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Perspektief | Perspective Week 26 - 2019

05 Jul 2019





Grain SA CEO, Jannie de Villiers, received the Chancellor's Medal from the University of the Free State last week Friday. The Chancellor's medal is awarded to an individual for outstanding service or achievement at local, national or international level, or for service to the community or the university. 

Jannie started his career as an economist for the Department of Agriculture in 1985. For more than 30 years, he dedicated his knowledge, capabilities, and leadership to the agricultural sector, specifically grain-industry development. Viewed as a leader in the agricultural and food sectors, both nationally and in international circles, Jannie plays a leading role in policy formulation, and his opinion is valued by role players in the agri-business sector, leaders, policy makers, and other relevant stakeholders. 

Jannie is an exceptional team leader and is highly respected by all team members, which is evident through the organisation's successful development and training programmes, as well as support to commercial and advanced farmers. Under his leadership, Grain SA established a comprehensive farmer development programme that aims to develop black commercial farmers, making an invaluable contribution to food security. More than 10 000 farmers were accommodated in its initiatives. Together, these farmers cultivated close to 150 000 ha throughout South Africa and R20 million was spent annually in support of this programme. A further R100 000 million of Government and Industry Programs funding was managed to develop these farmers. He values the transformative power of training and development. In the organisation, training is not merely done for the sake of training, but to enrich people’s lives and equip upcoming farmers with knowledge and practical skills to improve crops, plan for the future, and to establish a sustainable livelihood. As part of this enrichment strategy, Jannie's focus on mentorship, shaped the cornerstone on which Grain SA’s Subsistence to Abundance project is based. (This project, in partnership with The Jobs Fund – National Treasury, Kynoch, Monsanto, SA Lime & Gypsum, Syngenta, and the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, contributed greatly to the output deliverables and success of the project to date).

Under his guidance, the mentorship programme grew to launch ‘study groups’ (grouped according to location) assigned to a dedicated mentor. Each mentor meets with his/her assigned group on a weekly basis to provide theoretical training based on an introductory syllabus of maize production. The ‘study groups’ are not merely utilised for training purposes, but forms a platform through which farmers can express concerns, ask questions, and plan ahead, which proves critical for resource management and saving – contributing to the unbelievable results of the project to date. This is also the place where these farmers are exposed to modern input suppliers.

In partnership with Syngenta and the University of the Free State Business School, he was influential in the development of a tailored leadership development programme, offered at the Grain Academy. In support of this initiative, Jannie said “The establishment of a grain academy is in line with Grain SA’s strategic objectives and we are so excited to partner with Syngenta on delivering this project. The future of sustainable production lies in our competitiveness and it can only be improved with ongoing training.”

"It is a great honour for me to receive this award. I do so with great appreciation towards those who gave me the opportunity to lead and the team members that assisted me in this journey", Jannie said.







Old and new planners are now invited to showcase their expertise at this year's NAMPO Cape Harvest Day. The Landbou Farmers Plans, sponsored by Landbouweekblad, Omnia and NAMPO Cape, are presented for the first time in the South and farmers stand the chance to win big with their unique farmers' plans during this year's NAMPO Cape Harvest Day.

Download the entry form here. Entries close on 23 August 2019.




Grain SA and John Deere hosted a first-ever mechanisation demonstration for the OR Tambo region’s emerging farmers in Ncise on 12 June 2019. Joined by the Eastern Cape Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform MEC, Nomakhosazana Meth, the MEC called on private companies to work with government to find funding for rural farmers. Grain SA’s provincial coordinator, Sinelizwi Fakade said the demonstration was to unlock commercialisation potential in the province and expose rural farmers to the technology which the private sector has. The day further demonstrated how commercial potential can be unlocked and how an emerging farmer’s business can be run in the same way the private sector runs big corporations. Grateful for Grain SA’s contributions, these Eastern Cape grain farmers now feel they can rightfully compete with the best performing province in agriculture, the Free State.



Source: Mthatha Express




Bookings for the CAWC "Jack Human" Conservation Agriculture Week 2019, taking place from Tuesday, 6 August to Wednesday, 7August 2019 is now open. Scientists and others that are SACNASP registered, will qualify for 1.5 points under category 1, when attending the conference.

To download a copy of the programme, click here

To purchase tickets for the event, click here







For more than 40 years, farmers, governments, gardeners, and others have depended on glyphosate as an efficient and cost-effective tool that can be used safely to control problematic weeds. Since their introduction in 1974, glyphosate-based products have become the most commonly used herbicides in the world. This widespread adoption is based on three key factors:

  • Glyphosate effectively controls a broad spectrum of troublesome weed
  • Glyphosate offers significant economic and environmental benefits
  • Glyphosate has a strong safety profile and a long history of safe use

Read the full Bayer report, titled Glysophote-Based Herbicides Have a 40-Year History of Safe Use by downloading a copy here