As we countdown to the end of 2021, the NAMC reflects on its contribution to its core mandate of providing marketing advisory services to the Minister and the sector stakeholders. The NAMC played an instrumental technical role in assessing the impact of the July unrest to the economy and food systems.
During this period also, the Markets and Economic Research Centre (MERC), in collaboration with other core NAMC divisions, assisted the Section 7 Committee appointed by the Council to conduct investigations in the transformation progress of the wine, brandy and spirit industry. The wines industry is a pivotal cog to the agricultural economy, contributing significantly to exports and job creation.
Many industry players have engaged us on the Supply and Demand Estimates (S&DEC) initiative that is jointly funded and managed by the NAMC and the grains and oilseeds industry and is providing information to enable business decision making for farmers on valuable crops such as maize, soyabean and others. Ms Shandini Naidoo, newly appointed NAMC Council member, was appointed by the NAMC as new chairperson of the Supply and Demand Estimates Liaison Committee (S&DELC). Prof Johan Willemse, expert member on the Supply and Demand Estimates Committee (S&DEC) was also appointed to the S&DELC.
Part of our mandate is to collaborate with key stakeholders in linking farmers to markets. The Agribusiness Development Division during the period review linked 39 farmers with the Garankuwa Fresh Produce Market to supply onions and 19 from Greater Taung Municipality in North West, were linked with Lucerne/hay traders (OVK, AGRISA, SA Alfalfa (Pty) Ltd to Vaalharts Feed and Grains and Triangle Commodity Trading SA (Pty) Ltd.) to supply Lucerne.
The Agri Trusts division works directly with all the industry trusts that were formed during the process of deregulation. The team presented the agricultural trust policy to Council that was approved. The main amendment to the policy was to align the policy to the Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act in respect of protection of personal information. It is important to note that the division facilitated induction of the newly appointed Ministerial Trustees (RIT/RMRDT and Sorghum Trust).. The divisional team attended meetings of the trusts that were convened during this period, including the Mohair Trust, Sorghum Trust, and Winter Cereals Trust. The team also facilitated visits to a few industries to do monitoring and evaluation of the transformation activities. The team was also involved in the induction of the FSNET Africa project that is coordinated by the University of Leeds, University of Pretoria and FANRPAN.
On the Agriculture and Agro-processing Master Plan, social partners engaged in itsdevelopment have officially commenced with negotiations of strategic goals and specific interventions and targets that are critical for the growth, investments, jobs and development in the sector. The negotiation phase is expected to also finalize and endorse the implementation structures together with the monitoring and evaluation framework to ensure interventions agreed upon by social partners are realized. The negotiation phase is expected to be concluded by the end of November 2021 with a final Master Plan endorsed by all social partners.
With all these and other factors, the NAMC shall continue to update our stakeholders on progress of policy areas important for the agricultural sector to remain efficient.