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Nkgono Jane says...

September 2015


Grain SA has been in the fortunate position to manage a farmer development programme which has been a result of  cooperation between the Maize Trust, the Winter Cereal Trust, the Sorghum Trust, the Oil and Protein Seeds Development Trust, the ARC and the AgriSETA. Over many years, a team of dedicated people have worked tirelessly to transfer skills and knowledge to farmers while assisting them to use that land that is available to them.

The purpose of the programme is simple and straightforward – to help the farmers use whatever land they have available for optimal crop production. Regrettably we are experiencing pressure from certain political quarters – people who want to take the programme away from Grain SA and possibly stop the programme altogether. Their agenda is unclear and they are certainly not acting in the best interests of the developing farmers. As Grain SA, we are going to do our very best to continue to serve you, our farmers. Over more than eleven years now, we have developed a relationship of trust with you and you are our priority.

Next month we will be celebrating our Day of Celebration in Bloemfontein again. This is a very happy occasion where we announce the winners of our Farmer of the Year Competition and promote farmers to the 250 Ton Club. There are so many farmers of all sizes who are progressing extremely well towards commercial production. At the subsistence level, this year we had two farmers who each planted 7 ha by hand and harvested 50 tons of maize – what an achievement. At the other end of the spectrum we had Mrs Kama from Ugie who harvested 10 tons/ha on her commercial scale operation. Wow!

We are sad to have lost two previous winners of our Farmer of the Year Competition – Mr Steven Matshididi from Thaba Nchu and Mr Lepati Macaphasa from Kestell. We mourn their loss with their families and wish them eternal rest. They were an inspiration to us with their farming operations.

Publication: September 2015

Section: Pula/Imvula