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THUMA MINA in 2019

January 2019

The advantage of the big land debate in 2018, highlighted the numerous problems that our new grain farmers are facing in this country. It came up in all presentations whether it was in public hearings or Parliament. The non-agricultural media also came about to know what exactly the problems are.

The Conference at Bela-Bela made a substantial contribution to indicate how agriculture can resolve our own problems, but the whole issue of finance was singled out as the biggest hurdle to overcome. Private property rights are needed to unlock finance and where farmers do not have the necessary funding to commence with a farming operation, the Government needs to step in and assist. But, this was the old paradigm. One of the other benefits of this intense land debate was the notion that partnerships between Government and the private sector is needed to resolve the financing issue.

Many groupings have met towards the end of 2018 to plan how to address the needs of new farmers when it comes to finance. My hope is that 2019 will be the year that we dreamt of for many years: A new practical solution to crop finance. The ‘Thuma mina’ call from our President is applicable to all. We can no longer just keep on blaming the Government or the banks or whoever, that there is no finance. 

‘Thuma mina’ means exactly that: We all need to jump in and start solving this problem. As a commodity organisation, we can no longer hide behind our non-profit status or the fact that we are not a bank. Grain SA has an obligation to find a solution to the issue of finance. Our leaders have to scratch their heads and as a typical grain farmer make a plan. You will hear more about it in 2019.

I am thus looking forward to what this new energy will deliver in 2019 to make this new year one to remember. Not just because of the weather or good yields, but one where we overcome a huge hurdle to finance our future crops. My call for you as farmers is to please keep on talking to us about your problems. Help us to find solutions and we will direct the goodwill between all concerned to bring about the dream that we all hope and prayed for. The clean-up process to expose and resolve the corruption evil in this country, is giving us hope for a better future for all. Corruption is benefitting just a few and is detrimental to the majority of our people. Be sure that you remain on the right side of the law. God cannot bless those that hide in the darkness and live in the shadows.

My prayer for you is that your endurance and resourcefulness will take your farming operation to the next level. Keep your eyes focused on the One who can really help and do not rely on princes so much. Happy New Year!

Article submitted by Jannie de Villiers, CEO of Grain SA. For more information, send an email to jannie@grainsa.co.za.

Publication: January 2019

Section: Pula/Imvula