The registration process is now open for the 2017 congress of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists in South Africa.
Members can go to the official congress website at IFAJ2017.com to register for the congress, which runs from 2-7 April 2017.
Early bird savings are available for those who register and pay before 15 January 2017.
“Very few countries can boast the agricultural variety South Africa has on offer,” says Magda du Toit, chairperson of Agricultural Writers SA.
“We are leaving no stone unturned to offer our international colleagues an African experience – both from an industry and a peoples’ perspective – to cherish for life.
“South Africa has a dual agricultural economy, with both well-developed commercial farming and more subsistence-based production in the deep rural areas.
While it is a water-scarce country where only 12% of land can be used for crop production, it is Africa’s largest food producer and the only net exporter of food on the continent.”
The congress will start in Pretoria with farm tours in the northern summer rainfall area with the focus on game farming, crop production, horticulture, citrus farming and livestock.
The second part of the congress will be in the Western Cape’s winter rainfall area where the focus will mainly be on wine, table grapes, deciduous fruit, dairy and winter grains.
The main congress will be three nights longer than usual to make it more worthwhile for members who will travel from other parts of the world.
The congress fee includes all accommodation costs and one-way travel cost to Cape Town.
Members not going on post congress tours will have to make their own travel arrangements back from Cape Town.
Post congress tours to KwaZulu-Natal, Namibia and Zambia are planned. These tours will start in Cape Town on 8 April and end in Pretoria on 11 April.
There will also be a pre‐congress tour to the Kruger National Park starting on 29 March and ending on 1 April.
More detail on the different farm visits will be placed on the website as it becomes available, as well as detail on the pre- and post-congress tours.
It will be only the second time that the congress will be held on the African continent. The previous time was in 2004, also in South Africa.
The congress has the support of both the Pan African Farmers’ Organisation (Pafo) and the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (Sacau), the two organisations representing all African farmers.
Since more African journalists than usual are expected at this congress, a special African Forum will be held on 2 April.
The focus will be on challenges facing African agriculture, how agricultural journalism can help farmers succeed and interaction between African guilds.