A WORD FROM… Dr Dirk Strydom
There is a saying that the only constant factor in agriculture is change. It is an environment that is filled with uncertainty and risks. If you are in the agricultural sector, you made the decision to take on this challenge.
Agriculture is not an easy environment – it is a difficult space to be in and to create a business. It is an environment where everyone does not understand your challenges, frustrations and obstacles. This can sometimes lead to a scenario where you wonder why you are taking all these risks and why you are confronting all these challenges and barriers? I would like to encourage you today and say it is because you have a purpose!
Agriculture is very important for our country. Through agriculture we provide food for the country, create stability in the country and provide hope. The world economy and political environment are in a difficult space, with many unanswered questions and concerns. One thing that stands out, is that people are starting to realise the importance of agriculture.
Food is part of our livelihood. If you look at the history of countries where political dictators were removed from power, you’ll see that it started with concerns regarding food security. The conditions in most of these countries meant that there was no more access to food or food prices doubled in a period of a year. Why is this relevant to you as a farmer?
You serve a greater purpose by providing stability, food for many people who are extremely needy and serving your country through dedication. We know it can be tough out there – inputs are expensive, diseases can cause difficulty, fields can be too wet and droughts can strike. However, we urge you to look up, find the light and keep on doing the great work you are doing.
South Africans can be proud of our farmers, who are able to provide food security in a difficult climate and environment. South Africa has the best farmers in the world.
– Dr Dirk Strydom is the Marketing, NAMPO and Research Coordination Lead at Grain SA.
Publication: February 2023