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Innovation Mission and the future

Collaborating on climate smart agriculture in South Africa

In 2019 the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, Topsector Horticulture and propagation materials, Topsector Agri&Food, and The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) established a multi-year and multi-national Research and Innovation initiative with the aim to actively stimulate and enhance international knowledge and technology innovation cooperation. This initiative included an innovation track with South Africa focused on Climate Smart Agriculture.

Innovation Mission on Climate Smart and Sustainable Agriculture to South Africa
Following a digital mission in 2020, in the week of 4-8 April of this year, a delegation of 12 people representing 10 Dutch companies and knowledge institutes visited South Africa as part of the physical innovation mission on Climate Smart & Sustainable Agriculture. Evelyn Geurtsen, Director International Agribusiness and Food Security of the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality headed the delegation.

Meeting between the Mission participants and the policy makers in the Western Cape Province

Innovation Mission
The delegation was a well-balanced group of organizations with each bringing its own expertise, technologies and solutions – very much complementary adding various parts of the agricultural value chain. This included research, training and education, vegetable seeds, remote sensing, water and soil monitoring, crop advice, organic fertilizers and biological solutions.

Outcomes and follow-up Actions for the RSA Innovation Mission
During the debrief and in the follow-up evaluations, the mission participants have indicated that various visits and interactions during the mission provided valuable information and insights into SA agriculture. Participants also developed several new contacts that they feel are relevant and provide opportunities for follow up and possible collaborations.

Besides the individual contacts and priorities, the mission participants explicitly expressed their ambition to follow up and operate as consortia. The consortia will seek to pursue partnerships with local companies in Climate Smart Agriculture projects seeking to contribute in Just Energy Transition, Sustainable viticulture and wine productions and biodiversity subjects related to sustainable agriculture. Working with the local partners the Dutch consortia members will develop proposals, mobilise funding and implement identified projects.

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