4 things happening in SA agri today, 24 July 2020

Hospitality industry stands up against covid-19 restrictions, fruit drive to alleviate pandemic hunger, funding for young innovators and AgriSETA's support pledge to protect rural jobs

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Earlier this week the restaurant industry protested against the covid-19 lockdown regulations affecting livelihoods and today the entire hospitality sector is standing up against government. Food For Mzansi tracks this nationwide protest along with funding opportunities for young innovators, a fruit-drive to alleviate hunger during the pandemic and AgriSETA’s R145 million investment to protect rural jobs.


Government, #ServeUsPlease

Disgruntled professionals in the hospitality, tourism, food and alcohol, entertainment, media and other affiliated industries will today hold a peaceful protest in response to government’s covid-19 restrictions on their sectors.

The movement, dubbed #ServeUsPlease (a pun on “service please”, calling on government to serve the citizens) was initially announced for Cape Town. It has now snowballed into a national drive with protestors in Johannesburg, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Pretoria all ready to participate.

The architect of #ServeUsPlease, Ashleigh Perremore, is a sales representative for Beam Suntory. She tells Food For Mzansi that the movement aims to highlight the ripple-effect of the current regulations. It’s not only the hospitality industry that is tormented, she says, but the regulations also affect other industries that make a huge contribution to the country’s GDP.

“A simple liquor ban may seem the best answer for the relief of pressure on hospitals, but to millions it’s our livelihoods. From the hand that picks the grapes to the hand that pours the wine,” Perremore says.

The protest will adhere to strict safety measures and participants will maintain a 1.5-metre distance from one another, which will be measured by a 1.5-metre ribbon that will link protestors. To participate or find out more, visit their website or Facebook page.


Funding opportunity for 25 young innovators

If you are a young innovator, entrepreneur or youth-led start-up using evidence-based research results and applying digital solutions to the agriculture and food sector, then the LEAP4FNSSA is looking for you.

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Twenty-five young pioneers are invited to submit innovative solutions to mitigate the socio-economic and environmental impacts of pandemics. Preference will be given to innovation and digitalisation in agriculture, short value chains and agro-ecological transitions of food systems.

LEAP4FNSSA is a coordination and support action with the main objective of providing a tool for European and African institutions to engage in a sustainable partnership platform for research and innovation on food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture.

Entries close on 15 August and selected “idea carriers” will be offered, amongst others, networking opportunities with potential investors or research institutions interested in creating partnerships around their innovative ideas.

Applicants will be informed by mid-September if they have been selected for presentation at the international workshop to be held on 28 to 29 October 2020. Visit LEAP4FNSSA for more information.


Fruit-drive to alleviate hunger

The Citrus Growers’ Association in collaboration with the Citrus Academy is having an “orange heart fruit-drive” to alleviate hunger during the covid-19 pandemic. They are calling on all of Mzansi to donate fruit, funds or other foods. Fruit that has been rejected during re-inspection is also accepted.

Recently, the Sundays River Citrus Company Foundation and the Sundays River Valley Collaborative donated 11 700 bags of fruit to the community in Addo in the Eastern Cape.

To join the orange heart initiative, contact sive@citrusacademy.org.za or portia@cga.co.za


AgriSETA supports NDP targets with R147 m. investment

The National Development Plan (NDP) targets the creation of one million jobs by 2033 and AgriSETA intends to be a cog in the wheel of progress, says Zenzele Myeza, chief executive of the agricultural sector’s training authority.

As unemployment numbers continue to rise due to the covid-19 pandemic, AgriSETA believes its partnerships to the sum of R147 million will, in fact, “serve to protect jobs in the rural economy for years to come.”

Myeza says the finalisation of the partnerships also follows government’s jobs and investment summits, which identified outcomes that include agriculture and land reform projects as key economic drivers.

READ MORE: AgriSETA scales up sector skills through R147 m investment

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