This year, NAMPO Cape took place from 14–17 September in Bredasdorp. During this gathering, farmers engaged in conversation with the management of Agri Western Cape (AWC), to hear how AWC works to support and represent farmers from the Western Cape.
Jannie Strydom, CEO of AWC, says Agri Western Cape is a voluntary membership organisation with 92 agricultural associations across the province with approximately 3 500 commercial farmers who are currently affiliated with AWC.
“We have representatives in every municipal area and can make informed arguments on behalf of our members in relation to legislation and policy. AWC has a pool of expertise among our members and affiliates and can therefore meaningfully intervene on behalf of our members,” says Jannie.
The building blocks of this organisation consist of six policy committees namely:
- Rural safety
- Natural resources
- Labour and social-societal
Through the committees, agricultural issues are discussed, and action plans are worked out for the further implementation of decisions.
Agri Western Cape annually has several regional congresses, an annual congress and ongoing visits to agricultural associations to keep in touch with its members so that issues affecting farmers at ground level can be driven by AWC.
“Our focus is to create a favourable environment in which our members can function,” adds Jannie.
Louis Wessels from Agri Western Cape’s legal services department says the organisation’s main aim is to look after farmers’ interests. “When producers stand together and speak with one voice, all kinds of issues can be pushed with force – and that is the goal of organised agriculture,” Louis believes.
Another initiative being driven is AWC’s Santam Young Farmer of the Year competition, which gives young farmers the opportunity to enjoy good exposure, receive feedback from experts, and encourage other young producers to get involved in organised agriculture.
Are you a commercial farmer in the Western Cape? Get involved in organised agriculture. Call your nearest agricultural association or AWC at 021-860-3800 or visit awk.co.za for more details.