PR - SUPPORTING FUTURE FARMING SYSTEMS AT SUB-NATIONAL LEVEL IN THE FACE OF THE 4th INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
Although consensus is still to be reached on its name, it is commonly accepted that economic, social and political systems will be disrupted by the so-called “4th Industrial Revolution”. Furthermore, it is expected that farming may carry the brunt of this disruption. It can be argued that autonomous vehicles, 3D printing, advance robotics, new materials, digital as well as biological developments are some of the key drivers which will lead to this disruption and potential impacts will be found in the economic, employment, workplace, business, crime, government and conflict spheres of society.
In this paper these drivers and impacts were described in a sub-national context; The Agricultural Sector of the Western Cape Province of South Africa. Although the Provincial Department of Agriculture’s support of the Sector has been developed over time and is based on well considered logic, it is important to debate the question whether this logic will remain relevant over the next decade. To this end the Department is currently developing a plan of action to maximise the positive and minimise the negative impacts of the 4th Industrial Revolution.
Keywords: 4th Industrial Revolution; agricultural policy response; sub-national; South Africa