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Grain Academy confers leadership certificates to class of 2014

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Grain Academy Graduation 2014 

Bloemfontein, June 20, 2014: Leading agri-business company Syngenta’s Grain Academy today conferred certificates to the class of 2014 that completed a three month long leadership programme. The programme sought to equip 20 commercial growers identified from all over the country with the skills and leadership competencies required to tackle rising challenges of food security and agricultural productivity.


Developed in partnership with the University of Free State’s Business School, the programme commenced in February this year and entails a three-modular interactive session over period.


It is facilitated by Thinking Fusion, a strategic leadership development organisation. The academy is Syngenta SA’s flagship leadership development initiative and is fully sponsored by the leading agri-business.   


The class of 2014 is the second to graduate since the Grain Academy was started last year.


The ceremony was graced by Prof Neil Heideman, Dean: Faculty of Natural & Agricultural Sciences, University of Free State, Jannie De Villiers, CEO, Grain SA, Dr John Purchase, CEO of AgBiz and Antonie Delport, MD of Syngenta SA.  


Speaking to the graduating class, Antonie Delport, MD, Syngenta SA said, “By successfully completing this rigorous course, you have demonstrated your work ethic and commitment to the people you work with. I encourage you to use the skills you have learnt at the Grain Academy in the service of agriculture.”


“After this leadership journey, we trust you will also serve as an ambassador and attract high quality talent to meet the future workforce needs of agriculture,” Delport added.  


The Grain Academy initiative is supported by industry body Grain South Africa whose CEO Jannie de Villiers said, “agriculture requires trained leaders who does not only understand the technical aspect of farming, but are also fully conversant of the dynamics and issues that affect the sector.”

“The strategic initiative undertaken by Syngenta through the Grain Academy is a much needed investment that will shape the landscape of the agricultural industry, placing it as a competitive sector that drives the economic development of South Africa.”


To successfully complete the programme, the students are each given a modern day agricultural challenge to solve and the findings are presented to an audience of industry stakeholders, UFS faculty representatives and Syngenta management.


Syngenta’s dream is to continue and with the initiative with the aim of empowering growers interested in honing skills related to effectively leading and managing in the changing milieu of agriculture.


For more information about the Grain Academy please contact Du Preez Kritzinger at [email protected] or 011 541 4000.