The International Federation of Agricultural Journalists has outlined that South Africa is the gateway to the rest of Africa as populations grow and food demand pressure grows. South Africa has a dual agricultural economy, with both well-developed commercial farming and more subsistence-based production in the deep rural areas. While the primary agricultural sector contributes about 3 per cent to the country’s gross domestic product, it represents about 7 per cent of formal employment. If the entire value chain of agriculture is taken into account, its contribution to GDP reaches about 12 per cent.
Despite some optimistic times ahead, some see some crucial tests ahead of South African Agriculture. Gerrit van der Merwe, CEO of ALG Estates, spoke at the ALG Estates gala event in the upper Olifants River Valley near Citrusdal and he said, “We decided to stay in the country and re-invest in our business despite the turmoil and uncertainties we experience in South African agriculture today.”
“By investing in our people through various social upliftment programs we try to be part of the solution for the country’s future. We have a very good relationship with our workers. Many of them have been with us for generations,” says Van der Merwe.
The International Federation of Agricultural Journalists is a voluntary, non-profit making professional association promoting the image and standards of agricultural journalism in South Africa. It was established in Pretoria in 1977.
The association is representative of agricultural journalists serving the industry through magazines, newspapers, radio and television. Qualified membership is also extended to friends of the agricultural media. It remains, however, primarily a body run by journalists for journalists.