The voice of agriculture . Die stem van landbou . Izwe lezokulima

Future of farming dependent on organised agriculture

As South Africans gear up for the general election next month, the current political, economic and social climate places a spotlight on the crucial role organised agriculture plays in initiating, informing and influencing decisions and policies for a sustainable and financially viable agricultural sector.

“Never in the history of South Africa has the role of organised agriculture come to such a point of departure. For farmers, in the fragile and emotionally fraught current financial, political and social climate, the role of an organised agricultural body such as Kwanalu, is critical,” says CEO of Kwanalu, Sandy La Marque.

“Agriculture cannot go ahead in a justifiable manner without an organised body like Kwanalu representing the best interests of farmers and managing negativity and false news prevailing in the sector. Kwanalu’s strong membership base, its water-tight constitution and accountable mandates are all what sets the organisation apart from other organisations, whose interests are not solely invested in the development of the sector and whose core members are not made up of farmers and rural members, but rather of unconcerned parties with other (often political) agendas,” says La Marque.

“Once agriculture has “lost its place” around Government’s table, it will not be easy to get it back and if so, it will be on conditions, not ours. The transformation of agriculture and the political, economic and social pressures placed on the sector, does not allow for unclear or poorly considered and executed decisions or positions. Without a body like Kwanalu, farmers and the entire agricultural sector, cannot make meaningful inputs at Government level, rather leaving laws, amendments to the Constitution etc to others who do not have the best interests of all farmers as a mandate. Kwanalu’s role here is crucial; with its strength, the future stability of the sector and effectiveness at Government level, lies in our member numbers and the organised structures that form part of organised agriculture; farmers and landowner associations, Kwanalu and the national body Agri SA,” says La Marque.

Kwanalu is an all-inclusive, non-profit organisation which operates solely on clear mandates from its membership base, decided on at the organisation’s annual Congress, which includes all farmers, farmer and land owner associations, commodities and KZN agri-businesses. Kwanalu operates on a sound governance structure with a constituted Board and Advisory Council elected by members.

Kwanalu has always adopted very clear principals; namely to be a) well-informed with a solid legal foundation and an economically and factually sound foundation, b) to project, at all times, a professional image which is modern and progressive, c) has integrity, is credible, relevant and integrated, d) is socially and morally responsible and compliant. These principles are focused on each specific sector which makes up agriculture in KZN, all together ensuring an effective and affective collective bargaining power on behalf of members.

“Kwanalu is forward-thinking, proactive, well-informed and professional in our inputs and as such we are recognised as being a strong provincial leader in the sector,” says La Marque.

For further information, visit www.kwanalu.co.za or call 033 342 9393.