Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Thoko Didiza has described the annual NAMPO agricultural show in Bothaville in the Free State as an event of national and international importance.
For the first time in two years, more than eight hundred exhibitors can once again participate in the biggest agricultural event in the country. The state of the country’s transport infrastructure is receiving a lot of attention and criticism at NAMPO this year.
Didiza, who visited the event on Monday, admits that government shares in the agricultural industry’s frustration.
Didiza says, “We had a meeting with AGRISA and the Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan last year and discussed on what cane be done with the ports. That meeting was followed up in a meeting with our producers particularly the export in the grain and fruit industry. This was to look at how we can improve and facilitate movement of goods much easier in peak season. I’m hopeful that government is looking at bringing in public participation in our ports.”
Didiza addressed the issue of roads in rural areas adding that, “We as the ministry have been engaging with the public sector, to see how we can partner with the agricultural industry and see what can be done to address the issue of rural roads, on farm and off farm.”
The minister’s visit to NAMPO follows the approval of the National Agricultural Masterplan.
The event has attendees such as Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo and attendees from Argentina. They have similar events and have learned from NAMPO.