New AFMA CEO to focus on stronger working relations

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Dr Sifiso Ntombela will join the Animal Feed Manufacturers’ Association (AFMA) team as its new executive director on 1 July, following a thorough recruiting process. Liesl Breytenbach served as interim executive director from January 2023.

Dr Ntombela has vast experience in the agricultural sector, and the AFMA board is confident that he will add tremendous value to AFMA and the greater animal feed and agricultural value chain.

Dr Ntombela holds a PhD in agricultural economics from the University of Pretoria and is an alumnus of Stellenbosch University where he obtained his bachelors, honours and master’s degrees. He is an agricultural economist with more than a decade’s experience in strategic planning, agricultural policy and economic modelling. In addition, he was the National Agricultural Marketing Council’s (NAMC) chief economist responsible for trade research and policy advisory, and served as the head of trade and intelligence at Agbiz.

Read more about AFMA’s recent feed milling short course.

Relationships are key

According to Dr Ntombela, he would like to see stronger working relations between the animal feed industry role-players and government in all spheres, and intends to create policies and regulations that promote competitiveness, inclusive growth and profitability in the animal feed industry.

“Focussing on expanding export opportunities to drive demand-led investments in the animal feed industry will be one of my areas of priority. This includes fostering close relationships with different stakeholders and academia to constantly improve skills, innovation and research so the animal feed industry can enhance its global position as a producer of safe high-quality products. Even more important is improving relations, especially in terms of complementary functions, with other industries that either provide raw material or are the users of animal feed,” he says.

Over the past three years, Dr Ntombela was the national co-ordinator of the Agriculture and Agro-processing Master Plan. He served in government’s economic cluster and was part of the team of technical specialists who drafted the Reconstruction and Economic Recovery Plan of South Africa in 2020. He still serves on the agricultural advisory body for the National Planning Commission and acts as vice-president of the Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa. Dr Ntombela is a former director for strategic partnerships at the Department of Public Enterprises.

Building a strong industry

AFMA continuously strives to support its members by ensuring that its strategic focus areas remain relevant to the challenges faced by the animal feed industry. Conducting business in a stable environment is not something the association had the privilege of doing over the last couple of years, and therefore AFMA needs to foresee and mitigate the risks the industry experiences daily.

“One of the most exciting areas is bridging the working gap between the animal feed industry and relevant government institutions to build a viable and competitive industry,” says Dr Ntombela. – Elmarie Helberg, Plaas Media

For more information, phone AFMA on 012 663 9097 or visit

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