CEO’s Desk – AAMP receives support

Dr Simphiwe Ngqangweni, CEO: NAMC

Since the signing of the Agriculture and Agro-Processing Master Plan (AAMP), we have received positive sentiments from stakeholders in the sector mixed with a desire to see it implemented. Some of the industries are re-organising themselves and others gearing themselves up to participate in public-private efforts to ensure that the AAMP is effectively implemented.

The Red Meat Industry Forum (RMIF) for example, has launched the Red Meat Industry Service (RMIS) to ensure it lobbies and presents the red meat matters in singular prose and voice.

The NAMC is currently in discussions with the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) to chart the way forward towards the the implementation of the AAMP. This will be followed by a process of rigorous engagements with both public and private sector partners to reach common agreement on the AAMP implementation plan.

With regards to the current Ukraine/Russia conflict, the NAMC is assessing the situation as it develops, and continuously produces policy briefs. The analysis has expanded beyond assessing national implications of the conflict. The NAMC has partnered with the FAO and the SADC Secretariat to undertake a study on the regional impact of the conflict.

Since the ease of COVID-19 regulations, the industry is picking up from where it left off. On 22 April 2022, the South African Cultivar and Technology Agency NPC (SACTA) requested, on behalf of specific role players in the oilseeds industry, that the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development approves the continuation of the statutory levy on soybeans for a further two years until February 2025.

Initially, this soybean statutory levy was introduced from 1 March 2019 and the main purpose of the statutory levy is to finance new breeding technology in the soybean industry. The levy will be payable by the persons involved at the first point of sale, namely the buyer of soybeans, or the processor or converter thereof, or the person issuing a silo receipt. The amount of the levy will be deducted from the price paid to the producer: therefore, it is regarded as a producer levy.

Since the introduction of the soybean breeding statutory levy, a number of new soybean cultivars have come onto the market. More or less 40 new cultivars have been commercialised; new technology has been registered under the Genetically Modified Organisms Act; others have been submitted for registration and others are still being tested. Over the past decade (2010 to 2020), the area under soybean plantings in South Africa has more than doubled and production has increased by 76%.

New seed technology investment in the soybean sector is starting to show potential with increased hectares planted and yield increases coupled with good growing conditions, especially in the past season and potentially good prospects for the coming season. The outcome is an increase in oilcake and oil production, which is assisting in gradual import replacements.

In terms of market access, our agribusiness development division has been on a mission to land a hand towards new entrants in the agro-food market. During the period in review, the Agribusiness Development Division linked 25 chicory smallholder farmers with Kakhulu Brands Market to supply chicory roots that will be processed into inulin. The smallholder farmers are affiliated with UBumbano Farmer’s Cooperative. They collectively operate on approximately 327 hectares communal/family-owned land.

The farmers are located in Weenen area under three local municipalities namely, Inkosi Langalibalele (Weenen area) in ward 7, Indaka in ward 10 and Imbabazane in ward 7 and they are all part of UThukela District Municipality in KwaZulu Natal province. Stakeholders were identified to participate in supporting farmers with technical support, production inputs, access to land, extension and advisory services, capacity building, funding, mentorship, social facilitation and agro-processing Infrastructure including storage facility, amongst others.

Following the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa on the 22 June 2022 and the change in the legislation pertaining to vaccination, the Human Capital Division has continues to monitor the developments in COVID-19 regulations to ensure that the NAMC is in compliance.:
“?The NAMC continues to tighten its internal governance to ensure that the delivery of our mandate is not only effective, but it is in compliance with applicable legislation. The recent appointment of our new Company Secretary and Legal Services Manager is an important step in this direction.


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