Agricultural indaba held

2016-05-26 06:00
PHOTOS: Precious Gumede At the event (from left) Irvin Naidoo, Njabulo Ntshangase (Department of Agriculture), Thanda Ncane, MEC Cyril Xaba, Vijay Naidoo, Minnie Van der Merwe and Hilton Odweyer.

PHOTOS: Precious Gumede At the event (from left) Irvin Naidoo, Njabulo Ntshangase (Department of Agriculture), Thanda Ncane, MEC Cyril Xaba, Vijay Naidoo, Minnie Van der Merwe and Hilton Odweyer.

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THE South Coast Chamber of Commerce and Industry hosted an agricultural indaba at Uvongo­ Town Hall on Tuesday, attended­ by farmers and local business owners.

Also in attendance was Department of Agriculture MEC Cyril Xaba, who spoke about agriculture and farming from a business perspective.

Xaba thanked the South Coast Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the district municipality for convening the meeting.

“In many parts in South Africa and around the world, organised agriculture operates independently with their own agri-business units. There needs to be more interaction, more overlapping of interests with the Chambers of Commerce and Industry,” he said.

Xaba said at local level the Ugu District sees agriculture as one of the catalysts when it come to growing the economy, which is good.

He also spoke about agrarian transformation.

“Basically agrarian transformation needs to succeed in the farming industry, you need business skills,” said Xaba.

He encouraged farmers to be innovative and look for ways to grow their business and advised attendees to join local business chambers, which are platforms for business growth and for farmers to network at.

Xaba said at a national level they are aware that revitalisation of agriculture and agro-processing value chain is number one on government’s nine-point plan.

“This ties in with the role of business chambers, which promotes growth and investment, builds new enterprises and forges stronger links between business communities,” he said.

Xaba said if agriculture is a catalyst for economic growth it is expected to play a key role in job creation as

mandated by the national development plan, it has to feature prominently on the agenda of the Chamber of Business and Industry.

The MEC said the department’s website is regularly updated.

“Our website is accessible to everyone and most of the information farmers need is on there. We also have local offices where one can get assistance.”

At the indaba …

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