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Perspektief | Perspective Week 43

29 Oct 2021


Dr Dirk Strydom, Manager: Grain Economy & Marketing

Given production and expected future production, it is extremely important to ensure that soybeans can be exported. Grain SA is constantly ensuring markets are open for exports and that new markets are created. The most recent focus is on discussions and progress regarding the China export protocol. An agreement has been reached on the protocol and must be signed by the relevant Ministers. As part of this protocol, various registrations and inspections are required during the planting and growth process.

Grain SA, together with SACOTA, convened several meetings with the relevant government departments in order to follow a proactive approach. With this, Grain SA ensures that registrations and monitoring do take place, even if the protocol has not been finally signed. This approach to getting everything in place paves the way for exports to take place as soon as the protocol is signed.



Dr Dirk Strydom, Manager: Grain Economy & Marketing

As discussed during the Grain SA Congress, there is increasing pressure from consumers to establish a system for all grains. Although everyone agrees that it is important to ensure that good practice structures are in place to ensure safe production, it has not yet been agreed what exactly this should entail. Several of the consumers are requesting that all food safety legislation be signed off. This proposal is considered a risk to the industry, as the legislation is written for a value chain, and is not necessarily always feasible on a farm production environment.

Furthermore, there are also various concerns from the purchasers of the commodities regarding the storage requirements and the execution of the system. These are intensive discussions and finding a practically workable system is of utmost importance to the entire grain industry. Congress agreed that it is important to ensure a producer can report on what is in his/her control, and which is mainly linked to Act 36. Grain SA will always be in favour of responsible, safe food production in a practically feasible way.



Dr Dirk Strydom, Manager: Grain Economy & Marketing

Part and parcel of the grading discussions, there were several discussions regarding the proposal for a super maize grade. It was decided by the industry that it will not be investigated in the current grading change but rather be dealt with as a second phase. This decision was based on the complexities that need to be researched first. These include thoughts on; What is the definition of a super grade? What determines the value of a cultivar? How is the premium percentage determined for an additional grade? How is it administered? How will the storage work, and what is the need and potential?

In the last month, several media articles have appeared in this regard. At an industry meeting at the end of September, the decision was made that there is currently no urgent need for a super-grade and that it is too complex at this time, as in instances where cultivars react differently in different areas. Subsequently, it was proposed that companies with this specific need should facilitate it accordingly through contracting directly with producers. This approach will further provide indicators on the real need for a super maize grade and how it can work.



Dr Dirk Strydom, Manager: Grain Economy & Marketing

Grain SA's policy advocate that producers produce grain that is safe and falls within the various legislations. Within the breeding environment of plants, there are several new technologies that ensure producers can utilise the best opportunities and potential of the plant. It is therefore important for Grain SA that the new technology, given the methodology and risk, cannot resonate under exactly the same legislation as GMOs. It is important that South Africa is in line with the rest of the international markets in terms of its regulations. If South African regulations are to be stricter than the rest of competitors such as Brazil, Argentina and the USA, the competitiveness of local producers will be affected.

Grain SA communicated its views to the authorities with the request to discuss the regulations due to their important impact on South African grain and oilseed producers.




Toit Wessels, Asst Manager: Marketing & NAMPO

Three regional meetings took place in the Cape on 27, 28 and 29 September 2021 respectively. During the meetings, Grain SA and its winter cereal producers bid retired CEO Jannie de Villiers farewell. In his parting message, de Villiers encouraged Grain SA to continue with the collection of voluntary levies and not to move to a statutory environment. Furthermore, he confirmed that the successes that resulted from the wheat turnaround strategy meant a lot to producers. De Villiers revealed his respect for the Cape producers with regard to their levy contributions and inputs and concluded with the message that these producers have always been close to his heart.

At the same time, Grain SA also introduced its new CEO, Dr Pieter Taljaard to members, the media and various grain role players in the Cape. Taljaard emphasised the importance of the Cape producers to the organisation and underlined the need for an active Paarl office there, as the service of commercial as well as New Era producers will always enjoy high priority.

The meetings were concluded by Grain SA chairman Derek Mathews who thanked all members for their faithful Grain SA contributions with the assurance that winter cereals will always remain high on the agenda.

(v.l.t.r) Jannie de Villiers, Dr Pieter Taljaard, Derek Mathews, André Kirsten   Producers at the Cape Regional Meeting


Jannie & Henk Aggenbach
 (NAMPO Kaap)
Jannie & Jacques Bester 
(Swartland Skou)
Jannie & André Uys
(Overberg Agri)
Jannie & Sean Walsh
 (Kaap gri)
Jannie & Ernst Pelser 



Smangaliso Zimbili, Office Assistant – Nelspruit: Farmer Development

Grain SA’s Nelspruit Coordinator, Jerry Mthombothi hosted an Imbizo in Limpopo on 12 October 2021. It was organised to inform Limpopo farmers about the work that Grain SA is doing in order to develop and support farmers, to follow the correct production practices. Among the speakers from Grain SA and the Department of Agriculture, was Dr Sandile Ngamphalala highlighting Grain SA’s strategic focus areas; Ikageng Maluleke providing farmers with a market overview and Patricia Zimu addressing marketing matters and member levies. Further, Ms MC Bopape, Deputy Director for Rural Development addressed the Farmer Support Policy, Deputy Director Mr M Lamola delivered a message of support from the Department of Agriculture in Limpopo and Shadrack Mabuza of Bayer discussed the marketing of seeds and herbicides.

The Imbizo was also attended by Mpumalanga DoA representatives and 115 farmers from 11 Grain SA study groups serviced by Mr Jerry Mthombothi and the Nelspruit office. After a very positive function the farmers were pleased with the information received and conveyed their appreciation through farmer representatives, Mr Jim Masemola & Mr Jabulani Mahlangu. Ms Buyi Maqutu from Limpopo DoA rendered the vote of thanks after a successful day.






The latest issues  of the 2021 November edition of Pula Imvula, Grain SA's magazine for emerging farmers, has been loaded on the website. Be sure to read any of the editions for the latest news and articles. Simply click on one of the links below.



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