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BRICS talks on agriculture and rural development

International realtions / Africa news

Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Senzeni Zokwana recently joined her counterparts from Brazil, Russia, India and China for the 7th Meeting of the BRICS Ministers of Agriculture and Agrarian Development, held in China.

BRICS priorities include protecting small-scale farmers and climate-resilient agriculture. (Image: BSA)Up for discussion was the Action Plan 2017-2021 for Agricultural Cooperation of BRICS Countries. At the last meeting in Goa, India, South Africa agreed to develop a strategy on climate change, under the 2012-2016 plan.

The priorities for the next five years are boosting agri-investments in both public and private sectors, protecting small farmers, investments in water infrastructure, use of technology, and climate-resilient agriculture.

BRICS agriculture research platform

The ministers discussed the operations of the BRICS Agriculture Research Platform and signed a memorandum of understanding to make the centre operational. The BRICS governments foresee the centre being the world’s leading agricultural research operation.

The digital centre will develop and share models for sustainable agriculture for the BRICS partners. These five nations are responsible for 45 per cent of global agriculture, so the centre’s research will help with food security for the planet’s entire population.

The meeting produced a list of local institutions that will house the research arm for each nation. Minister Zokwana nominated the Agricultural Research Council as South Africa’s representative body.

“We continue to work hard to open markets for South African produce in the world and making use of relations we have in BRICS to further grow the agriculture industry in our country,” Minister Zokwana said."