The National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) is a statutory body that was established in terms of section three and four of the Marketing of Agricultural Product Act (No. 47) of 1996 accessible online at http://www.namc.co.za/pages/about-us/acts-and-legislation. The mandate of the NAMC as stipulated in the Act is to advise the Minister of Agriculture (now including Forestry and Fisheries) and Directly Affected Groups or stakeholders on issues of marketing of agriculture and food products as guided by the four objectives of the Act. The objectives of the Act are: to increase market access for all market participants, to promote the efficiency of the marketing of agricultural products, to optimise export earnings from agricultural products, and to enhance the viability of the agricultural sector.
In order to deliver on this broad mandate the NAMC has four operational divisions, namely: Statutory Measures, Agribusiness Development, Agricultural Trusts, and Markets and Economic Research Centre (MERC). The South African Node of FANRPAN is hosted within the MERC division of the NAMC.
Markets and Economic Research Centre’s three Areas of Focus
MERC is the research division of the organization with its research scope shaped by the organizational research strategy of 2007 as amended. It is important to note that MERC supports (in terms of the research coverage) all the four strategic objectives as set out in Section 2 of the MAP Act, 1996. The research division is broken down into three thematic areas called Focus Areas: Agro-Food Chains, Trade Research and Linking Farmers to Markets.
The Unit’s mandate is to squarely focus its economic research attention on issues of food prices, agro-logistics, input costs. This is the Focus Area that conducts a number of value chain studies (among the studies that were completed are the Soy bean value chain study and the Paprika value chain study). On quarterly basis the following reports are published and available online at http://www.namc.co.za".
Quarterly Food Price Monitor,
Input Cost Monitor and
Value Chain Studies.
This Focus Area’s mandate is on market opportunities available to South African produce. This involves conducting product and country analysis and other broad trade related studies. Over the period from its inception in 2007, this focus area in collaboration with the Trade Law Center of Southern Africa has published more than four books (http://www.tralac.org/category/tralac-books/), more than seven working papers and more than four conference papers with one having won awards.
This section also provides policy comments regarding agricultural trade contemporary issues to other agencies of government and has been actively involved in debates on the BRICS agricultural component on invitation by Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF).
In view of supporting transformation, the Linking Farmers to Market Focus Area conducts case studies on successful smallholder farmers. This focus area also works very closely with Agribusiness Development Division, in doing baseline studies on programmes coordinated by NAMC and other institutions to support smallholder farmers. The Linking Farmers to Markets Focus Area has produced about a number of case studies and baseline analyses on various industries, farmers and programmes
The NAMC is currently involved in the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) process which is driven by DAFF. In 2013 more than four CAADP consultations were done – private sector, Limpopo, Western Cape, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu Natal, and Eastern Cape with the remaining anticipated to be finished before the end of this year. On recommendation of DAFF the NAMC has also been tasked by Department of Economic Development with the coordinating of SIP 11 (Strategic Integrated Project) of which MERC co-chairing with Agricultural Trust Division.
Contact person – Mr. Bonani Nyhodo (Node Coordinator) or Ms Heidi Phahlane (Economist within MERC)