Agri SA welcomes signing of the Agriculture and Agro-processing Masterplan

Agri SA welcomes the signing of the Agriculture and Agro-processing Masterplan (AAMP) by Minister Thoko Didiza and sector stakeholders. This occasion marks the culmination of years of negotiation and consensus building throughout the sector and is a testament to our shared commitment to the success and growth of this crucial sector.

Agri SA played an active part in the crafting of the AAMP and we are proud of the result of these efforts. Under the leadership of Dr. John Purchase, the agricultural sector has created a Masterplan that provides comprehensive support to both emerging and commercial farmers. The plan takes a holistic view of the sector and addresses wide-ranging issues from land reform and infrastructure to working conditions on farms and social security for workers.

Agri SA is satisfied that the plan that emerged from the extensive negotiation process since June 2020 reflects a balanced approach to the primary concerns of the sector’s many role players. These include ensuring South Africa’s food security, promoting the sustainable transformation of the sector, enhancing South Africa’s competitiveness, and creating an enabling policy environment, among others.

The interventions of the plan will be divided into six pillars:

a.     Resolving policy ambiguities and creating investment friendly environment;

b.     Investing in and maintaining an enabling infrastructure critical to industry;

c.      Providing comprehensive farmer support;

d.     Improving food security;

e.     Facilitating market expansion and promoting trade; and

f.       Improving localization and reduce imports.

Minister Didiza announced the signing of the plan during a pre-Budget Vote press conference today, and we were happy to see that the budget tabled by the Minister reflects some of the concerns addressed in the Masterplan. This is especially true for the state of South Africa’s critical infrastructure. In April, Agri SA shared concerning data about the extent to which the poor state of South Africa’s roads is negatively affecting farmers’ ability to transport produce, job seekers’ access to opportunities, and farmworkers’ ability to access services not located on farms. We are therefore pleased by the Masterplan’s commitment to raising an estimated R9,4 billion to address infrastructure constraints, and we are encouraged by Minister Didiza’s commitment to work with the sector and other government stakeholders to address this pressing issue.

Agri SA is however mindful that the Masterplan is a theoretical framework and a work in progress. Several aspects of the plan will require further engagement and negotiation, and none of them can be achieved without commitment and collaboration. We are committed to working with all the Masterplan’s signatories and the sector’s stakeholders to ensure the successful implementation of the plan. In the timeless words Robert F. Kennedy: 

‘Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man or woman stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he or she sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.’

 Media Enquiries

Christo Van der Rheede

Agri SA Executive Director

C: 083 380 3492