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Agri SA en sy lede gee landbou ‘n massiewe hupstoot! | Agri SA and its members give agriculture a massive boost!

English to follow:

1 Mei 2020

Die aankondiging Woensdagaand deur die Minister van Landbou, Grondhervorming en Landelike Ontwikkeling dat die hele landbou-waardeketting vrygestel is van enige inperkings, met uitsondering van die verkope van alkohol en tabak is inderdaad ‘n veer in die hoed van Agri SA en sy lede organisasies, sê Omri van Zyl, Agri SA se uitvoerende direkteur.

Die afgelope naweek is daar hard agter die skerms gewerk om hierdie deurbraak te bewerkstellig met insette van deur Agri SA lede organisasie wat verwerk en voorgelê kon word.

Die betrokkenheid van Agri SA, saam met ander instansies, in die ministeriële taakspan wat die Minister van Landbou die afgelope tyd geadviseer het, het vrugte vir die landbousektor afgewerp. Dit beklemtoon weer die belangrikheid vir boere, provinsiale-en bedryfsorganisasies en ander spelers in die landbou-waardeketting om aktief betrokke by ‘n instelling soos Agri SA te wees en dit as ‘n platform te gebruik om hul kwessies tot op die hoogste regeringsvlak te belig.

Boere kan nou voortgaan met veilings van lewende hawe en ander landbouprodukte soos wol en katoen. Dit bly egter onderworpe aan streng higiëniese voorsorgmaatreëls en ‘n beperking van 50 mense per veiling. Daarmee saam is kritiese landbou-dienste soos navorsing, inspeksies, sertifisering en kwaliteitsbeheer ook van enige inperkings vrygestel.  Wyn kan nou weer uitgevoer word, so ook verskeie ander landbouprodukte.

Agri SA se span het ook hul netwerke die afgelope tyd ingespan om invoere en uitvoere by die Suid-Afrikaanse hawens aan die gang te kry. In dié proses het Transnet uit hul pad gegaan om vragskepe toegang tot die hawens te verleen om swaar landboumasjinerie en ook chemikalieë noodsaaklik vir die voorbereiding van graanlanderye in die Wes-Kaap af te laai. Boere in die Wes-Kaap en Graan SA se bekommernis dat die chemikalieë nie betyds sou arriveer nie, is deur hierdie aksie bygelê.

Maatskappye wat landboumasjinerie invoer se groter uitdaging was die onbekombaarheid van permitte om abnormale vragte te kon vervoer. Agri SA het die Direkteur-Generaal van Vervoer gekontak en die kantoor verantwoordelik vir die permitte was as ‘n noodsaaklike diens verklaar. Dit het die maatskappye in staat gestel om ingevoerde landboumasjinerie aan hul kliënte betyds vir die stroopseisoen af te lewer.

Ander goeie nuus vir die sektor is dat die konstruksie van infrastruktuur op plase en deur agribesighede ook goedgekeur is. Die kommersiële landbousektor voorsien nie net kos aan Suid-Afrika, ons buurlande en aan die internasionale wêreld nie, maar dit skep werk aan nagenoeg 850 000 mense en verdien miljarde se buitelandse valuta vir Suid-Afrika.

Agri SA bedank die Minister en DG’s van Landbou vir hul bereidwilligheid om na ons insette te luister en dit tot op die hoogste vlak namens die sektor in regulasies te verwoord wat die sektor tot groot voordeel strek. Deur samewerking en wedersydse vertroue beskerm ons nie net ons burgers teen die vernietigende impak van die dodelike COVID-19 pandemie nie, maar ons stel ook planne in werking om die ekonomie te beskerm en voedselsekerheid vir almal te waarborg.

Navrae:

Omri van Zyl

Agri SA Uitvoerende Direkteur

 Christo van der Rheede

Agri SA Adjunk-Uitvoerende Direkteur

 ********************************************

1 May 2020

 The announcement on Wednesday evening by the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development that the entire agricultural value chain would be exempt from any restrictions, except for alcohol and tobacco, is indeed a feather in the cap for Agri SA and its member organisations, says Agri SA’s chief executive officer, Omri van Zyl.

During the past weekend, a lot of work was done behind the scenes to facilitate this breakthrough with inputs from its member organisations, without which this would not have been possible.

The involvement of Agri SA, together with other organisations, in the ministerial task team that recently advised the Minister of Agriculture, has yielded considerable benefits for the agricultural sector. This again confirms how important it is for farmers, provincial and commodity organisations as well as other role players in the agricultural value chain to be actively involved in an organisation such as Agri SA as a platform to highlight their concerns at the highest levels of government.

Farmers may now go ahead with livestock auctions, as well as auctions for other agricultural products such as wool and cotton. However, they will still be subject to strict hygiene measures and a limit of 50 people per auction. In addition, critical agricultural services such as research, inspections, certification, and quality control are also exempted from any restrictions. Wine, as well as all other farm products, may once again be exported.

Agri SA’s team recently also used their contacts to ensure that exports and imports at South African ports are resumed. In the process, Transnet has gone the extra mile by granting cargo ships access to ports to offload heavy farm machinery, as well as chemicals that are essential for the preparation of grain fields in the Western Cape. In this way, the concerns raised by farmers in the Western Cape and Grain SA that the chemicals would not arrive in time were averted.

A bigger challenge for companies importing farm machinery was that they could not obtain permits to transport abnormal loads. Agri SA contacted the Director-General of Transport, after which the office responsible for the permits was declared an essential service. This enabled these companies to deliver imported farm machinery to their clients in time for the harvest season.

Other good news for the sector is that the construction of infrastructure on farms and by agribusinesses has also been approved. The commercial agricultural sector not only provides food to South Africans, our neighbours and the international world but also employs approximately 850 00 people and earns billions in foreign currency for South Africa.

Agri SA hereby wishes to thank the Minister and Director-Generals of Agriculture for their willingness to listen to our inputs and to introduce them at the highest level on behalf of the sector for incorporation into the regulations, which has been of great benefit to the agricultural sector. Through cooperation and mutual trust, we not only protect our citizens against the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic but also put plans in motion to protect the economy and guarantee food security for all.

 Enquiries:

Omri van Zyl

Agri SA Executive Director

Christo van der Rheede

Agri SA Deputy Executive Director