Think, talk, grow

2013-05-02 00:00

WE all eat, yet agriculture is one industry that suffers all sorts of economic challenges. Farmers are price takers, yet their produce has created super-rich chain stores and hospitality empires. While some retirees are slowly turning farming into a lifestyle practice, the occupation is unattractive to the young. The fierce battle between production and wastage remains unbalanced. Dropping production levels due to inadequate transitional support is one of the unpopular consequences of land reform. Adaptation to climate change and urbanisation contribute to the conflicts of development. We desperately need game changers to help agriculture overcome these challenges.

Together with other alumni, Stewart has founded the unit which has been enthusiastically received by dean and head of the School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Professor Albert Modi, and senior professor in agricultural economics Professor Gerald Ortmann. A collaborative agreement has been reached between UKZN and the Lima Rural Development Foundation, through which Lima provided seed funding for the unit.

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