• Login
  • Search Icon

Grain SA asks commercial banks to help keep producers on farms

12 May 2015

The leadership of Grain SA will spend the following two days of the NAMPO Harvest Day to have serious talks with executives of the four biggest commercial banks and the Land Bank. The rescheduling of grain producers’ production debt following a severe drought earlier this year as well as input finance for new commercial farmers will be on the agenda.

“Small margins and challenging circumstances during the previous production years have led to efficient farming amongst those still left in the grain industry. Everything possible has to be done to enable producers to continue farming. Furthermore, the rate at which new commercial producers obtain access to finance should be escalated,” said Jannie de Villiers, Chief Executive Officer of Grain SA.

“Whilst the Government seemingly continues with its process of 50/50 land reform and land ceilings, the time has come for Grain SA to speak openly about this issue on behalf of the country’s grain producers. According to the National Development Plan 70% of South Africans will reside in cities by 2030. City dwellers will not be able to produce food for own use and therefore commercial agriculture has to be maintained and subsistence farmers will simply not be able to produce sufficient food for the South African demand. Government will have to start realising this reality,” he said.

NAMPO 2015 does not only offer an opportunity for conversation and dialogue. It is a unique agricultural trade show through which producers can expand knowledge, technology and productivity. Here the public and other role players can also experience commercial agriculture and food security in action.

Even the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Senzeni Zokwana, paid a visit to NAMPO 2015 and participated in the Nation in Conversation debate on labour relations. As far as is known, he is the first minister of agriculture to visit the NAMPO Harvest Day near Bothaville in the Free State since 1994.

From discussions with producers at NAMPO 2015 it once again became clear that it is a unique group of people who has, since the drought, overcome difficult circumstances in a short period of time. They will again take risks in the following year to help create food security for the country. I admire this characteristic of grain producers and their positive and astonishing perseverance to continue farming,” said De Villiers.

According to Cobus van Coller, chairman of the NAMPO Harvest Day, the best technology and knowledge for producers to farm sustainably in Sub Saharan Africa, is available at this trade show. “Even though agriculture is currently under immense pressure, agriculturalists still have enough passion for farming to explore every aspect of agriculture that the Harvest Day has to offer in order to remain competitive and relevant,” he added.

NAMPO 2015 had a promising start and according to weather forecasts favourable weather is expected for the rest of the week. The Harvest Day continues until Friday 15 May. Visit www.nampo.co.za for more information or to purchase tickets online.



Johan Smit, Cell: 082 553 7806, Email: johan@infoworks.biz