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A word from … Derek Mathews

May 2022

Grain SA has asked farmers to tell us first-hand what the challenges are that they are facing. Throughout the country the answer is the same – inputs are too expensive which makes it difficult to make any profit.

I long for the day when we don’t need to ask anyone for funding. Our industry should be profitable enough so that we have our own funds to pay for our own inputs. Grain SA is focusing on influencing all stakeholders to achieve just that. The only way we can truly develop new farmers is by helping them become profitable to the point where they can enjoy the fruits of their labour and stand proud of their own successes not being dependant on government for assistance or handouts from anyone.

The old story of government funding always coming late is one that seems to have no solution. Politicians are simply not farmers in most cases and don’t seem to understand what it does to a farmer’s business if you assist him at the wrong time. We continue to try and improve on this question, but it seems to fall on deaf ears. If we have our own funds that will no longer be a problem. 

This brings me to another important matter. I want to encourage you all to take your Grain SA membership seriously. Grain SA is your voice and only if we stand together and work towards the same goal will we be successful. 

As a voluntary association that relies on its members to pay for the services it needs, it is very important that we support our organisation by paying our levies on all the tons of grain we grow. You must remember that your representation is measured by the levy contribution you make. We make it possible for small scale farmers to be members via the study groups, but even they should also pay levies if at all possible. 

The climate will always change from dry to wet years and back to dry years. Every year will have its own challenges – that’s farming.

Until next time, stand tall and use your voice (Grain SA) to make a difference today and for your children tomorrow.

Publication: May 2022

Section: Pula/Imvula