A word from... Dr Pieter Taljaard
Looking back at another challenging year, who would have thought that an extremely wet summer, war in Ukraine and below average winter rainfall would have been on the menu for 2022? Eishh… is the only thing I can say while I can’t help wondering what is in store for 2023.
If one looks at the current state of the global and specifically our regional economy, it certainly spells “challenge”. Food security remains the biggest threat in my mind, and if this is not enough, 2023 will surely also be characterised by election preparations across the board on the political radar, leaving the grinding to the industry by itself. Surely an unfair statement, but the fact is that the rate of change needed to keep up with consumer demands and challenges is lacking far behind.
On the production side, farm economics is severely under pressure – mainly driven by the global (and locally amplified) energy crisis and further also multiplying consumer inflation with disastrous and shocking effects. It is a perfect opportunity for opportunistic politicians to promise the impossible to hopeless voters. Is this really that bad? Yes, but we do have hope, we see an outcome.
What a privilege and cheerful day it was to once again host the Day of Celebration in September. Another big hooray and congratulations to all developing farmers in South Africa – you are all winners. It is amazing to listen to the farmers’ stories and experience the results – this is what makes us a nation great.
This event just confirmed to me that Grain SA is getting it right and that we are winning the battle. Despite all the challenges, significant progress was made by taking it head-on. However, this was only possible because of the abundance of “grace water” that we have been blessed with during the past three seasons. A big thank you to all who contributed to make this possible.
As we are entering the festive season and the beginning of the new (expensive) growing season, let us remember to be cheerful and thankful expecting another blessing. Farm your land the best you can, Phahama Grain Phakama and may God be with us all.
- Dr Pieter Taljaard is the CEO of Grain SA.
Publication: December 2022