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Syngenta SA invests in future Agriculture leaders

News Snippets

  • University of Free State’s Business School partners with Syngenta SA
  • Programme aimed at building leadership capacity in  South African agriculture
  • Progressive growers developed to tackle changing and interactive future of agriculture


26 February 2014, Bloemfontein -


Syngenta unveiled a diverse group of 20 young commercial growers selected from all across the country to participate in the Grain Academy’s leadership programme for 2014. The academy is Syngenta SA’s flagship leadership development initiative and is fully sponsored by the world-leading agri-business.    


The programme seeks to equip the growers with leadership skills required to tackle rising challenges of food security and agricultural productivity. The first in-take was in 2013. Developed in partnership with the University of Free State’s Business School, the programme is facilitated by Thinking Fusion, a strategic leadership development organisation.


Antonie Delport, Managing Director of Syngenta SA said: “It is Syngenta’s firm belief that the future of agriculture should be shaped rather than left to chance. Equipping these young growers with skills to manage diversity and lead the industry is going to be vital in optimising South Africa’s agricultural productivity.


“It is also heartening to see that the response to the academy has grown phenomenally in the past two years. Our dream is to see future leaders in the sector taking charge of opportunities and contribute to global food security.”


The Grain Academy initiative is supported by industry body Grain South Africa whose CEO Jannie de Villiers views the programme as a trajectory to the country’s economic competitiveness that lies in skills development.


De Villiers said: “The establishment of a Grain Academy is in line with Grain South Africa’s strategic objectives and we’re excited to partner with Syngenta on delivering on this project. The future of sustainable production lies in our competitiveness and it can only be improved with ongoing training.”


This programme equips growers to lead, think and behave differently in order to make a profound difference in their sphere of influence, and in the agriculture environment they operate in.


Floyd Murray from African Bio-Resources, who participated in the 2013 Academy, described the programme as highly rewarding. He said: “Participating in the Grain Academy was an incredible experience of self-discovery, sharing and learning for me.”