SARChi Chair in Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies, the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS), and the Centre for Excellence on Food Security (COE) are hosting a conference-dialogue aims at “Rethinking Agriculture in South Africa” by creating a multi-stakeholder engagement in which to assess the dynamics driving the agricultural sector and the potential to harness these in order to address critical social issues. With persistently high and increasing rates of inequality and rural and urban unemployment, and a stagnant economy, the question of whether and how agriculture can contribute to solving these problems has never been so urgent. The two-and-a-half day event will focus on:
- The constraints and opportunities in agriculture for creating rural employment,
- The complexity and heterogeneity of smallholder farming systems and the pressures on and future prospects for smallholder farmers,
- The dynamics driving continuities and change in large commercial agriculture, and whether these serve national priorities or can be disciplined to do so.
The conference-dialogue will combine academic and activists’ presentations of current research in South Africa and the region with participatory methods and debates intended to maximize the contribution of researchers, practitioners and policy makers. A report on the key findings will be produced and circulated after the event.