Agricultural stakeholders have gathered at the Tshwane Events Centre in Pretoria for the Agri-Food Festival.
The event focused on the agricultural value chain, includes talks by the financial services sector, issues of market access, exhibitions and will provide a platform for emerging farmers to learn more about the trade.
3000 visitors are expected to attend the inaugural fair.
Gauteng Premier David Makhura says small scale farmers play an important role in the province's agricultural eco-system.
We have agri-business, the bigger part of the link between agriculture and manufacturing in many areas, that is the space that requires a lot of transformation and opportunities for black farmers.— David Makhura, Premier of Gauteng
On the issue of financing emerging businesses, Makhura admits more can be done.
Financing is important in every sector of emerging business, one of the key things is the land bank but that is not enough. Part of our problem is that we are not deliberately linking our land reform program and restitution food production and agri-business.— David Makhura, Premier of Gauteng
Meanwhile MEC for Agriculture in Gauteng, Lebogang Maile says the concept behind the festival is to look at possible ways and solutions in the sector.
Maile says the issue of land remains on the agenda.
We have to regularly monitor and make sure that we are deliberate in everything that we do and we should not relent, make sure that we guard our valuable agricultural land.— Lebogang Maile, MEC for Agriculture in Gauteng
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