South Africa: Netherlands Embassy supports Undercover Farming Expo 2013

The Embassy of the Netherlands has confirmed continued support for the the Undercover Farming Expo 2013 in South Africa.

The event, to be held at the Saint George Hotel & Convention Centre in Irene, Pretoria, from 5 to 7 March 2013, focuses on the horticulture industry, one of the Top Sectors identified by the Dutch government for internationalisation.

The momentum built at the 2012 expo has been harnessed by the Dutch horticulture sector in the form of two business missions (from The Netherlands to South Africa) that have paved the way towards a horticulture business platform, a forum that sees South African and Dutch horticulture stakeholders – public, private and otherwise – cooperate to the benefit of both South Africa and The Netherlands.

The Embassy has issued a release saying, "Food security and job creation are integral objectives of South Africa’s agricultural policy, and it is no secret that investments have to be made towards more efficient production techniques and skills development; the South African agricultural environment demands these. Limited resources such as productive land and water are a challenging reality in the country. Comparatively, The Netherlands has similar limitations (albeit excess, in terms of water) and they have learned to manage both resources well, to become a world leader in agriculture. There are other examples around the world (in Africa particularly) where Dutch knowledge in horticulture is propelling local vegetable and flower production to sustainable levels, and the Kingdom of The Netherlands would like to offer the expertise of the Dutch horticulture sector to South Africa too.

"On the other hand it has to be acknowledged that South Africa is an emerging market that continues to offer returns to investors, thanks to the growing middle income group. Protected horticulture has something for every consumer, from fresh healthy food for all, through new varieties and exotic vegetables, to pharmaceutical ingredients and ornamentals for specialised markets.

"In South Africa’s variable climate and the creeping realities of climate change, The Netherlands believes that undercover farming is sustainable horticulture. And to put their money where their mouths are, The Netherlands Embassy will host a Dutch pavilion at the expo where business-to-business interaction can be conducted. The Embassy will also host internationally acclaimed Dutch experts as speakers at the expo’s conference, and will host a Dutch Reception during the expo."
For more information:
Office of the Agricultural Counsellor
Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in South Africa
Tel: +27 (0) 12 425 4570

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