The NAMC is pleased with the progress regarding the Agriculture and Agro-Processing Master Plan. We have reached finale of the first phase, with the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Ms Thoko Didiza expected to lead the sign-off of the Master Plan social compact with other social partners on 12 May 2022.
The sign-off of the Master Plan is only the beginning. Real work will unfold as entire agricultural sector; government, agribusiness, civil society, academia, farmers etc., partner in implementing it in bid to grow South Africa agricultural output in an inclusive manner.
Having recently witnessed the impact of COVID 19 on global food production systems the world is now faced with another crisis in the form of the Ukraine/Russia conflict. The NAMC has provided its advisory note regarding the impact of such global shocks. For example our Monthly Food Price Monitor assists to inform the public of such price trends.
The agricultural industry trusts are tasked with, among other things, make a valuable contribution towards transformation of the ssector. A status report on the performance and functions of the 11 agricultural industry trusts has been published and submitted to Minister Didiza. The aim of the status report is to inform the Minister about the activities of the NAMCs agricultural industry trusts division, background information about the agricultural industry trust, financial and transformation information and the challenges encountered by the trust. The value of assets improved from R2,3 billion in 2020 to R2,4 billion in 2021; an increase by over R115 million. The increase was due to the investment market recovering from the impact of COVID-19 outbreak. The transformation spending by both the agricultural trusts and levy administrators has been increasing over the years, however the trust has decreased to R63,07 million as compared to the 2019/20 financial year where trusts spent about R76,6 million on transformation.
Moreover, through the Transformation Review Committee, the agricultural industries using the trusts’ funds and 20% transformation levy are visited as part of the monitoring and evaluation. This is to confirm that the work funded on the ground is aimed at closing the gaps between small-emerging farmers and the larger commercial producers in the agriculture and agro-processing sectors following the value chain approach.
Internally, in line with National Disaster and Health requirements, our Human Capital had reviewed its Occupational Health and Safety Policy and Procedure, Covid-19 Standard Operating Plan. Currently, in line with best standard HR practices, we are developing policies on mandatory vaccine and knowledge management.
As part of contributing and skilling our youth in the knowledge of agriculture, we welcomed newly appointed interns with designations in agricultural economics, finance, HR, risk and compliance and communications.
We affirm our commitment to assist the agricultural sector in improving on its agricultural efficiency and on ensuring its viability.