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Farmer’s Weekly: 3 minutes with Gerrit van Vuuren

3 minutes with Gerrit van Vuuren

Founder and strategic adviser, Partners in Agri Land Solutions


If you were given R30 million to invest in agriculture, either in new or existing farming activities or in the agriculture value chain, how would you spend it?

I would invest it in six different Partners in Agri Land Solutions (PALS) farming operations and related value chains.

These enterprises, producing fruit, vegetables, citrus, wine/table grapes, blueberries, cattle, wheat and sheep, would hopefully give me a few percent shares for R5 million. It would be an excellent mediumterm investment in terms of its social impact and monetary return.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

‘Keep the crown on his head.’ In other words, show respect for the experience and achievements of a senior/older partner if you join this person in business.

If you were given carte blanche to effect one major change in South Africa tomorrow, how would you use this power?

I’d establish coordinating agencies for the various business sectors and Cabinet portfolios with majority private sector representation. In agriculture, for example, there would be a coordinating board for land and agriculture development consisting of six private sector experts and five directors-general with the power to fire incompetent government employees and ensure implementation of the National Development Plan.

What is the one thing that the COVID-19 lockdown taught you not to take for granted?

During levels 4 and 5, it was the freedom to walk on the beach, swim in the sea and row my kayak. In general, it was the privilege of engaging with people personally and that important face-to-face meeting where one can look each other in the eyes.

What is your favourite South African dish?

Minced alikreukel [giant periwinkle] with a dash of sherry, nutmeg and plain yoghurt for starters, and freshly baked, self-caught kabeljou (silver kob) for mains.

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