GOSA proud of the effectiveness of industry and farmers
An estimated more than 20 million tons of grain and oilseed stocks were effectively handled in the 2017 season by the members of the Grain Handling Organisation (GOSA). Deep-sea exports amounted to about 2 million tons, including white maize exported to Kenya and yellow maize to Japan, Korea and Taiwan.
GOSA thanked its members for the effective handling of the previous season’s record maize crop of almost 17 million tons. The silos were utilised at full capacity and silo owners had to move around stocks to accommodate everybody. Together with other commodities that were harvested in 2017, more than 20 million tons were ultimately handled by our members, with approximately 2 million tons that were exported to the East.
‘Despite good or bad times we in agriculture are obliged to provide the population of South Africa with reassurance with regard to food security. GOSA is proud of the various agricultural organisations and their cooperation. The country’s roughly 33 000 primary producers, who are counted among the best in the world, and that without any government subsidies like their peers elsewhere in the world, deserve special praise,’ said Ms Annatjie Loio, president of GOSA, at the organisation’s 35th symposium in Mossel Bay on 22 and 23 March.
According to the most recent crop estimate, 12,2 million tons of maize should be harvested this season. The carry-out of approximately 3,5 million tons of maize and consumption of 10,5 million tons per year leave the local industry with quite a few million tons of maize for exports.
In addition to the country’s normal maize exports to neighbouring countries like Botswana, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Swaziland, Mozambique and Namibia, maize is currently in demand in South Korea. Should prices compete well with those of the USA, it can be a potential market. Favourable weather prospects and the volatility of the rand will remain focus areas that have an influence on the market.
Loio pointed out that a challenge faces the agricultural sector, as the average age of producers is currently older than 60 years. ‘The younger generation must take part in providing food for our country,’ she warned and added that land expropriation without compensation must be prevented in order to enable producers to maintain food security.
Several of the invited speakers touched on the potential negative effect of the government’s planned expropriation of land without compensation, but also pointed out that transformation in agriculture is unavoidable. The sector will have to take part actively in transformation, but not at the expense of the sustainability of the sector as one of the biggest creators of work and food security.
The speakers at the symposium were Mr Theo Venter (political and policy analyst), Dr Roelof Botha (independent economist and analyst), Prof Mohammed Karaan (member of the National Planning Commission), Mr Esli Rall (RMB), and Mr Chris Seward (Envirologix). Messrs Vusi Thembekwayo, Brand Pretorius and Adv Gerrie Nel shared their experience with respect to personal and business leadership, corporate governance and anti-corruption.
After a strategic planning session by GOSA with various role players from the industry in February this year, the organisation is currently rethinking its positioning. Plans in this regard include expanding the representation in order to include the entire grain value chain. The appointment of a manager and expansion of the board are also envisaged.
Loio was re-elected as president, and Mr Awie Kriel (Cape Agri) was appointed as vice president. The other board members are Mr George du Plessis (Overberg Agri), Ferdinand Meyer (Ronin GMS), Marco Pretorius (Afgri), Esli Rall (RMB), Hein Rehr (National Fumigants) and Lukas Swarts (Ensign Shipping).