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Dr Pieter Haumann CEO of Fertasa reported that the first ever virtual Congress and AGM held by Fertasa took place successfully on the 22nd of July 2020.

The Congress with the theme “2020 Vision for the Future” dealt with the effects of Covid-19 on all aspects globally and in South Africa.

Dr John Purchase, CEO of Agbiz and Theo Venter, Policy Specialist from North West University Business School gave highly informed and professional insights, opinions and recommendations on the Covid-19 situation with the focus on recovery strategies post Covid19 lockdown. Videos of the presentations and questions and answers regarding the presentations are available on the Fertasa website.

Both speakers were of the opinion that Agriculture, including the Fertilizer Industry would play a vital role in not only surviving the effects of Covid-19 but also in the recovery of the economy in South Africa post Covid-19. Public Private Partnerships (PPP) would be vital in future.

Dr Erik Adriaanse delivered the Fertasa Annual Report which outlined the role and activities of Fertasa during 2019. (A video of the presentation is available on the Fertasa website.

The following Fertasa awards were announced:

• Gold medal award to Prof. Robin Barnard. This is for a lifetime contribution of excellence to agriculture in South Africa. (correct wording)

• Silver medal award in research to Prof. Joanna Dame for her valuable contribution to the knowledge and understanding of Mycorrhizal fungi and their interaction with plants and other soil microbes.

• Honorary Membership for service to Fertasa and its members.

- Dr Arrie Janse van Vuuren

- Prof. Andries Claassens

- Mr Frans Joubert

Curriculum vitae of recipients will be posted on the Fertasa website.

These awards will be physically made at a suitable function once the lockdown regulations allow it.

The 61st Annual General Meeting took place after the Congress.

The following aspects were dealt with:

  • Two vacancies on the Board of Directors caused by the retirement of the Chairman Dr Erik Adriaanse (from Sasol) and the resignation of Mr James Morotoba from Foskor were filled by the election of Niren Murugan, Regional Head South Africa (ETG), Kynoch and Salo Minnaar, Commercial Director, Afrikelp. Congratulations to these new directors.

  • The chair and vice-chair of Fertasa will duly be elected by members.

  • Fertasa will continue the PPP in terms of fertilizer quality inspection with partners GrainSA, DALRRD, Sasol Agriculture Trust and Omnia.

  • A further PPP is envisaged with DALRRD regarding product registrations. All the industry associations falling under Act 36 of 1947 have come together and formed the Agricultural Input Forum (AIF) to solve challenges with this frustrating problem. The final goal of the AIF is to form a PPP with DALRRD and an independent private body dealing with all aspects of product administration and registration in South Africa,

  • Membership numbers of Fertasa have increased to the extent that membership fees have been discounted due to higher income derived from subscriptions and training courses.

  • Discount of membership fees to code of conduct certified members had also been granted.

  • Small fertilizer companies were upgraded from affiliate members to ordinary members with voting rights, increasing the influence of these small fertilizer companies’ in the running of Fertasa.

  • A survey amongst members will be done to confirm additional future roles that members want Fertasa to play for them.

Written by Dr Pieter Haumann, HUB of Fertasa


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