Kwanalu - ‘trailblazers of transformation’

2017-09-13 06:00
At the Kwanalu Congress 2017 (from left) Kwanalu CEO, Sandy La Marque, Agri SA President, Johannes Moller, political commentator, Max Du Preez and Kwanalu president, Greytown farmer, Andy Buchan.

At the Kwanalu Congress 2017 (from left) Kwanalu CEO, Sandy La Marque, Agri SA President, Johannes Moller, political commentator, Max Du Preez and Kwanalu president, Greytown farmer, Andy Buchan.

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KWANALU, the KwaZulu-Natal Agricultural Union, reflected on 20 years at the forefront of transformation in agricultural at its annual congress in Pietermaritzburg last week with the theme “Trailblazers of Transformation”.

In 1997, against all odds, and in the face of intense pressure, the then Natal Agricultural Union (NAU), the National African Farmers’ Union (Nafu) and the South Coast Indian Farmers’ Association merged, and Kwanalu was born.

Andy Buchan, in his second year as Kwanalu president, credited Kwanalu’s success to “its principled approach to representing the collective interests of its members”.

Talking about land reform, Buchan stressed that change is necessary.

“The objective of land reform must be to produce self-sufficient farmers capable of contributing to the food security of their families, communities and ultimately to the economy at large.

“Kwanalu and its affiliates re-cognise the need for land reform, but the simple acquisition of land without the necessary support to sustain a living is degenerative and doomed for failure,” he said.

Guest speaker, well-known journalist Max du Preez addressed delegates as the “custodians of our soil and producers of our food”.

Du Preez recognised that land displacement in SA is a historic fact and an emotional issue driven by pride, arguing that it is not about agriculture in the first place.

For that reason, he stressed that an aggressive approach to government about land reform will only “backfire” on the agricultural industry, encouraging instead more talking and more strategising as a solution.

Kwanalu KZN Young Farmer of the Year, 38-year old golden kiwi fruit farmer from Richmond, Ross Lowe, beat off stiff competition to take this year’s title and will now represent the province at the national Toyota SA/Agri SA Young Farmer in October. - Urban House Media: Nikki Chapple

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