Agricultural Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (AgriBEE)
The draft AgriBEE Charter was completed and submitted to the Minister for consideration and approval. In November 2006 the charter was discussed with the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture and Land Affairs. Proposed changes were incorporated in the charter and it was handed over to the Minister of Trade and Industry for gazetting.
Good progress was made during 2006 with the testing of business models with selected commodity groups and local development organisations working on the best way to integrate emerging participants into mainstream agriculture. Evaluation and monitoring systems for AgriBEE activities are being set up and implementation and monitoring interactions will be conducted at national, provincial, regional and local levels. Selected service providers will conduct training workshops on the impact and relevance of AgriBEE on local municipality delivery levels and the agricultural sector during 2007.
Implementation of AgriBEE is based on the commodity/product value chain approach and diversified through ASGISA. This approach is integral to creating linkages, partnerships and networks for balanced, mutually benefiting results for all concerned. It will ensure enhanced competitiveness and sustainable development with improvement/expansion of the existing businesses, rehabilitation of ailing agricultural business concerns and expanded entry for new businesses in the sector.
As part of the process to unlock the full entrepreneurial potential in the sector, we have also been encouraging partnerships between established agricultural enterprises and emerging farmers and entrepreneurs. The grain strategy’s implementation plan is nearing completion and the fruit industry’s commodity action plan is in the process of being developed.
To empower youth and women to contribute towards the transformation and growth of the sector, the external bursary scheme and the experiential and internship programme were established. Since the introduction of the bursary scheme in 2003, a total of R18,9 million has been invested in students studying for various degrees within the identified scarce skills categories within the agricultural sector. A total of 383 bursaries have been awarded in the past four years and a further 100 bursaries are planned for 2007/08. About 160 graduates were placed as interns within the department and agricultural commodity organisations in 2006/07. Our aim is to inspire and support theentry of youth into the agricultural sector.