Western Cape agriculture promotes sustainable resource use

by | Jun 7, 2022 | Article, Wineland

This year, the Western Cape Department of Agriculture commemorates World Environment Day (WED) by encouraging the agricultural sector to adopt sustainable resource use and management practices.

Climate change poses a threat to food and job security in the agricultural sector. For this reason, the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) is committed to managing its resources more sustainably. I am proud that the agricultural sector in the Western Cape has adopted sustainable resource use and management practices, says Dr Ivan Meyer Minister of Agriculture in the Western Cape.

Both research and recorded incidents have shown an increase in the frequency and intensity of natural disasters. Farmers in the Central Karoo, parts of the Garden Route, Overberg, Cape Winelands and West Coast Districts continue to experience the negative impact of the prolonged drought. In addition to the drought, farmers in the Western Cape have been impacted by other incidents such as flash floods, wildfires, hail, locust outbreaks and animal diseases.

Western

The key focus of this programme has shifted from post-disaster support and recovery and adapted to the global trends of disaster risk reduction and mitigation.

Western Cape Department of Agriculture

The WCDoA is one of the few provincial departments with a dedicated disaster risk reduction unit within the Western Cape. The key focus of this programme has shifted from post-disaster support and recovery and adapted to the global trends of disaster risk reduction and mitigation. The ultimate goal is to build a resilient agricultural sector that can thrive within a climate change landscape.

Our sub-Programme Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) prevents and limits resource loss by compiling frameworks and plans to direct disaster risk management from a reactive function to a more proactive function.

The sub-programme collaborates closely with Western Cape Provincial Disaster Management Centre (PDMC) to declare a local and provincial disaster. This is done by assessing local vulnerabilities to enable farming communities to access disaster relief funding schemes when needed.

We implement sustainable resource management practices in the agriculture sector to preserve our natural resources for future generations.

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ALSO READ: WC agriculture extends MOU with commodity organisations for 3 years

Officials from the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) and commodity partners met last week to extend their Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) for another three years.

This sets the platform for commodity organisations to continue to support new farmers with advice, mentorship, training, inputs, market access, and mutual in-kind contributions. Agreements were signed with the National Wool Growers Association (NWGA), Deciduous Fruit Producers Trust (DFPT), Vinpro (Wine), South African Table Grape Industry (SATGI), South African Poultry Association (SAPA), Potatoes SA, Raisins SA, and Grain South Africa.

Strategic partners key in agriculture

Commenting on the signing of the MOUs, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture Ivan Meyer said that the WCDoA recognises strategic partnerships as the key to addressing the agricultural sector’s complex challenges.

“The department of agriculture has developed strategic partnerships over several years. These partnerships complement our work and enhance the impact of our service delivery initiatives. One such initiative is the Commodity Approach, which, over the past decade, has contributed significantly to the success of our commercialisation programme,” says Meyer.

According to Dr Mogale Sebopetsa, head of the department of the WCDoA, the partnership with commodity organisations aims to promote capacity building, mentorship, market access and resource mobilisation.

“The commodities also have the liberty to participate in the Commodity Project Allocation Committees (CPACs), which are crucial in the appraisal of farmer applications processed and oversight thereof. With the commodity approach, the Department can augment its resources by leveraging the industry’s expertise and financial resources, thus improving our service delivery to the farmers. The WCDoA will also sign with the  Citrus Growers Association, South Africa Pork Producer Organisation (or SAPPO), Ruminants (Red Meat Producers), and Berries SA,” says Sebopetsa.

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