The flags of South Africa, India, Russia, Brazil and China are displayed at a BRICS conference. Picture: Reuters/Tyrone Siu
JOHANNESBURG - Agriculture,  Forestry and Fisheries Minister Senzeni Zokwana said BRICS countries had a common goal of ensuring increased trade, food security, research, technology and climate sensitive agricultural practices.

He said the threat of food insecurity was a common factor for all the emerging countries’ economies.

Zokwana said his ministry had prioritised job creation, food security and shared economic growth.

He was speaking during a gala dinner in Skukuza, Mpumalanga last night (June21), hosted for BRICS agriculture ministers attending a seminar on how to deal with climate change in the back-breaking sector

Zokwana said they were cognisant of the fact that climate change dictated new production methods and new routines. 

“The recent drought spells in South Africa, for example, have brought up concerns regarding production of staples. The country is still experiencing drought in about three of our nine provinces,” he said.

He thanked the BRICS nations for their concerted efforts in addressing issues bedevilling the industry.

“Without doubt, this meeting will offer us an opportunity as member countries to learn from each other and exchange valuable experiences with regards to new ways of addressing sector challenges.” 

He quoted from the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, saying if done right, agriculture, forestry and fisheries could provide nutritious food for all and generate decent incomes, while supporting people-centred rural development and protecting the environment.

The seminar ends today (June22). “I am very optimistic about the engagements and outcomes that will arise out of this ministers meeting,” said Zokwana.

The National Development Plan, a blueprint to address the country’s socio-economic challenges, has identified agriculture as having the potential to create one million jobs by 2030.