Agnes Hove

Agnes Hove is a director of African Women in Agriculture (AWIA). She is passionate about the empowerment and development of women agripreneurs and entrepreneurs. From mining to farming, her career highlights are plenty. Her qualifications include a MSc in strategic management and a nursing diploma. She aspires to empower people to live a life of health, creativity and passion while they uplift others.


Professor Adri Drotskie

Renowned business strategist Professor Adri Drotskie is director of the School of Management in the College of Business and Economics at the University of Johannesburg. She has an avalanche of experience following stints at Henley Business School, gaining international exposure as MBA director and head of research and faculty development. As an academic, she specialises in strategy, international business and strategic marketing. As a strategist by profession, Drotskie has eight years’ experience in the transport industry, 10 years’ experience in the financial services industry and 12 years’ experience in academia in teaching and learning, research and programme directing on a Master’s level.


AJ Mthembu

AJ Mthembu is the acting president of the African Farmers’ Association of South Africa (Afasa). Afasa’s strategic objectives are to create a sustainable united body of African farmers with the capacity to influence policies through lobbying and advocacy in favour of African farmers. It also facilitates the development of competencies of African farmers in order for them to participate meaningfully in formal and informal markets.

Andile Ngcobo

Andile Ngcobo is the co-founder of NAM Food and a farming development consultant. His career highlights include being featured on the cover of a leading farming magazine. He holds a diploma in agriculture from Cedara College of Agriculture in KwaZulu-Natal and combines his experience in strategic management and sustainable development with his passion for all things farming.


Aron Kole

Even before Aron Kole, managing director of FarmSol Holdings, became an agronomist and started his 16-year-long career in the agriculture sector, he was getting to know it from the ground up. Born in a village near Rustenburg in North West, he spent his childhood days planting maize, beans and sunflowers with a one-furrow plough. Today, his work changes the lives and boosts the businesses of newly commercialising farmers by linking them to multinational companies. 

Barbra Muzata

Barbra Muzata is the brand and corporate communications leader for Corteva Agriscience in Africa and the Middle East. She leads the development and implementation of the well-known brand’s strategic communications across the region. She also provides strategic counsel to the region’s leadership and directs and manages engagement strategies and communication initiatives with the goal of sustaining and advancing the company’s profile with internal and external stakeholders. With more than 20 years’ experience, she is a strategic communications professional, a storyteller, and branding strategist who  has worked with multinationals in different industries, including agriculture, information technology, fast moving consumer goods, retail, pharmaceuticals, and telecommunications. 

Bayanda Maseko

Bayanda Maseko is the director of Noliqua Legacy and co-founder of Ingwempisi Farming Projects Cooperative. His 78-hectares farm primarily focuses on poultry farming and egg production and has a 6 200-capacity layer house and 5 000 free-range layer house. The farm produces 2 000 eggs that it supplies to local restaurants, shops and informal markets.


Christo van der Rheede

As the executive director at Agri SA, Christo van der Rheede plays an active role in presenting, promoting and protecting the interests of the agricultural sector. Since his initial appointment as deputy executive director, he was responsible for a wide range of agricultural projects and represented the commercial agricultural sector at the Agri-Phakisa planning project. He is a former chairperson of the AgrISETA board. 

Conce Moraba

Conce Moraba holds a BSc degree in agricultural economics from the University of Pretoria. After her studies, she cut her teeth in the financial sector, discovering the power of data analytics, credit analysis, and market research. Her love for writing and public speaking has opened opportunities in some of South Africa’s leading agriculture and news titles. She has eight years’ experience in the finance industry and two years in agricultural crop protection as an operations and strategy analyst. Furthermore, she is the co-host of “Food for thought with Karabo and Conce,” a popular YouTube channel telling agriculture related stories throughout the value chain, from farm to folk. 


Corné Liebenberg

Corné Liebenberg is marketing director of Laeveld Agrochem, a leading crop optimisation and precision farming enterprise. He holds a BCom (Honours) degree in marketing from the University of Pretoria and is a founding member of Laeveld Agrochem. Liebenberg is also the co-host of Nisboere, an Afrikaans-language television series on DStv. He endeavours to grow Laeveld Agrochem as a market leader with unique innovations, products and new technology to exceed clients’ expectations.

Daniel Stevens

Daniel Stevens is the head of agriculture at Santam Limited. He is responsible for crop insurance for markets in South Africa as well as the rest of the continent. He has 22 years’ experience in the non-life insurance sector. Stevens previously held various roles in Santam’s commercial and personal lines’ broker distribution division and also has four years’ experience working with specialist underwriting management agencies. Prior to joining the agriculture team, he was head of Santam’s outsourced business for six years. He holds a MBA from Stellenbosch University and a B. Econ degree from the University of the Western Cape.


Daniel de Sousa

Daniel de Sousa is the founder and director of The Farm Nearby. He is an urban farmer, with a passion for building start-ups with purpose. Also, he is an experienced brand strategist and multimedia designer with seven years’ experience of working on world-renowned FMCG brands within South Africa’s top agencies. De Sousa is an advocate for a more inclusive food system and aims to inspire others to follow suit.

Diale Tilo

Diale Tilo joined the Kgodiso Development Fund as executive director in January 2022. He has 24 years of professional experience across public and private sectors. Founded by PepsiCo, Kgodiso is an independent fund founded by PepsiCo Inc. It aims to support the broad socio-economic imperatives of education, SMMEs, emerging farmers and enterprise development across PepsiCo’s value chain. Tilo brings a wealth of farming and corporate experience having previously worked for Standard Bank, Potatoes SA and AgriSETA.

Duncan Masiwa

Duncan Masiwa is the head of news at Food For Mzansi, South Africa’s leading digital agriculture news publication. He cut his teeth in community newspapers, writing columns for Helderberg Gazette, a Media24 publication. Today, he leads a team of journalists who strive to set the agricultural news agenda. Besides being a journalist, he is also a podcaster and performance poet who has shared stages with leading gospel artists. 

Eric Mauwane

Eric Mauwane is the founder of Oneo Farms in Tarlton, Gauteng. As a commercial-scale farmer, he supplies fresh produce to leading retailers. Building his self-funded farming empire was no easy feat, but driven by his passion for agriculture, he leaves no field untilled. Mauwane started farming in 2012 after a ten-year corporate career with a market research company.


Fhumulani Ratshitanga

Fhumulani Ratshitanga is the chief executive of Fruit South Africa. Having initially joined Fruit SA as industry affairs manager in July 2019, she is passionate about accelerating the growth of the fruit industry. Her career in the agricultural sector spans over 18 years. Previously, she has worked for the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions, the department of agriculture, land reform and rural development as well as the Perishable Products Export Control Board. She holds a Master’s degree in agriculture, specialising in plant protection. 

Gostina Malope

Gostina “Gabbey” Malope is the founder and principal of Toutele Agriculture College South Africa. The institution is fully accredited by AgriSETA and the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations. With a passion for agriculture, the trailblazing entrepreneur remains committed to developing the sector through capacity building initiatives and technology. Her commitment to stakeholder engagement enables her to impact the lives of farmers and their families. She is a recipient of the 2022 Mail & Guardian Power of Women Award.


Gugulethu Mahlangu

Being born into a farming family, it is no surprise that Gugulethu Mahlangu has become one of South Africa’s top young farmers. Today, she works as an aquaponics horticulturist for Househarvest after initially cutting her teeth on her own organic vegetable farm.  With a passion for food security and nutrition, she is currently studying towards a BSc degree in plant science.  ibus leo.

Ikageng Maluleke

Besides being an experienced agricultural economist, Ikageng Maluleke is also an area manager for the South African CanegrowersAssociation based in Kwazulu-Natal Midlands. Previously she worked at Grain SA, a farmer organisation representing major grains in South Africa. There her focus was on international trade policy, monitoring of inputs as well as developing new era farmers into commercialised farmers. Other career highlights include a stint as researcher for the Land Matrix, a global and independent land monitoring initiative. 

Dr Innocent Sirovha

Dr Innocent Sirovha joined AgriSETA as its chief executive in December 2020. Among other career highlights, he was the municipal manager for the Greater Letaba Municipality in Limpopo, boasting unqualified audits for two consecutive years. He also obtained unqualified audits for four consecutive years as municipal manager for the Bojanala District Municipality in North West. Dr Sirovha has a comprehensive understanding of rural development issues, and holds a PhD in public management from the University of Pretoria.  

Ivor Price

Food For Mzansi co-founder and editor-in-chief Ivor Price is a multi-award-winning journalist. His first article in a mainstream newspaper was published at 14, and he has since gained critical acclaim in digital, print and broadcast media. Other career highlights include a stint as a London-based foreign correspondent for Media24 as well as presenting two agricultural television shows. He is the co-author of two books and, as a businessman, also serves on a number of boards, including the AHI. He is reading towards a Master’s degree in journalism. 

Jaco Beyers

As John Deere’s director of marketing and sales in Africa and the Middle East, Jaco Beyers and his team of experts are revolutionising the company’s continued efforts to build a strong dealership network for agricultural and turf equipment. He spent the last 18 years in sales and management, and is a well-respected leader in sales and business operations and strategy. With his strong managerial and leadership skills, Beyers has managed multidisciplinary teams across various engagements to produce desired outcomes. He is adept at communicating with senior management, channel partners, stakeholders, high-value clients and internal departments to coordinate growth efforts.

Katlego Ngwane

Well-loved agricultural lawyer Katlego Ngwane is the founder and chief executive of Katika Consulting. She holds a LLB degree as well as a post-graduate qualification from the Henley Business School. With a passion for agriculture and sustainability, she aims to assist agricultural players in finding value added solutions to their legal compliance needs and challenges. She also hosts the popular “Legal Boeremeisie” podcast on agriculture-related issues. 

Karabo Mabuza

Karabo Mabuza is an agricultural economist with ten years’ experience in the banking industry. She holds a BCom degree in agricultural economics as well as a Master’s degree in sustainable agriculture. Her insights are frequently shared in a number of publications, including Food For Mzansi and the Red Meat Producers’ Organisation Journal. Furthermore, she is the co-host of “Food for thought with Karabo and Conce,” a popular YouTube channel telling agriculture related stories throughout the value chain, from farm to folk. 

Karidas Tshintsholo

Karidas Tshintsholo is the founder and CEO of Khula! With more than seven years’ experience of building start-ups from ideas to fully fledged businesses, he is particularly passionate about finding inclusive sustainable solutions for emerging markets. As one of Africa’s top tech start-ups, Khula! is now his full-time focus. While still in pre-launch mode, Khula! was awarded as both the leading business app and agricultural solution in South Africa, and top start-up in Johannesburg by AfricArena. Khula! has been growing in leaps and bounds, impacting farmers and bulk food buyers across South Africa with its sights set on global markets.


Kgampi Bapela

As the head of agro-processing and agriculture at the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa, Kgampi Bapela has extensive experience in deal making, investment banking and development finance. With two Master’s degrees – in food science and business administration, respectively – he first joined the IDC in 2005. Earlier career highlights include being a university lecturer, plant chemist, credit evaluation manager and board chairperson for Sheraton Textile Holdings.  

Kobus Louwrens

As the co-founder and strategy director of Food For Mzansi, Kobus Louwrens believes in the power of agriculture as a bedrock industry that can enhance social cohesion. Through that platform and its sister publications, FoodForAfrika.com and Health For Mzansi, he works to diversify the voices being heard through African media. As an award-winning journalist, he cut his teeth at Media24 where he published a number of leading magazines and community newspapers in both South Africa and East Africa. The MBA graduate is also the co-author of two books.

Koot Jacobs

Koot Jacobs is a product manager at Starke Ayres, the foremost African specialist and global supplier of premium vegetable, flower and lawn seed varieties. With a passion for agriculture, he has previously held a number of positions within the sector which he, ultimately, prepared him for his current role. This includes a six-year stint as the national sales manager for Klein Karoo Seed Marketing and being an agronomist for Nature’s Garden. 


Lance Quiding

Lance Quiding is the founder and director of Integrated Aquaculture. His interest in aquaculture dates back to 1998 when he first investigated the farming of catfish in Naboomspruit, Limpopo. In 2010, he learnt about aquaponics and successfully established various systems growing tilapia mosambicus, lettuce and herbs. With recirculating aquaculture systems and vegetable production, he is building a sustainable, commercial-scale aquaponics business in the Magaliesburg Valley in Gauteng.

Leona Archary

Leona Archary is the CEO of the Agricultural Development Agency. She has more than 26 years’ experience in the land and agricultural sector. She is an experienced leader, strategist, and manager with a record of achievement in the public and private sectors. During her tenure in government, she served as acting director-general of the department of rural development and land reform for two years and subsequently, on exiting, joined Bigen Africa where she supported the development of the agricultural business unit. Her experience encompasses delivery of various land reform programmes and rural development initiatives with specific emphasis on infrastructure delivery and skills development. Furthermore, she serves as the agricultural liaison within the Public Private Growth Initiative. She holds a Master’s degree in management from Wits university.

Liché Strydom

As a product developer with King Price, Liché Strydom stands at the forefront of using technology to simplify risk management. He is passionate about helping farmers to find sustainable solutions for some of their biggest challenges. After obtaining an economics and risk management degree, he completed a post-graduate qualification in risk management. He specialises in assets and crop insurance.

Maude Modise

Maude Modise is the general manager: enterprise and supplier development at the Shoprite Group. She also heads up Shoprite Next Capital, a business division dedicated to developing and growing commercially viable small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMMEs). Furthering the group’s continued effort to give small suppliers access to its consumer market, Shoprite Next Capital operates as a one-stop shop for SMME partners by providing marketing opportunities, working capital assistance, data sharing, product range and geographic expansion, as well as possible private label partnerships. Modise, who grew up in Mabopane near Pretoria, was a Shoprite bursary recipient and obtained a BCom (Accounting) at North-West University, after which she joined Shoprite’s graduate programme as a trainee accountant in 2014. Her roles have included financial manager at Shoprite’s distribution centre in Johannesburg and divisional financial manager for USave Gauteng.

Mary Maluleke

Mary Maluleke is a junior resource economist with ASSET Research. She is passionate about economic research and works in various fields, policies and strategies. She holds a Master’s degree in economics.

Michael Holmes

Michael Holmes is the executive director and chief executive of Neopharm, a leading licensed medical cannabis cultivator. With more than 30 years’ senior management experience, he leads a multi-disciplinary team. He anticipates great opportunities with locally grown cannabis that can provide solutions for health science researchers and practitioners. Neopharm is the largest deep-water culture facility in South Africa and is fully automated with the latest technologies available in the cannabis industry.


Dr Naudé Malan

Passionate about smart, small-scale farming for township residents and the informal farming economy, Dr Naudé Malan is the founder of iZibanda Zokudla, a Soweto-based urban agriculture initiative. He has researched the social welfare system, agriculture and human rights and developed social methodologies for agricultural development, institutional innovation and technology design for urban small-scale farmers. Besides being a senior lecturer in development studies at the University of Johannesburg, he also serves on the board of the Agricultural Research Council.

Nico van der Merwe

Nico van der Merwe is the co-founder and managing director of Naturesmart Foods, a Western Cape-based export and local marketing company. Inspired by his childhood days on the Sonop family farm in Namibia, he obtained an agriculture degree at Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute. He is still actively involved in Sonop as a director and also serves on the Namibian Agronomical Board. 

Ole Lekgetho

Ole Lekgetho is a cattle farmer from Taung in North West. He farms with Bonsmara and the Red Brahman breeds as well as vegetables and lucerne. Initially, he farmed on communal lands in his birth town alongside his grandfather, Frasier Lekgetho. This experience sparked his own journey into commercial-scale farming.

Omri van Zyl

Omri van Zyl is the chief executive of Agri SA Enterprises. Established in 2016 by Agri SA, the commercial company creates and implements innovative solutions in commercial agriculture. He also serves on the board of Danroc, a Mpumalanga-based family farming enterprise, and is an honorary professor of practice at the North-West University Business School. With two law degrees as well as an MBA, he is a former Africa-wide winner of CEO Global’s agriculture category. The admitted attorney also previously led Deloitte Africa’s agribusiness unit.

Paul Kim

Paul Kim is a co-founder of PeopleFlow, a software company building paperless HR solutions for employers of blue-collar workers. He is an actuary by trade, but has built up expertise in start-ups, behavioural economics, and redemptive design. Kim is an eternal learner and strives to connect his Christian faith practically to all spheres of life using the lens of biblical wisdom.

Patricia Pillay

As the chief executive of the Beer Association of South Africa, Patricia Pillay has vast legal, advocacy and regulatory experience having served as the executive for legal, regulatory and sustainability at the Consumer Goods Council for a decade. She is also an attorney and a part-time commissioner of the CCMA. Pillay is passionate about empowering women and, in her spare time, works with the Home of Hope for Girls which provides support to girls rescued from human trafficking. She is currently completing her MBA with Henley Business School. 

Sibongile Cele

Sibongile Cele is an urban hydroponic farmer. Having experimented in permaculture, she now farms on a rooftop in Hillbrow in Johannesburg at the Outreach Foundation, trading as Mcebo Fresh Veggie Rooftop Farm. She describes herself as a seed guardian who belongs to several networks that support and promote urban farmers and good sovereignty. These include African Women in Agriculture and Izindaba Zokudla.


Dr Sifiso Ntombela

Dr Sifiso Ntombela is chief economist at the National Agricultural Marketing Council. He has a keen interest in trade, development and climate change policies. He holds a PhD in agricultural economics from the University of Pretoria and a Master’s degree from Stellenbosch University. Ntombela started his professional career as market intelligence manager for the South African Table Grape Industry in 2007. Three years later, he joined the NAMC. Other career highlights include being strategic partnerships director at the department of public enterprises and head of trade and investment intelligence at Agbiz. 

Sulaimaan Patel

Sulaimaan Patel is the head of rural development and social investment at Agri Enterprises, a subsidiary of Agri SA. He implements impactful rural development projects and has a special interest in business development and market research, CSI strategies, and project management. The qualified agricultural economist manages agricultural projects across South Africa, and also handles business development for rural infrastructural and educational project, as well as market research to enhance the livestock industry. 


Tamsin Mzozoyana

Tamsin Mzozoyana, a food scientist with a passion for agriculture, is the founder and chief executive of Krystal Consulting, a food safety and quality management systems organisation that assists small- and medium-scale farmers and agro-processors. With over 12 years’ experience in the food industry, her company assists young emerging entrepreneurs to reach their full potential in the agriculture and food industry. 

Thabo Dithakgwe

Dithabo Projects founder Thabo Dithakgwe was only 13 when he first started farming on communal land. He grew this into a commercial-scale farm with further business interests in, among others, manufacturing, logistics and construction. As a qualified agriculturist he is also making waves across South Africa as a brand influencer and public speaker. His farm in Vryburg in North West has an open-door policy for the many up-and-coming farmers he mentors. 

Thabi Nkosi

Thabi Nkosi is an agricultural economist, business and investment strategist and a seasoned development finance professional. She has held numerous leadership positions across the agricultural sector where she has served in both executive and non-executive capacities. Currently, she is the non-executive chairman of the Land Bank and also the co-founder of a food and agribusiness investment company. In addition to these roles, Nkosi serves as chairperson of both the National Empowerment Fund’s investment committee and the Coca Cola Mintirho Foundation, an investment vehicle established to fund emerging enterprises in the food and agricultural value chain. She holds an MBA, a postgraduate diploma in business management and a BSc in Agricultural Economics, all from the University of Pretoria.

Thapelo Phiri

Thapelo Phiri has always had an interest in sustainability, but was particularly inspired when the UN Sustainable Development Goals were released in 2015. He is the director of Golden Legacy Trading and Projects, a Johannesburg-based business that concentrates on regenerative agriculture as a means to combat climate change and hunger. He has developed an organic fertiliser called Dijo Tsa Mobu, which improves soil fertility and helps crops to become climate resistant by keeping the soil moist for longer. As well as improving yields for growers, organic fertilisers add value to plant or animal by-products that would otherwise be destined for waste streams.


Thoko Didiza

Having first served as agriculture minister during the late President Nelson Mandela’s tenure, Thoko Didiza has a rare insight into the challenges and opportunities facing the sector. Besides being the minister of agriculture, land reform and rural development, she also serves as chairperson of the African Union’s ministerial committee on agriculture, rural development, water and environment. Among other qualifications, she holds a Master’s degree in tertiary education management. 

Tyrone Pryor

Tyrone Pryor is the marketing director for Neopharm. He holds a BSc honours degree in sports exercise and management with a major in cardiovascular disease by coronary artery bypass patients.  He is exploring regulations on cannabis and exporting medical cannabis abroad as well as acquiring a pharmaceutical license for Neopharm’s facility.


Xoliswa Moraka

Known as the purposeful entrepreneur, Xoliswa Moraka is the entrepreneurship development manager at the SAB Foundation. She is a SMME business growth strategist and seasoned economic development programme management specialist with more than 15 years’ experience. Also, she is the founder of Colab4Growth, a personal mastery & entrepreneurship development consultancy, and the lead programme manager for SAB Foundation’s entrepreneurship development programmes.


Zandile Kumalo

Zandile Kumalo is the co-founder of Neighbour Roots, a hydroponic farmer established on the roof of Morningside Shopping Centre in Sandton, Johannesburg. She is also a celebrated agritech hydroponic specialist who holds a qualification in analytical chemistry. As a hands-on farmer, she enjoys spending time on both her farms as well as inspiring youth about future possibilities in agriculture.

Wandile Sihlobo

Wandile Sihlobo is the chief economist of the Agricultural Business Chamber of South Africa (Agbiz) and the author of Finding common ground: Land, equity, and agriculture. In 2021, he also joined Stellenbosch University as senior lecturer extraordinary in the department of agricultural economics. He is also a visiting research fellow at the Wits School of Governance and the University of the Witwatersrand. With a Master’s degree in agricultural economics, he was also a member of Cyril Ramaphosa’s economic advisory council after serving on the president’s panel on land reform and agriculture. 

Zabion de Wee

Zabion de Wee is not only John Deere’s new business development manager for Africa and the Middle East. He is a farmer with his feet firmly planted on the ground. As a child of Trompsburg in the Free State, he attended Hoër Landbouskool Jacobsdal and later also Grootfontein College of Agriculture. He holds a Master’s degree in sustainable agriculture. Other career highlights include working for a number of agricultural enterprises.