Further strategies to mitigate the impact of the drought on the Western Cape’s agriculture sector will be announced this week.
Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, said the Western Cape Department of Agriculture will this week host a two-day strategic session to discuss the current drought. The event forms part of the SmartAgri initiative, which is a co-ordinated climate change response plan from the government, academic and the private sectors.
Anton Bredell, the minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning in the Western Cape said the event comes at a critical juncture given the
ongoing drought conditions across the province.
Stakeholders in the sector such as Agri-Western Cape, AFASA and academics will lead discussions. Over 100 delegates, including farmers, analysts and national and provincial government officials, will attend this drought dialogue. Industry will also share the plans they have used to cope during the drought.
Ministers Winde and Bredell will brief the media on the final day of the event.
Key items on the agenda include:
Overview of economic impact of the drought on the province’s agriculture sector
Climate change and the future of Western Cape agriculture
Challenges facing commercial and smallholder farmers as a result of the drought
Drought and disaster intelligence
“As part of our SmartAgri roll-out, by the end of this event it is our goal to have dedicated teams in place to drive action plans. This will ensure our agriculture sector is more resilient to the impact of extreme weather events, which are likely to increase,” says Minister Winde.
“The dialogue will provide an ideal platform for a thorough discussion around theWestern Cape Climate Change Response Framework and Implementation Plan for the Agricultural Sector, also known as the SmartAgri plan. SmartAgri is the first ever sectoral climate change response strategy for the province and presents a “road map” for the agricultural sector towards a more productive and sustainable future,” says Minister Bredell.