Friday, December 9, 2022

Grain SA salutes the cream of the crop

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Grain SA (GSA) awarded the grain producers involved in its Farmer Development Programme for their dedication and hard work during its recent day of celebration held at Nampo Park. The programme focusses on assisting active farmers in boosting grain profitability, while food security is also addressed in the process.

Khuphukile Mazibuko (Dundee, KwaZulu-Natal), Joseph Mokaleng (Delareyville, North West), Bheki Mabuza (Piet Retief, Mpumalanga) and Mapidianye Manoto (Lichtenburg, North West) were winners in the best subsistence, smallholder, potential commercial, and new-era commercial farmer categories, respectively. Apart from these producers, other new-era commercial farmers in the programme received recognition for the grain tonnage produced during the 2021/22 season.  

Dr Sandile Ngcamphalala, manager of the Farmer Development Programme, says the winners are shining stars, but this does not discredit the rest of the top-performing farmers. He believes agriculture can heal the nation. In addition, awards ceremonies, such as the GSA/Syngenta Grain Producer of the Year Awards recently held in Boksburg, also afford developing farmers the opportunity to rub shoulders with the best producers both locally and globally.

Read more about Grain SA’s Farmer Development Programme here.

Top producers

This season delivered nine new-era commercial farmers in the 250-ton-grain-producing club, while 16 producers graduated to the 500-ton club. Petrus Letsitsa from Henneman in the Free State as well as Mabuza (potential commercial farmer winner) both graduated to the 1 000-ton club. GSA’s KwaZulu-Natal regional co-ordinator, Jurie Mentz, says Mabuza was also a finalist in its Grow for Gold Competition last year where he was third in the Eastern Highveld area with a yellow maize yield of 14,7 tons/ha.

Graduations: 1 500-ton club

The grain producers, Paul Motlokoa from Deneysville (soya bean), and Johannes Setshego from Virginia (sunflower and maize) made the Free State proud. David Nhlapo from Perdekop in the Volksrust/Standerton area in Mpumalanga also performed well by planting yellow maize (150ha) with a total yield of 1 365 tons. He also planted soya beans (120ha) with a total yield of 1 560 tons (average of 1,3 tons/ha). Xolani Gumede (Dirkiesdorp) planted 189ha of dryland maize and harvested a total of 1 549,8 tons. He also planted 220ha of soya beans with a total yield of 374 tons.  

Read more about Bayer and Grain SA’s documentary about farmer development here.

Graduations: 2 000-ton club

GSA’s regional development manager in the Free State, Johan Kriel, is pleased by the fact that the province produced three of the four new-era commercial farmers in this club. Samuel Moloi from Fouriesburg produced a total of 3 200 tons of yellow maize (an average of 6,7 tons/ha) and harvested soya bean at an average of 2,4 tons/ha. He only operates on leased land.

Israel Motlhabane from Wesselsbron produced a total of 3 400 tons of maize and planted sunflowers. Motlhabane bought his first farm, Annasvlei, at an auction in 1996 and leases additional land. Frans Mokoena from Tweespruit produced a total of 3 889 tons of maize, while he harvested soya beans at an average of 2,6 tons/ha. Mokoena, a previous winner of the new-era farmer of the year award, also planted sunflowers.

Mentz says he is extremely proud of all the new-area commercial farmers from Mpumalanga. This includes Badge Skosana (Witbank) who planted 480ha of soya bean and harvested an average of 3,3 tons/ha. Skosana planted 120ha maize and produced a total of 660 tons (average of 5,5 tons/ha). – Christal-Lize Muller, AgriOrbit

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