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South African agricultural roadmap

Western Cape’s SmartAgri Plan

The South Africa agricultural industry is a very vulnerable sector due to the increasingly frequent droughts and heat waves. Between 2003 and 2014, the costs associated with damages caused by extreme weather events in Western Cape amounted to R5 billion (€338 mln), and since 2015 the drought has cost R14 billion (more than €947 mln) in the agricultural sector alone.

The Smart Agriculture for Climate Resilience (SmartAgri) project was a collaboration between the Western Cape Department of Agriculture, the Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs & Development Planning and the University of Cape Town’s African Climate and Development Initiative.

Its aim was to convene stakeholders from the agricultural sector including farmers, agricultural organizations and governmental agencies, and provide a roadmap for actions to improve the sector’s resilience to a changing climate. The highly collaborative process started in August 2014 and lasted 20 months. reports that although the main output of the project –the SmartAgri Plan– has been finalized, the Government and other stakeholders involved are now working on making sure its recommendations are implemented.

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