Impact SA

Bayer supports grain SA’s farmer development program

Better Farms Better Lives image 1 Grain SA resize

Bayer has released a documentary trailer highlighting grain farmers’ stories of hope and success.

A soon to be released documentary on the success of Grain SA’s Farmer Development Program will tell the stories of passionate farmers who has risen above almost impossible odds.

Across Africa, Bayer invests in the support and development of smallholder farmers with the help of industry partners. In South Africa, we’ve partnered alongside other industry sponsors with Grain SA to support their Farmer Development Program.

Over the past two decades, thousands of subsistence, emerging, and pre-commercial farmers have come through the ranks to improve their own farming businesses by participating in this program – some already advancing to the level of commercial grain producers. Those who have improved their economic status are part of the success story of this combined industry initiative.

To get a realistic picture of how the Grain SA Farmer Development Program has impacted smallholder farmers we set out to find the real-life heroes of this initiative.

The result is a short documentary produced to show the journey of the participants – and graduates – of this development program.

The documentary is set to premier online in June 2022 and the trailer was released during Nampo Harvest Day in Bothaville last week.

It tells the story of the people passionately passing on farming skills and showcase some of the farmers who are embracing this knowledge to reach ever increasing levels of growth, confidently stepping into the commercial arena.

“Bayer places special emphasis on smallholder farmers because it is the right thing to do,” says Dudu Mashile, Territory Sales Manager: Smallholder & New Era Commercial.

“We see smallholder farmers as future commercial farmers and future contributors to the South African economy. Smallholder farmers add to the diversity in our agricultural industry and are important contributors to building rural economies and growing the agricultural sector.”

“Our portfolio includes maize seeds (GMO and non-GMO) as well as crop protection products,” says Dudu.

Together with our farmers we can realize Bayer’s vision of health for all and hunger for none,

The combination of these seed and crop protection innovations allows smallholder farmers – just like large commercial farmers – to really get ahead of the game and excel far above their production records prior to using out technologies.

“The freedom of choice lies with the farmer to either choose the benefits of GMO seeds (herbicide tolerance and stalk borer resistance) or market specific non-GMO seeds for maize production.

Across the board we offer a wide choice of different, high-quality hybrids to suit different production systems, areas and climates,” she explains.

“Our crop protection portfolio includes herbicides, fungicides and insecticides which are all quite popular among South African smallholder farmers thanks to the efficacy thereof.”

“I’ve seen life-changing results where maize farmers improved from 2 t/ha to 8 t/ha yield on dry land after adopting new seed technology and improved crop protection methods. This has really brought home the notion that farming is not only a way to survive, but to thrive in a sustainable way.

Becoming profitable and more efficient brings more jobs to rural communities, makes farming easier and enables smallholder farmers to send their children to school and university. They are not just farmers, but entrepreneurs in the true sense of the word,” Dudu says.

Bayer’s partnership with Grain SA continues from 2021 into 2022 and so does the drive from smallholder farmers to achieve great success.

“Together with our farmers we can realize Bayer’s vision of health for all and hunger for none,” says Dudu.


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