(Posted Wed. Jun 24th, 2015)
Former NCGA President Pam Johnson is taking part this week in a Cargill-sponsored “Learning Journey” across South Africa and Zambia to forge new relationships and explore the diverse food systems and value chains of Africa.
Johnson and her fellow travelers are investigating Africa’s food system challenges and discussing potential solutions for increasing global food security. The travel is also supported by the AGree food and ag policy organization.
“NCGA and I came full circle in South Africa when the Cargill Learning Journey met with Jannie de Villiers, CEO of Grain S.A., a South African based trading house involved in the regional trade of grains, oilseeds, oilcakes and animal feed raw materials,” said Johnson. “In 2011, NCGA sponsored Jannie’s participation in the NCGA-Syngenta Leadership Academy. When Jannie returned to South Africa, he began a similar leadership program and has been a change agent in working with others on agricultural issues. It was great to hear how NCGA and the Syngenta program made a difference in his life and work. It is a small world after all.”
The Journey includes visits to farms, grain handling and buying terminals, mills and food manufacturing facilities, the South African Stock Exchange, and South African food retailers. The group will also travel to Chipata, a small town in Zambia, to visit with smallholder farmers, local mini mills and village markets.