remembered in history as the year that we were forced to adapt to a new way of interacting with one another.
The year of global lockdown, masks, sanitizer and social distancing. Many were affected by the adverse circumstances that dominated this year, but we were reminded time and time again how resilient the farmers are. The fact of the matter is that people need to eat, and farmers are the ones that keep feeding the global population.
Agriculture was one of the few economic sectors that kept functioning. In many countries it was only the agricultural sector that kept the economy alive. This reminded governments of their dependence on a thriving agricultural sector.
There are many examples of how governments expanded the aid provided to farmers, especially in the emerging farmer category. South Africa’s Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development announced that her department would allocate R1 billion to support 75 000 emerging farmers in South Africa, thus stimulating the sector’s growth.
The Namibian government, through its Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, has procured funds from the African Development Bank which they intend to use for the Namibian Agricultural Mechanisation and Seed Improvement Project (NAMSIP). In Botswana, the government announced various subsidies to farmers for planting and producing livestock.
These are just a few examples of how African governments have taken initiative in supporting the farmers who feed the people. The manner in which these programmes will be implemented, the level of integrity shown by the government officials handling the funds, and the transparency of the process will determine the success of each of these programmes, and can benefit or damage the people’s view of their particular government.
ProAgri Media remains dedicated to supporting the farmers of Southern Africa by providing them with free information on the best and latest agricultural technology in the industry. We wish all our readers a blessed festive time, and a very prosperous new year. We shall be back with more articles, product reviews and training series in January 2021.
Jaco Cilliers – firstname.lastname@example.org