Kwanalu’s annual Congress took place on 15 September, with the theme Adapt to Change, at the Royal Agricultural Showgrounds in Pietermaritzburg and focused on the challenges faced by the agricultural sector this past year, and seeking a sustainable and realistic way forward for the agricultural and rural sectors.
Speakers included Jaco Minnaar, President of Agri SA; Wandile Sihlobo, Chief Economist of the Agricultural Business Chamber of South Africa; Rob McCarthy, Law Attorney and owner of McCarthy and Associates Attorneys; and inspirational speaker, Martin Brown.
Thank you to all those who joined us for this insightful and inspiring day!
Summarising 2022 for South Africa’s agricultural sector, Agri SA President Jaco Minnaar emphasised the importance of change to be able to overcome new challenges.
“As we have seen this year, every shift or change in the world has an impact on agriculture and this is not going to be the last of the changes. We need to improve our business setup to adapt to new challenges as fast and as smoothly as possible,” he said.
Wandile Sihlobo, Chief Economist of the Agricultural Business Chamber of South Africa outlined the importance of agriculture in South Africa’s current economy, providing an insightful look of the value of each commodity within SA’s economic framework.
“Since 1994, SA’s agricultural sector has more than doubled in value, driven by an increase in productivity and exports among other factors. Agriculture is an important player when it comes to earnings and we need to nurture these relationships,” he said.
Specialising in finding solutions to issues of land reform, Rob McCarthy, Law Attorney and owner of McCarthy and Associates Attorneys, highlighted the need to break away from old ways of dealing with new problems.
“It’s time for change. We’ve got to change our approach to the problem. There are solutions, but they are not easy,” he said.
Ending the day with a dose of inspiration, Martin Brown, entrepreneur and quadriplegic shared his journey in overcoming the extreme adversity of being paralyzed from the neck down as a young man, with the message of looking outwards instead of inwards when dealing with disruptive change.
“Sometimes the best way to get assistance is to collaborate with people around you. No matter how bad the situation, no matter how hopeless it seems, there is always an opportunity to turn adversity to your advantage,” he said.