6th RASC Understanding & Assistance Mission, South Africa – Mission Journal
The 6th RASC Mission has been completed and I am proud to report that this Mission has been a major success. The theme “Bridging the Gap Between Emerging and Commercial Farmers” has come alive during this trip. We spent time with emerging, small scale, developed and commercial farmers, and farmers and communities with and without their own land. We saw how technology helped to increase production, but also how traditional methods had their own advantages and how indigenous plants are being utilised.
We learned from successful farmers how they became entrepreneurs, shortened the value chain, increased jobs and created wealth within the communities. We have seen how agri processing increases job creation and how agri tourism can contribute to the farming enterprise. We interacted with farm workers who now own their own land and shook hands with the mentors that helped them to achieve these goals. We played with children at an orphanage on a farm, where the farmer and his wife are creating a safe haven for these children, as young as 3 months.
We learned about the history of South Africa, the people, the culture and most of all – agriculture. We found unity in diversity, with 13 candidates from 9 Commonwealth Countries coming together to make friends, explore, understand and assist. Traveling more than 2500 kilometres together we became one voice. A voice that gave hope to communities, hope to young people in agriculture, hope to emerging farmers, hope to one another, but most of all hope to ourselves…
The social media posts throughout the Mission have been supported well by various RASC Friends throughout the Commonwealth. In South Africa we have had some articles in the newspaper as well as a radio interview by one of the largest radio stations in the country.
The Mission ended with a farewell dinner at the 2 Oceans Aquarium. More than 50 guests attended, included farmers we visited, the media, and various big players in the agricultural sector. We were privileged that the Head of the Department of Agriculture, Miss Joyene Isaacs attended the Dinner and in her key note she congratulated the RASC, Agri-Expo and the delegates on a successful Mission to South Africa.
Thank you for supporting this Mission and for giving Agri-Expo the opportunity to host it in South Africa, it was an honour and a privilege! Please see below the link to the day to day mission journal.