At the Nampo Harvest Day next week, the family farming network Saai wants to hear from farmers themselves what their challenges and threats are. Farmers will be asked to identify the five most important factors that could cause them and their families to stop farming on their farms by 2032.
At Saai’s stall in the Nampo Hall, farmers can tick off on a multiple-choice questionnaire which of the following threats or issues pose the greatest danger to them:
- The availability of and access to finance
- Stability and order in South Africa/Radical politics
- Land reform and land expropriation
- Expansion possibilities
- Family dynamics/Succession/Parents’ or children’s choices
- Labour, wages, unions and strikes
- Infrastructure: roads, electricity and connectivity
Francois Rossouw, CEO of Saai, says there is no better opportunity on the agricultural calendar where more farmers gather in one place than at Nampo. “We cannot miss the opportunity to listen to family farmers’ authentic opinions, perceptions, concerns, and prospects in all industries and across the country,” he says. “Our policy development, views, actions and campaigns must keep pace with what is going on in the hearts and minds of our farmers, and Nampo offers a unique opportunity to determine this first hand.”
Dr Theo de Jager, Chairman of the Board of Saai, believes that farmers’ input at the ground level is essential to guide the actions and views of organised agriculture. “Too often, an agricultural union loses contact with the realities at the farm level. We have seen some of this in response to the PPECB’s requirement that BEE certificates be submitted with export license applications.”
Nampo visitors can fill out a flash survey at Saai’s stall and then stand a chance to win one of three big prizes. Farmers who will not be attending Nampo this year can complete the questionnaire on Saai’s website at http://saai.org/en/nampo-survey/.