Speaking Arrangements

SAVE A TOWN, SAVE A LAND, VALUE AND TAKE CARE OF OUR FARMERS

Business + Government + Community = Success

Nation in Conversation

AGRICULTURE WEEKLY & SENWES’ SOLUTIONS FOR THE RURAL CONFERANCE HELD ON FEBRUARY 20&21 WAS A HUGE SUCCESS – COME TO SOUTH AFRICA “SAVE A TOWN, SAVE A LAND, VALUE AND TAKE CARE OF OUR FARMERS”
The more than 70 speakers proved that countryside is not left to its own fate, Chris Burgess, editor of Agriculture page, said at the end of the two-day Solutions for Rural conference at Nampo Park outside Bothaville.
You cannot go home unchanged after the two days. The knights fighting for their respective rural villages told their stories of action and hope during the second session on day two of Agriculture Weekblad and Senwes’ Solutions for the rural conference at Nampopark, but also of the frustrations and lessons they learned.
A tribute to the residents of numerous rural towns who realised the value of a beautiful environment. By taking care of beauty and order, they are not only bringing back much-needed tourism, but also curbing the outflow of residents. Villages are the heart of the countryside, and those who protect them are the true heroes. They act against difficult circumstances, go to court for the interests of their community, and refuse to lose hope. The knights of the countryside share their stories of action, hope, frustrations, and life lessons – But you have to have a plan “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”

 

Ignite & Revive thanks Agriculture Weekblad & SENWES for their HUGE contribution to saving towns, our land, and agriculture. Special appreciation to every person behind the scenes who contributed to the success of the conference, including Chris Burgess, Francois Strydom, Jacques Taylor, as well as all other sponsors and partners.

Hoe lyk hoop? Johan Erasmus van Betereinders gaan hoor wat is die storie agter die storie. 

This year’s Nation in Conversation’s theme, adapt or die, focuses on issues that revolve around a new kind of mindset to change the status quo in order to survive. This discussion focused on rural rejuvenation and its social impact.

Corné Liebenberg, Marketing Director of Laeveld Agrochem, said that one success story leads to more success stories. “If you feed people today, you will have to feed them tomorrow. We wanted to feed them in a proper way. Not only survive, but thrive! At the end of the day a lot of small bits add up to something big.”

Nick Serfontein from the Sernick Group said that agriculture grew by 15% during Covid 19. “Agriculture contributes 8% to the GDP and employs 890 000 people. You don’t have to be Einstein to know that agriculture is one of the most important sections in SA’s economy.”

Van Pletzen shared how Kroonstad was running dry in 2016 and how they decided that enough was enough. “We could not only be onlookers anymore.”

Jeremia Mathebula, Vice Chairperson of Grain SA since 2021: “Just go out and do the right thing. Let’s not wait. Make sure SA’s economy thrives. Nampo has an enormous impact on our country. Agriculture has a huge impact on food security.”

Dr Ruben Richards, Executive Mayor of the Cederberg Municipality added by saying that people should get involved around an issue and not an ideology. “An ideology is just an idea. Find an issue where rich and poor can unite. Watch your ego, because politics is not about yourself, it’s about the needs of the residents.”

A summary of panellists’ advice when it comes to rural rejuvenation:

  • Go back to the basics.
  • Give exposure to kids to know the agricultural sector better.
  • Build trust
  • Create hope
  • Ask the right questions and seek help at the right places

Theo Vorster joked by telling the old story: “If it was not for agriculture we would all be sitting here hungry, sober and naked!”

There is no overnight resolution to rural rejuvenation, but it compares to what Mother Teresa once said: “One cannot change the world alone, but one can cast a stone in the water, which has a ripple effect, which leads to change.”

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