Climate change and pro-farmer research will be the focus on day two of the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU) annual conference in Polokwane.
The second day of this regional congress with delegates from as far afield as the Seychelles and Madagascar, starts with inputs from the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, Southern Africa (FAO) and the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre.
Themed “Putting young agripreneurs, technological innovations and policy at the centre of climate solutions”, the high-powered event started yesterday with a focus on entrepreneurship as a path for young people into agriculture.
Mr. Ishmael Sunga, SACAU chief executive officer, made the point that youthful involvement in agriculture is critical not only for the sustainability of the sector, but also for global food security.
However, he noted that enticing the youth with developmental opportunities is not effective. “We have to offer them profitable opportunities in agriculture,” he said.
This pathway into agriculture, along with the solving of climate-related problems as a space for innovation, are the main focus areas of the conference.
Delegates, including Mr. Maximillian Berger, councilor for agriculture affairs with the Embassy for the Federal Republic of Germany in South Africa, are also grappling with ways to align policy-making with these imperitives and the needs of farmers.
SACAU is a regional farmers’ organisation with its permanent secretariat established in 2004.
Since its establishment, SACAU has recorded substantial growth and currently has 19 member organisations from 12 countries, namely Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Seychelles, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe, representing a total of more than 5 million farmers.