"Developing regional industrial value chains can create employment and entrepreneurial opportunities," says Western Cape Minister of Agriculture Dr Ivan Meyer.
When delivering the keynote address at the recent African Agri Investment Indaba, Meyer said that the African Union recognises the critical role industrialisation can play in promoting sustained and inclusive economic growth.
"The annual celebration of 20 November as Africa Industrialisation Day attests to this fact", said Meyer.
He highlights that since 2014, the Western Cape Department of Agriculture has researched Africa's agricultural market opportunities. This led to the Western Cape Department of Agriculture launching the Africa Strategy for the Western Cape Agricultural Sector earlier this year.
According to Meyer, the strategy has highlighted several key policy priority areas that must be addressed to unlock Africa's agricultural performance.
Meyer says, "we have to deal with issues such as access to agricultural inputs, information, and new technology." In addition, we need to find ways to deal with infrastructure and logistics challenges. Finally, skills development and training and climate-smart agriculture will play a critical role in taking African agriculture forward."
Commercial Agriculture is primarily export-driven.
"South Africa's agricultural exports in Africa increased at an annual average growth rate of 3% in the past five years, and 2% in the case of food, beverage and tobacco products."
"In 2021, the Western Cape contributed 27% to national primary agricultural exports to Africa."
"We support the development of regional industrial value chains towards creating employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for business, youth and women," concluded Meyer.