Speaking at the just ended World Bank and IMF annual meeting that took place in Washington, DC last week, Patrick Dlamini the chief executive of Development Bank of Southern Africa said the country offered huge opportunities.
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“South Africa offers huge opportunities when it comes to agriculture. We are still a long way to go in South Africa on our land policy, it is something we have to address as a matter of urgency,” added Dlamini.
Dlamini bemoaned inadequate funding in the country’s critical sector saying current trends did not reflect the level of need in the agricultural sector.
“Agriculture creates jobs especially for the country’s rural population and the rest of the continent. We should pay attention to agriculture sector so as to ensure food security for our countries and people in the continent,” he said.
“Currently we are importing additional agricultural products from outside the continent.”
Dlamini called on various stakeholders to work on collaborative efforts as to improve activities and productivity in the sector.
“We need the government, the private sector and the farming community to make collaborative initiatives,” he noted.
Agriculture is one of the contested spaces in Africa’s transformation story and in some countries being used as a political tool.
(READ MORE: Africa needs to invest in its agriculture)
Dlamini said agriculture by its nature was a politically charged topic as there were issues of colonial imbalances requiring redress, politics of resource nationalism and also productivity.
The DBSA executive also took the opportunity to call for infrastructure development in the sector.
“Infrastructure in agriculture in needed both from production and the entire supply chain sector like transportation and storage,” he said.
“Water infrastructure and transport infrastructure are some of the critical sectors that require intervention.”