The 47th Annual Conference of the Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA)
tralac recently participated in the recent 47th Annual Conference of the Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA) held in Durban on 21-23 September 2009.
The theme of the conference titled "Promoting the competitiveness of South African agriculture in a weakened global economy," brought together delegates from the public sector, academia, private sector and civil society. A total of 246 delegates attended and these included both members and non-members AEASA.
The conference had 4 Keynote speakers representing all the stakeholder groups that were in attendance. The main sub-themes covered in the presentations made included the following:
Economic education and research for promoting competitiveness in agriculture;
South African agricultural policy: implications for food security and self-sufficiency;
Trade policy and the competitiveness of South African agriculture; and
Promoting competitiveness through improving farmer access to markets.
There were also 4 parallel workshop sessions which covered the following:
South Africa's agricultural trade relationship with the world agriculture powerhouses: a close look at the likely benefits;
Productive water use, value chains and mainstreaming emerging farmers;
Promoting learner understanding of the critical economic importance of a competitive agricultural sector; and
African agricultural growth for food security: Opportunities and threats.
tralac in collaboration with the National Agricultural Marketing Council sponsored and actively participated in the workshop on South Africa's trading relationships. This workshop profiled tralac's published work on the subject and also current work that tralac is involved in. tralac's latest publication "South Africa's Way Ahead: Looking East" received great attention and participants were enlightened on some of the findings from this book.
Questions were raised in this particular workshop on the effectiveness of research in influencing the trade policy decision making process by government. Participants to this workshop were cognisant of the fact that proactive stakeholder consultation approach with government was required.