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Christo van der Rheede - Agri SA

Agri SA work to encourage growth within the sector

Agri SA is the biggest federation of agricultural organisations in South Africa it was established in 1904 as the South African Agricultural Union and consists of provincial affiliates, commodity organisations and corporate members.

In the last few years there have been many issues facing fruit and vegetable producers in South Africa.

“Drought has been a massive issue in the North West, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape and the Free State provinces. Limpopo in the other hand experienced a green drought,” explains Christo van der Rheede, Agri SA’s Executive Director. “The situation has eased this year with good winter rains, but in some areas the prolonged drought continues. Also, some growers who have faced years of drought have found themselves in financial difficulties. There is also uncertainty with land issues, and it is difficult to attract new investment in the country. Safety is also a major concern especially in rural areas, labour, social welfare and worker relationships with farmers as well as fixing the minimum wage are all challenges faced within the sector.”

The organisation has a drought aid fund to help farmers to remain productive and to protect jobs and food security. The Agri Securitas Trust Fund supports local security projects to create a safer environment in rural areas.

Agri SA has specialists who advocate for conducive policy on land, legislation, environment, labour and trade. They also look at mitigating risks for farmers in areas such as rural safety, disaster management, drought aid, pest control and bio-security.

Agri SA work to encourage growth within the sector through agricultural development, funding, industry research and training.

For more information:
Thea Liebenberg
Agri SA
Tel:  +27 (0) 12 643 3434

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