Rapid population growth and rising food prices are putting increased strain on South Africa's shrinking commercial agricultural sector.
Recognising that agriculture is key to the future health of the South African economy, Santam has partnered with Grain SA for a second year by sponsoring and participating in the Young Leadership Laboratory, a forum where tomorrow's agricultural leaders can network, learn more about industry issues, and work together to find solutions to those challenges.
Other organisations involved in the forum include the Department of Agriculture and Forestry, businesses involved in agriculture such as banks and insurers, as well as commercial and emerging farmers.Platform for next generation
"Interactive forums such as the Young Leadership Laboratory give young agricultural leaders the opportunity to engage with each other and relevant leaders to prepare them for their roles as industry, farmer and government representatives," says Riaan Louw, head of Agriculture at Santam.
"The Young Leadership Laboratory provides a platform for the next generation of agriculture leaders from government and the industry, to sit in a protective environment to debate issues without the pressure of decision making," says Jannie de Villiers, CEO at Grain SA. "The forum also allows for tomorrow's leaders to build important relationships and meet senior leaders in the agricultural sector who mentor these young representatives."
Tobias Doyer, head of Broker Services at Santam facilitated a case study with the latest group. "Sustainability of the agriculture sector is vital and as a player in this market, we at Santam felt the need to get involved," says Doyer. "There is a sense of frustration amongst the future leaders but what is also evident is their passion. With more engagements on this level, the future of agriculture in South Africa will be in good hands."