risk management
Janse Rabie and Johannes Möller of Agri SA with Danie Minnaar and Chris Koch of Senwes.

One of the highlights during Nampo Harvest Day 2017 was the launch of the Smart Agri Risk Management Desk. The desk, headed by Agri SA and financed by Senwes, will see a re-evaluation of the way the agricultural industry approached risk.

Agri SA and Senwes deemed such a re-valuation necessary following a decade of significant increase of risk in agriculture.

Considering the fact that proper inputs are needed to be able to respond with a realistic approach to managing risk and gain as much information and knowledge as possible, the following is true:

  • Conducting research on the total risk profile of agriculture as the main objective is vitally important in informing adequate responses to natural and man-made risks.
  • A multi-disciplinary approach to risk management is required.
  • Rising costs of drought relief in industrialised countries has resulted in a policy shift away from emergency subsidies towards more long-term self-reliance by rural communities.
  • Modern thinking with respect to risk management seems to focus on integration between risk assessment, reduction, mitigation and response and recovery also with respect to the overall agricultural sector.
  • It is accepted that agricultural risk management aims to increase the likelihood that a household, community, city or any area will be able to anticipate, resist or recover from the losses sustained from a hazard or other threat.

The Smart Agri Risk Management Desk, which will initially run for a period of two years under the auspices of Agri SA, will conduct research and serve as a platform to identify and address the entire risk profile of agriculture in South Africa. The project will entail dedicated, in-depth, relevant and immediately applicable research that will lead to tangible assistance in ensuring that risk can be identified and measures can be taken well in advance of any risk alert.

Research emanating from this project will aim to ensure permanent protection or reduction of the intensity of any risk events; minimise the severity of consequences of risks; prepare the agricultural community, government and other stakeholders and role-players; to react appropriately during and after a risk event and alleviate hardship and meet basic needs.

The project will also assist in informing any strategies that may be required to assist the agricultural community, government and other stakeholders and role-players following a risk event to fully restore to pre-risk event level of functioning. To this end, the project will entail a holistic approach with collaboration between the agricultural community, government and other stakeholders and role-players. – Press release