We have a long way to go…
It is a special privilege for me to communicate in this manner with the members, interested parties and all the friends of GOSA.
GOSA’s new board was elected recently. It is an even greater privilege to talk to you as your newly elected president. Filling the shoes of our retiring president, Annatjie Loio, will not be an easy task, but you can rest assured that the board and I will give only our best.
Requests were received from the grain industry to investigate the possibility of GOSA and Agbiz Grain merging and forming one body. Prof Johan Willemse was appointed to investigate the possibility. Talks were held with agribusinesses, role-players in the industry, members of GOSA and Agbiz Grain. After discussions had been completed, the two boards met and the possibility was discussed and explored further.
During the discussions the following was agreed upon:
- The mandates of the two organisations differ significantly and it will be very difficult to form one organisation at this stage.
- All parties agreed that better co-operation and co-ordination are required in the future to optimise scarce manpower and costs.
- Joint workshops et cetera will be held to eliminate duplication.
- The chairperson of Agbiz Grain and I will meet as soon as possible to get this going and implement it.
The lingering drought of the past three years and uncertainty about expropriation without compensation place enormous pressure on all institutions within the value chain of agriculture. Our members have to make difficult decisions every day about where and how to save money.
I am of the opinion that agriculture in South Africa must make its own decisions about the future and should not wait for politicians to do this on their behalf. The government of the day apparently is not particularly interested in the farmer out on the farm. There are 57,5 million people who have to eat, therefore food security remains the buzzword. The maize crop currently being harvested, together with the carryover stock from the previous season, will be sufficient to feed the country.
With everything taken into account it is important for GOSA to also play its role in the value chain. The organisation’s main aim is to create an environment within which the handling, storage, marketing, financing, distribution, transport and processing industries in the grain industry can play their role effectively. GOSA is part of the agricultural family and co-operation in any area can only be to the benefit of the family.
In conclusion I would like to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude towards everybody who supports GOSA so loyally. We have a long way to go, but I believe that the GOSA board and I will make it the perfect organisation of choice for you.
Finally, I want to thank our Heavenly Father who makes it possible for us to serve an organisation like GOSA.