Friday, June 20, 2008

MEC launches Youth in Agriculture and Rural Development

By Anele Siwa
20 June 2008

The Minister for Agriculture in the Western Cape Cobus Dowry has today opened the launch of the Youth in Agriculture and Rural Development (YARD).

“I believe that as South Africans we are faced with two major challenges in the Agricultural sector. Globally the marketplace is changing on a daily basis with its own specific set of demands for Agriculture. We have to keep up with the highly competitive invaders of our traditional export markets and unequal competition with subsidised produce that is offered to the consumers at much lower prices, even in our own country,” says Dowry.

According to Dowry many countries recognise the value of continuing research with the emphasis on niche markets.

“Locally we have to deal with the total transformation of the agricultural sector in order to rectify the injustices of the past and to make sure that land is distributed in a orderly fashion at the same time ensuring that all new entrants to agriculture become sustainable farmers who can contribute to the growth of the sector and thus making a meaningful contribution to the economy of the country,” he explains.

Dowry goes on to say the Government is placing a very high premium on the growth of human capital which is also one of the core aims of ASGISA.

“We believe that we can develop our human capital to become more productive and susceptible to the challenges of an ever-changing environment. Human capital development can therefore make a significant contribution to attain the goals for sustainable growth in agriculture as a whole,” he added.

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