New platform for agriculture news

Agriculture and agro-processing are key opportunity sectors from which the Eastern Cape should cultivate a competitive edge.
Agriculture and agro-processing are key opportunity sectors from which the Eastern Cape should cultivate a competitive edge.
Image: Fredlin Adriaan

Contained in any official or discussion document on the Eastern Cape is this prevailing sentiment — to grow our economy we must grow our agriculture sector.

Be it government or any other farming stakeholders, all share the view that agriculture and agro-processing are key opportunity sectors from which the Eastern Cape should cultivate a competitive edge.

Our economy is dire.

Just last week, Stats SA told us that at least 45,000 more people in the Eastern Cape were unemployed as at the end of September compared with June.

This pushed the province’s official unemployment rate up to 36.5%, the highest in SA, from 35.4%.

For agriculture, the situation is worsened by the most devastating drought in recent history.

Our damns are dry, crops are withering away and our precious livestock is dying.

The financial impact on farmers has been disastrous and the ripple effect has been felt on the entire value chain of our food security.

In October, the Eastern Cape was declared a disaster area, heralding what we hope will be much-needed government intervention, financial and otherwise, to reverse the impact of this crisis.

It is for these reasons that we, as a publication, believe that the story of agriculture in our province is a critically important one.

It deserves prominence and dedicated space on our platforms to give insight on the realities of our farms, to document developmental trends and to, hopefully, promote constructive dialogue about one of the most critical sectors of our broader life.

On Monday we launched AgriLive, a digital platform dedicated to agriculture news in the province.

The platform, hosted on our website www.heraldlive.co.za, will publish a weekly news and analysis edition with a mix of free and subscriber value content.

Be it the impact of the drought on this planting season, the performance of our dairy industry or efforts to boost emerging farmers — we believe these stories must be told comprehensively.

We invite you, our valuable reader in this sector, to participate in the dialogue.

We look forward to you sharing your stories on this platform, giving insight into the realities of farming in this province.

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