While agricultural reform is not on the agenda for the G7 summit currently underway, the three-day event is held in Cornwall, a southwest England town with a rich farming history.
Seven of the world’s most powerful nations are meeting behind closed doors. They are seeking solutions for climate change, the economy, the coronavirus pandemic and geopolitical matters.
While Mzansi isn’t part of the great seven nations, President Cyril Ramaphosa was invited to participate in three working sessions. This includes health, open societies and economies, and climate and nature.
“On the issue of climate change, South Africa will argue for a global commitment to a just transition for developing economies and significantly scaled-up support for adaptation and implementation support,” confirmed the Presidency.
Ramaphosa is being accompanied by international relations and cooperation minister Dr Naledi Pandor. The duo will also use the G7 summit to push the wealthy nations for affordable access of Covid-19 vaccines and medical supplies.
An agricultural hub
Meanwhile, the host town of Cornwall is largely dependent on agriculture. In the town alone, 9 500 people rely on the sector for jobs, according to an earlier research report. The town is known for its world-famous Cornish Pasty that has been given protected status, just like South Africa’s rooibos.
The big names at the summit, including RAMAPHOSA, are hosted in the town where wheat, barley, oats and rye ARE the main crops grown.
Last month, the BBC reported that young farmers in Cornwall welcomed a scheme by the UK government to pay older farmers to retire.
The government will pay up to £100 000 to get older farmers to move on. Abi Irwin, a 23-year-old farmer, told the BBC that this grant would help her take over the family farm. Until now, she has had to seek other opportunities because the farm was not big enough to sustain her parents and herself.
Cornwall is also the home of the country’s regenerative farming movement, reported Tatler.
Explaining the town’s support for this movement, farmer Tim Williams told No Reply, “Regenerative farming is about healing the damage that has been done.
“And the great thing is, it also produces nutrient dense food, enhances soil health, increases biodiversity, captures carbon, limits floods, empowers farmers and reignites rural communities. It’s an act of reparation.”