Bolstering partnerships for agriculture and rural economic development in the Western Cape

Alan Winde (Source: Business Day Live) Alan Winde (Source: Business Day Live)

Alan Winde, newly appointed Western Cape Minister for Economic Opportunity, whose portfolio now includes agriculture, will deliver the keynote address at a stakeholder forum designed to boost agricultural and rural economic development.

The one-day Partnership Exchange Laboratory will be hosted by the Western Cape Economic Development Partnership (EDP,) and will take place in Durbanville on Tuesday, 10 June 2014.

Andrew Boraine, CEO of the EDP, says, “Over the past 18 months, the EDP has engaged with a broad range of stakeholders through the Future of Agriculture and the Rural Economy (FARE) process. This yielded far-reaching recommendations to help address the sector’s growth, inclusivity and sustainability challenges. It also revealed that the proper prioritisation of solutions, and their successful implementation, will be directly dependent on well organised, collaborative efforts.  The design of effective partnerships to strengthen agriculture and the rural economy will, therefore, be a key focus on 10 June.

“The Partnership Exchange Laboratory will give participants an opportunity to hear about current, relevant dialogue and partnership initiatives that work. It will also offer a creative environment in which to explore partnership methodologies and practices with the potential to translate these into a broad-based strategy for the sector as a whole,” Boraine explains.

The following case studies will be presented at the EDP’s stakeholder forum of 10 June:

  • Food and Trees for Africa’s Farmer Eco Enterprise Development (FEED) Africa programme. FEED is directed at enabling emerging organic farmers to run independent businesses, by focusing on a three- to five-year enterprise development model and capacity building.
  • The Franschhoek Valley Transformation Charter will illustrate the impact of social dialogue and accountability in a specific agricultural geography. Adopted in 2012, the Charter was written by local people who are committed to sustainability and transformation in line with the ideals of the South African Constitution.
  • WWF Fisheries Improvement Project, which facilitates economic transformation in coastal rural areas. This case study will be presented within the context of the new Small-Scale Fisheries policy and its focus on the co-management of programmes within small-scale fishing communities. This approach includes replacing individual allocations with community rights to ensure that communities, rather than individuals, manage the resources and benefit from them.
  • Future of Agriculture and the Rural Economy (FARE) process, which brought stakeholders together folowing the agricultural strikes that broke out late in 2012, and sought to create a common agenda for the implementation of joint projects.

“Agriculture, forestry and fishing contributed 4% to the Western Cape’s GDP in 2011[i], while employing 6.9% of its workforce. Agriculture alone accounts for 23% of national agricultural value added. The sustainability of this sector is imperative and the partnerships techniques learned on10 June will allow us to harness effective stakeholder collaboration to achieve it,” Boraine concludes.

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