The German Embassy Pretoria represented by the Head of the Department for Food and Agriculture, Erik Schneider, accompanied the delegation in South Africa from April 6-12. The program included visits to various agricultural enterprises, German development cooperation projects, agricultural research institutes and universities, empowerment projects to strengthen agricultural start-ups and food processing companies.
The German Parliamentarians lead by the committee chairman MdB Gerig (CDU /CSU), visited the Western Cape province, parts of the province of Gauteng and South Africa's capital, Pretoria.
The main focus of the delegation's visit was on the impact of climate change on agriculture, the importance of land reforms for the agricultural sector in southern Africa, agricultural education and training, the strengthening of rural regions, the development opportunities of urban agriculture and the prospects for trade in agriculture and forestry.
In addition, the delegation held numerous talks with the agricultural ministries and representatives of the farmers' associations, initiatives and non-governmental organizations.
The delegation was further welcomed by Mike Mlengana, Director General of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF). Talks with German political foundations such as the German development bank KfW, German development agency GIZ and the the Southern African-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AHK) were also on the delegation's agenda.
The delegation was given an extensive insight into South African agriculture and its challenges during their journey. The visit also attracted great interest, bilateral relations were valued and recognized as outstanding.
Through the intensive on-site exchange, the delegation was able to gain a picture of the challenges facing South African agriculture. The German parliamentarians were particularly impressed by the diversity and density of natural and cultural resources. At the same time, the visit clearly showed the delegation that short-term success is often difficult to achieve.
KfW Development Bank is Germany’s leading development bank. It carries out Germany´s financial cooperation with developing countries on behalf of the German Government. The 600 personnel at headquarters and about 200 specialists in its 66 local offices cooperate with partners worldwide. Its goal is to combat poverty, secure peace, protect the environment and climate, and make globalisation fair. KfW is a competent and strategic advisor on current development issues.
The GIZ is responsible for the implementation of the development policy projects and programs of the German government. It was formed in late 2010, from the merger of the German development agencies GTZ (German Technical Cooperation), DED (German Development Service) and InWEnt (Capacity Building International).