SA Graan Augustus 2014 - page 115

GFADA – there to assist newera farmers
he Grain Farmer Development
Association (GFADA) is an initiative
which grew out of the Grain Value
Chain Network, a network of grain
producers and agribusinesses in the ex-
tended value chain, that havemet together
since 2005 to create an opportunity for
round table discussions on the agricultural
sector in an eraof transformation.
One of the common areas of interest was
soon identified as farmer development and
a shared desire to support new entrants
into the grain industry with the knowledge
and capacity to guide them to becoming
sustainable commercial farmers. It was
recognised that although many institutions
and companies were endeavouring with
farmer development issues on their own,
it would be more likely to have a greater
impact as a united effort. Consequently, a
pillar of theGrain Value ChainNetworkwas
established and became known as GFADA
which has since been established as a
formal, non-profit organisation and is thus
fully dependent on donor funds to achieve
its goals.
Grain SA has always been actively involved
and represented on GFADA. It is currently
represented by Mrs Jenny Mathews, who
has served as GFADA board chairman
since October last year and also the CEO
of Grain SA, Mr Jannie de Villiers. Other
board members represent the Maize Trust,
Mr Karabo Peele and Dr Toto Hewu; the
Winter Cereals Trust, the vice-chairman,
Mr Maseli Letuka and Mrs Mmaphefo
Mabe; the National Cham-ber of Milling,
Mr Allan Bishop; the Sorg-hum Trust,
Mr John Gordon; Agbiz, Mrs Mariana
Purnell and theNAMC, Mr Zama Xalisa and
Mr AndriesCronje.
Initially the association was driven by
volunteers from the Grain Value Chain
Network, but during the term of the
immediate past chairperson, Allan Bishop,
the decision was taken to appoint a per-
manent manager to take GFADA for-
ward. It was recognised that in order to
achieve the organisation’s objectives, a
more concerted effort was required to
address the recruitment of donors, ad-
minister the applications and the funding
of thevarious farmer development projects.
Mr Zolile Duze has been ably assisting us
in this position since October 2012 and has
made great strides in familiarising himself
with the issues that farmers experience
both in growing their farms, but also in
service delivery highs and lows from the
various development agencies.
Thequestionhasbeenasked:Why theneed
for another farmer development entity,
when the Grain SA Farmer Development
Programme does such amazing work?
The funding for Grain SA’s programme
is primarily from the different grain
commodity trusts andmust be allocated in
their interests. However, most new farmers
face many other challenges in developing
their whole farming enterprise; and they
particulary struggle to access financing.
The vision in the long term is to assist new
era farmers inwhole farmdevelopment; but
the first focus areas of GFADA have been
on the grain value chain and finding ways
to accelerate transformation. Hence the
current focus of GFADA is on dispersing
grant funds in three areas:
Soil correction – through theapplication
of lime.
Crop insurance – offering a subsidy
towards thepremiums.
Mentorship – subsidising the cost of
GFADA does not in itself do any implemen-
tation on grass roots level, but works in
conjunction with development initiatives
with a proven track record. The projects are
carefullymonitored byMr Duze throughout
the season.
There is still much work to be done, but
we hope that a solid track record and
encouraging reports from the farmers
will encourage more role-players in the
value chain to put their corporate social
responsibility or enterprise development
funds into the GFADA kitty. Nonetheless,
we believe that as the Grain Value Chain
Network and GFADA, we are already mak-
ing a valuable contribution to the devel-
opment of new farmers.
he Stoller Group, world leaders in the development and
sales of plant performance products, has established a
division inSouthAfrica.
he group will be based in Mpumalanga, with an administrative
office in Nelspruit and a production facility in Delmas. The office
in Nelspruit is already up and running and the anticipated opening
of the Delmas facility’s operational activities is planned for the
beginningof September this year.
With over 45 years in agribusiness, the Stoller Groupmarkets a full
line of products to help producers increase crop yield and quality.
Stoller is dedicated to help producers understand and naturally
enhance the genetic potential of a crop by focusing on the plant’s
hormones, supporting nutrients and other co-factors to ensure an
optimum hormone balance. They look to create a healthier, more
productive plant that can better withstand stresses, resulting in
higher yields and a better returnon investment.
The SouthAfrican divisionwill look after Stoller’s growing interests
in sub-Saharan African countries, such as Malawi, Mozambique,
Zimbabwe and Ghana. Stoller USA, with their headquarters in
Houston, Texas, is actively engaged inongoing research to enhance
productivity inmore than 62 countries.
August 2014
board chairman, GFADA
Americanagricultural groupputsdown roots inAfrica
1: At the openingof the newStoller Africa of-
fice inNelspruit in June this year: CraigWhit-
lock (general manager: Stoller Africa), his
wife, Dayna, andMartinEtherington (MBFi).
2: Dr TimGrout (Citrus Research Internation-
al) and RaymondWalters (logistics manager,
Stoller Africa).
3: Andries van Zyl (production manager,
Stoller Africa), Job Mthombeni (AFASA) and
JohanKleynhans (WhiteRiver).
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