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in anything…

were once beginners


t was the old American President, Benjamin Franklin, who wrote,

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and

I learn

.’ Early on in his life Franklin discovered that imitating other

people was a sure way to self-improvement and success.

He would deliberately set out to discover the experts in the field he

was interested in and acquire knowledge or skills and examine their

work closely. He learned as much as possible about their style, at­

titudes, habits and strategies.

The key is that Franklin was open to learning and he believed in

getting involved in improving himself. He would continuously imitate

recognised experts until he had grown in confidence and skill.

Farmer Development Programme

As Grain SA’s Farmer Development team we are proud of the fact

that the success of our programme is reflected in the relationships

we have built with the farmers and broader agricultural sector.

The successes and growth we have seen in the farmers we work

with encourage us every day to reach out to more people to take our

hands on this development journey.

True to our characters, we are always eager to partner with other

stakeholders in internship programmes. We believe there are many

knowledgeable graduates from colleges who still can be further em­

powered to make a significant difference in the sector if they are

given the opportunity to become involved in the field, to learn first-

hand from experts and gain practical experience which both build

confidence and increase insight and knowledge.

The goal is not to be successful, though; the goal is to be valuable.

Once you are valuable, instead of chasing success, it will attract

itself to you.

In November 2016, Grain SA Farmer Development team members

approached the Provincial Department of Agriculture for their as­

sistance with more mechanisation support for the farmers who are

mentored by them. We were delighted when during this discussion

the idea of an internship programme was born.

Our goal is that 19 graduates in agriculture will be employed and

become members of the Grain SA Farmer Development team as

interns. This programme will then run in conjunction with the

mechanisation support contributed to the programme by the depart­

ment. The interns’ objective is to gain practical experience with the

primary focus on grain production and farmer development.

The exposure includes practical experience, where the interns will

receive hands-on experience by doing the following themselves and

then teaching other farmers to do it:

Planter calibrations

Boom sprayer calibrations

Mapping of land, using GPS

Farm equipment maintenance

Crop yield estimates

The interns will also participate in training and assist with Grain SA

farmer training courses in grain production. These are invaluable

courses which have a good balance between theory and the practi­

cal application thereof.

Other learning opportunities and skills development activities will

be acquired during the Grain SA social facilitation tasks, which

include study group meetings, farmers days and advanced farmer


All Grain SA’s farmer development work is done responsibly with

a view of encouraging accurate record keeping, log book main­

tenance and detailed accountability so we can report to all our

partners. In this regard interns will be allowed to participate in

administrative and reporting activities and will benefit from com­

puter training and skills development.

The roaring lion kills no prey

We need to change perceptions that college graduates only have

‘head knowledge’, but are not able to assist with practical solutions

in the field. It is true that one of the challenges Grain SA Farmer

Development has, is finding competent mentors for the ever-

expanding programme – especially those willing to work in deep

rural areas where the need is greatest.

We are therefore eager to cultivate young mentors who share the

same passion for land transformation and sustainable farmer de­

velopment through an internship programme like this. We see the

benefit as being twofold:

The interns obtain relevant experience, which builds their confi­

dence and empowers them, so they are equipped and positioned

to apply for good jobs.

Grain SA Farmer Development is given the opportunity to train

the calibre of mentors that we need in the field for future farmer


Grain sa

Julie 2018

Sinelizwi Fakade


Luke Collier,

Farmer Development co-ordinators, Grain SA

Grain SA Internship Programme in partnership with DRDAR

The greatest leader is

not necessarily the one

who does the greatest

things. He is the one

that gets the people to

do the greatest things.

– Ronald Reagan