FARE Panel begins engagements with agriculture stakeholders

appels_bakerscousincom9 May 2013

Recent conflicts in rural areas have shown that the challenges facing the Western Cape agriculture sector are beyond the scope of any one stakeholder or sphere of government to resolve. To this end, the Future of Agricultural and the Rural Economy (FARE) process was launched at Elsenburg on 26 April 2013, following four months of consultation and deliberation with roleplayers comprising different spheres of government, labour, organized agriculture, NGOs and smallholder farmers.

A FARE steering committee has been established, co-chaired by Andrew Boraine from the Western Cape Economic Development Partnership (EDP) and Philip Dexter from the Western Cape Economic Development Forum (EDF). This committee has in turn tasked a panel of non-political and independent experts in the sector to take the process forward. The panel includes Antonie Gildenhuys, Venete Klein, Jan Theron, Karin Kleinbooi, Thom Thamaga, Adrian Sayers, and Frans van Wyk.

The panel will engage directly and privately with the broadest range of stakeholders in various geographical areas throughout the Western Cape Province, to receive inputs on the future of agriculture and the rural economy in general. It will also consider the successes and limitations of previous social dialogue and mediation initiatives.

Stakeholders are invited to give inputs on all aspects relevant to agriculture and the rural economy, which can include the following:

•          Challenges that exist in agriculture and the rural economy;

•          Transformation in rural areas;

•          The promotion of social dialogue, and obstacles which impede social dialogue;

•          The creation of jobs, and the kind of jobs which can and should be created;

•          The state of education in the rural areas, and obstacles which impact upon the availability and quality of education;

•          The availability and quality of housing, and obstacles which prevent access to housing;

•          Access to land and water resources, and how access can be improved;

•          The future of agriculture in terms of where it is expected to stand in the next three to 10 years and what can be done to secure its success.

Stakeholders can include municipalities and government departments, community organisations, faith-based groups, NGOs, trade and labour unions, farmer associations, chambers of commerce, and individuals who occupy key positions in the area. Inputs from stakeholders can be made by way of written submissions, formal presentations or informal discussions in a language of the stakeholder’s choice.

The panel’s itinerary for May includes the following areas: George (13 May), Oudtshoorn (14 May), Malmesbury, Ceres and Citrusdal/Clanwilliam (dates to be confirmed), De Doorns (20 May) and Ashton (21 May).

In June the panel will visit: Caledon (3 June), Grabouw/Elgin (4 June), Elsenburg (10-11 June to hear representations from Stellenbosch, Wellington, Paarl and Franschhoek), and Philippi (12 June).

Stakeholders who want to engage with the FARE panel on any of the above dates are asked to contact Malikah Uys (082 769 0559) or Lyndon Metembo (082 462 0583) or email admin@fare.org.za. Stakeholders may also submit written presentations without meeting with the panel. Written presentations can be sent to admin@fare.org.za

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