SABC News - Food security remains a major concern in Africa:Tuesday 16 May 2017

Food security remains a major concern in Africa

Tuesday 16 May 2017 18:03

Maryna van Wyk

Agriculture Minister Senzeni Zokwana and his counterpart from the Ivory Coast are attending a three-day Agriculture show in the Free State.

Experts placed reform issues and land grabs without compensation under the spotlight.(SABC)

There are more than 700 exhibitors at the Nampo with something for everyone, eleven of them from other countries such as Canada, Israel and Russia. At the livestock section, ten sheep breeds, 28 cattle breeds and four goat breeds are on exhibition.

Agriculture minister, Senzeni Zokwana attended the Nation in Conversation dialogue for a bilateral meeting with his counterpart from the Ivory Coast, minister Mamadou Coulibaly Sangafowa.  

South Africa and the Ivory Coast are to sign a memorandum of understanding on agriculture and food security remains a major concern across Africa.

Minister Zokwana says South Africa and the Ivory Coast  will later in 2017 sign a formal agreement of cooperation. The memorandum of understanding between the two countries is still being drafted.  

Minister of Agriculture Senzeni Zokwana says, "We want to encourage more cooperation. We  are busy drafting MoU to work together and to fast track that program. It's about food production, crop production. Because they grow what we don't grow  and vice-versa. It includes our farmers to go there and their farmers to come here," says  Zokwana.

Experts placed reform issues and land grabs without compensation under the spotlight. Roelf Meyer, founder of the In Transformation Initiative, says the land reform issue can be resolved peacefully if all the role players in agriculture and government come to the table.

Ivory Coast Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Coulibaly Sangafowa says, "I thank South Africa for hosting me. Ivory Coast is big in agricultural sector. So, I hope the relationship is going to happen in order for both countries to benefit."

The Nampo Harvest Festival at Nampo Park outside Bothaville in the Free State has been eagerly anticipated by farmers and other role players in the agricultural sector following the good rains and prospects of a record harvest for summer crops.

However, the contentious issue of land reform has been a hot topic at the Nation in Conversation discussions on the first day of the event.

Nampo ends on Friday.

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