Blue North has successfully concluded another evaluation commissioned by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA). The diagnostic and design evaluation was aimed at exploring the future of farming in the arid regions of the Western Cape Province. A central objective was to re-imagine the future of farming in order to give hope to farmers in these distressed areas. The evaluation engaged with farmers and other stakeholders in the four arid areas (the Little, Central and Tankwa Karoo, and the north-west most reaches of the West Coast) and identified the key disruptors in these regions, examined future development pathways and proposed a scenario framework to define the potential future-states. The research team synthesised the findings into strategic objectives encompassing the ecological, social, economic and regulatory spheres that, if achieved, would represent the basis for a positive and hopeful future for the arid areas. The regeneration of the productive capacity of the ecosystems that underpin the societies and the economies in the areas was the foundational theme of the proposals made. A set of detailed recommended interventions were defined to move these arid areas towards the more desirable future state.
The full evaluation report will be published and available on the WCDoA’s website. It is our hope that this evaluation can make a meaningful contribution to the regenerative agriculture agenda and movement in these areas.