- Sibuyiselwe Sontundu, Local farmer
- Kholofelo Thobejane, Department of Agriculture, Forestries & Fisheries
- Hamlet Hlomendlini, Agri-economist, Absa
- Thobela Nkukwana, Animal & Wildlife Sciences, University of Pretoria
- Mhlobo Mbane, Local farmer & Provincial Coordinator of African Farmers Association of South Africa
- Xhanti Payi, Economist and Director of Nascence Advisory
The OATF is proud of its longstanding partnership with Absa. The partnership aims to tackle topical issues facing South Africans in order to better understand them and proposed strategic solutions. To date, a total of seven dialogues have taken place over the past four years. Following on from the 2017 Food Security and Agriculture dialogue also held at Fort Hare, both the Foundation and Absa felt that a deeper dive into the findings of that dialogue was necessary in order to find practical, implementable solutions to issues raised previously.
Themed “Towards a Food Secure 2030: Sharing Experiences and Finding Solutions”, the diverse panel discussed their various experiences within the agricultural sector. The discussion focused on issues and obstacles faced by emerging and established farmers in the area, as well as agricultural students looking to pursue a career in the broader agricultural field. The panel, which comprised farmers, agricultural professors, and agri-economists, provided keen insights and practical assistance to the audience, including grant- and internship opportunities.
According to Prof Nkukwana, “A simple but significant step would be to translate information about opportunities for growth and available technologies into local languages so that farmers may take advantage of the opportunities.” Mhlobo Mbane added that the reliance of government for grants and opportunities should decrease, but instead, the exchange of information within and between communities should, once again, become the norm.