Back Row: L-R Adv Khaya Thango, Board Member – Agribusiness Development Agency, Ms Lefentse Ledwaba- Chapman, ESD Manager- ABSA, Mr Menzi Dlamini, Agriculture Sector Manager – Trade and Investment KZN, Mr Phakamile Madonsela, Regional Manager – National Empowerment Fund, Dr Mnqobi Ngidi, Board Chairperson- Agribusiness Development Agency, Mr Mlibo Bantwini, Executive Agrizone and Cargo – Dube Trade Port, Mr Xolani Gumede, CEO – Cappeny Estates, Mr Alex Mthiyane, Presenter – Gagasi FM.
Middle row: L-R Mr Richard Dladla, Board Member – Agribusiness Development Agency, Mr Mdu Njoko, Senior Business Development Officer – Industrial Development Corporation, Ms Lisa Mthethwa, OwnerFrutee Belliez, Mr Themba Mthembu, Honourable MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mrs Lona Mnguni, OwnerFrutee Belliez
Front row: L-R Mr Kiru Padayachee, Business Development Manager- Glacier by Sanlam, Mr Gary Larkan, Enterprise and Supplier Development Manager – Boxer, Mr Frikkie Brookes, Deputy Director General: Strategic Management and Head of Secretariat KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Planning Commission – Premier’s Office.
“The agricultural sector is a key strategic importance in our Province. As a primary sector, agriculture contributes about 4.4% to provincial Growth Value Add. KwaZulu-Natal produces almost 30% of national agricultural output and hence contributes significantly towards creating formal and informal employment, while providing food security in South Africa”, these were the word of the KwaZuluNatal MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD), Mr Themba Mthembu when he addressed government entities, private sector heads and agricultural entrepreneurs that attended the Agribusiness Breakfast Dialogue. The Agribusiness Breakfast Dialogue was hosted by the Agribusiness Development Agency under the theme “Access to Finance and Markets in the Agribusiness Sector”. The Breakfast dialogue took place at the Coastlands Hotel in uMhlanga on the 11th December 2018 and it was attended by more than 100 people from government, private sector and beneficiaries. The dialogue follows challenges that have been identified by the ADA in its strides to assist small scale farmers to grow their businesses. According to the Agency, insufficient funding and lack of access to markets have been identified as major hindrances in getting the emerging farmers to participate in the agricultural value chain. The MEC stated that, “the growth and development of the agricultural sector in KZN requires more effective support from the Department and other industry role players such as business to ensure that there is an increased cohort of new farmers who are entering the industry and are succeeding in running viable agricultural enterprises that have potential to create jobs and contribute to the provincial economy”. “Our vison is to see the Agribusiness Development Agency become a driver of the Agrarian Revolution in KwaZulu-Natal. The agency has to provide support to emerging black commercial farmers, especially those who have acquired land through the government Land Reform programme, to obtain the necessary support to thrive in the whole value chain of the agricultural sector” Mthembu Continued. Acting CEO of ADA, Mr Zenzele Ndlela, said that “the agency is reviewing all ADA supported projects. The focus moving forward would be on supporting catalytic projects with a strong likelihood of being sustainable”. The MEC further stated that they would like to see farmers participate fully in the whole value chain within agribusiness and through partnership with formidable retails groups and financial institutions. A number of financial institutions including ABSA, National Empowerment Fund, Industrial Development Corporation and Glacier by Sanlam were represented during the dialogue and they showed enthusiasm to work with the ADA to support farmers.