Senwes Scenario April / Mei 2015 - Page 60

••• F UT UR E F OC U S THE POWER OF POSITIVE DOING JENNY MATHEWS WE’VE HEARD ABOUT THE POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING WHICH ACKNOWLEDGES THE MIND IS A POWERFUL INSTRUMENT WHICH CAN DRAIN OR ENERGISE US. RESEARCH HAS SHOWN THAT PEOPLE WHO ACTIVELY WORK ON CHANGING THEIR THOUGHT PROCESSES TO POSITIVE ONES REPORT ALMOST IMMEDIATE IMPROVED ENERGY LEVELS. BUT HOW MANY OF US REALISE THAT THIS HAS TO BE ACCOMPANIED BY ACTION - THE POWER OF POSITIVE DOING - TO BE EFFECTIVE IN BRINGING ABOUT SUSTAINED CHANGE. I think our new Minister of Agriculture is a brave, positive man! Indeed the presence of Minister Senzeni Zokwane at the recent Grain South Africa Annual Congress at Nampo Park made a significant impression on the farmers gathered there from all corners. The prevailing mood of farmers is currently conflicted and sceptical in the light of the fact that role players in the agricultural sector are still wrestling with numerous “hot topics” raised by President Jacob Zuma in the State of the Nation Address (SONA). His utterances indicated government is going ahead with policy formulation which creates instability and could have a detrimental impact in spite of warning from organised agriculture. Among the issues which give cause for concern were announcements such as: 1) a 12 000 ha land ceiling will be introduced; 2) that foreigners will not be able to own land in South Africa and 3) a 50/50 farmworker equity scheme is to be introduced. The mind boggles in the face of the practical implications of these plans. Certainly I have more questions than answers chasing in my brain! And this is why I believe the Minister is a brave man – He is fully aware of farmer concerns and unhappiness and yet he came to deliver a heartfelt address in which he said,” The grain industry is hurting and I insisted to be here at your Congress with you to share in your pain.” I later had the opportunity of chatting to him in the Media Centre. I commented that we are not used to having dignitaries such as him not only attend the functions but linger to interact, listen and field questions. His smiling response was, ‘I was at the GSA Grainman of the Year dinner, I am here all day to listen to the farmers and I will be here again in May to walk amongst the farmers at NAMPO!’ One farmer after the other stepped up to express concern, disillusionment or to issue warnings of the consequences in a sector which is not only dealing with rapidly reducing profitability levels, but is also facing one of the most catastrophic droughts in recent history. These issues are colour-blind and affect every farmer and stakeholder in this sector. They also will impact national and household food security sooner or later. It would however be wrong to leave you with the impression that all is negativity in the hearts and minds of farmers! For despite the concerns, a golden thread of positivity weaved its way through the meeting from different perspectives. Farmer and crop production consultant from the US, Kip Tom enthusiastically declared that he was overwhelmed by the passion he saw in the audience. In his future