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A word from … Derek Mathews

February 2021

2020 was a very difficult year in all respects and we are happy to see the end of it. We should never let the difficult times get us down but we should rather take the lessons we learned from them and build a better future as a result of them.

At Grain SA we have also had a hard time in the past year, but our commitment to serve farmers has never changed. What might change from time to time is how we serve the farmers. We are dependent on funding for development and the funders’ requirements and available funds change all the time. What does not change, is Grain SA’s uncompromised commitment to quality service to our developing farmers. We can never give advice or push ahead with a project just because the funds are available but are for instance late – and planting a crop late will mean a failed harvest. As a farmer I understand well how important it is to get a crop in the land but failing all the time because we are late does not help us to grow, and establishes bad practice. It is important for us as farmers to be successful so that South Africa can have enough food.

At Grain SA we still find it very difficult to secure government funding on time for planting. I can’t understand why it is so difficult for them to understand what is needed to farm successfully. Maybe it’s time that we as farmers start demanding that our government officials listen to our requests.

The Grain SA Congress is scheduled for the first week of March and it is here that your voice must be heard, so think about who you would like as your representatives. Congress is also the time and place for you to put all your needs and suggestions on the agenda of Grain SA for the year ahead. It’s your time to speak. Congress delegation is the highest authority of the organisation. The executive takes its directives and committees must always answer to Congress and carry out the congress mandate. So this is your time, use it well. 

Publication: February 2021

Section: Pula/Imvula