Organized agriculture must put the interests of members first, says Free State Agriculture

“The role of organized agriculture is not to implement the state or governing party’s political agenda, but to put the interests of their members – the farming and agricultural community, first.”

According to Francois Wilken, President of Free State Agriculture (FSA), it is important to create a safe and sustainable agricultural environment, and this can only happen if organized agricultural organizations understand that their role includes influencing government policy and if necessary to stand against it.” This role was confirmed again this week during a FSA Executive meeting in Bloemfontein.

In order to be sustainable, Free State Agriculture will constantly strive to strengthen agriculture’s commercial role in South Africa. “Agriculture is responsible for a significant contribution to South Africa’s national food basket, employment and GDP and must be dealt with and recognized accordingly.” says Wilken. “Therefore, we (FSA) will in no way support policies that restrict property rights and economic freedom, as it not only leads to job losses but also holds the country’s economy ‘hostage’ and deters foreign investors.”

The organization also confirmed that strong agricultural structures need to be established in order to ensure the survival of agriculture. “Good co-operation must be established with communities outside politics. Communities now have the opportunity to take control of their environments as the government is clumsy and absent. We can no longer function alone. ” says Wilken.

“We work with the government if we can, without them if it has to, but always with the aim of promoting the interests of our members and the agricultural community.”

Georganiseerde landbou moet belange van lede voorop stel, sê Vrystaat Landbou

“Georganiseerde landbou se rol is nie om die staat of regerende party se politieke agenda deur te voer nie, maar om die belange van hul lede – die boere- en landbougemeenskap, voorop te stel. ”

Dit is volgens Francois Wilken, president van Vrystaat Landbou (VL), belangrik om ’n veilige en volhoubare landbou-omgewing daar te stel, en kan dit slegs gebeur indien georganiseerde landbou organisasies begryp dat hul rol insluit om regeringsbeleid te beïnvloed en indien nodig teen te staan.” Hierdie rol is weereens dié week tydens ’n VL Uitvoerende bestuur vergadering in Bloemfontein bevestig.

Ten einde volhoubaar te kan wees, sal Vrystaat Landbou voortdurend poog om landbou se kommersiële rol in Suid-Afrika te versterk. “Landbou is verantwoordelik vir ‘n aansienlike bydrae tot Suid-Afrika se nasionale kosmandjie, indiensneming en BBP en moet daarvolgens hanteer en erken word.” sê Wilken. “Daarom sal ons (VL) geensins beleid ondersteun wat eiendomsreg en ekonomiese vryheid aan bande lê nie, aangesien dit nie net tot werksverliese lei nie maar ook die land se ekonomie ‘gyselaar’ hou en buitelandse beleggers afskrik.”

Die organisasie het ook bevestig dat sterk landboustrukture gevestig moet word ten einde die voortbestaan van landbou te verseker. “Goeie samewerking moet met gemeenskappe buite die politiek gevestig word. Gemeenskappe het nou die geleentheid om beheer van hul omgewings te neem, aangesien die regering onbeholpe en afwesig is. Ons kan nie meer alleen funksioneer nie.” sê Wilken.

“Ons werk saam met die regering as ons kan, sonder hulle as dit moet maar altyd met die doel om ons lede en die landbougemeenskap se belange te bevorder.”