Workshop for parliamentarians on rural development and agrarian change

The purpose of this workshop was to provide strategic support to parliamentary committees for engagement with pro-poor policy development processes, implementation and oversight with an intention to support and enhance capacity for the relevant committees.


The objectives of the workshop were to:

  • reflect on what is rural development;
  • examine the nature of rural development policies developed since 1994;
  • discuss evidence on ways forward for small-scale farming and household production in South Africa and its contribution to the livelihoods of the poor households;
  • identify critical policy gaps and implications for the new policy development process.

The half day workshop was organised for the Portfolio Committees on Rural Development and Land Reform; Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries together with the Select Committee on Environmental, Agriculture and Land Affairs.


The workshop programme was introduced by the Mr. Stone Sizani, Chairperson of the portfolio committee on Rural Development and Land Reform.


Rick de Satgé of Phuhlisani provided a scene setting input to contextualise the discussion and track progress with respect to land reform, small farmer development, extension and rural development interventions since 1994.


The introductory session highlighted key challenges to be addressed if we are to design and implement an effective rural development programme. 


Tim Hart from the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) reviewed the evidence on food and nutrition security and made recommendations on how this could be improved through the promotion household food gardens.


Dr Ruth Hall from the Institute of Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies reviewed the findings of a study which set out to examine how to support small-scale and larger commercial farmers and to make sure that they are productive and contribute effectively to the rural economy and to national food security.


Dr Ian Goldman from the Presidency outline the emerging approach to monitoring and evaluation of government performance. He  introduced the 12 key outcomes which currently focus government programmes and development efforts and clarified the nature of performance agreements recently signed by Cabinet Ministers.


The Director General of the Ministry of Rural Development and Land Reform examined Outcome 7 which focuses on the  creation of vibrant, equitable and sustainable rural communities and food security for all. He also reviewed the 5 outputs associated with this Outcome.


The workshop concluded with a synthesis by Dr Ian Goldman of the key issues raised by the presenters and members of the combined Portfolio Committees in the discussion.


Phuhlisani is currently working to finalise the workshop report.


Posted: 6/8/2010 (5:33:40 AM)

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