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seedtime FROM

harvest TO

Colin Chinery goes inside NWK, a massive presence on the wide plains of the North West Province. By Colin Chinery




rom seedtime to harvest and onwards, NWK is a massive presence on the wide plains of the North West Province - the ‘Texas of South Africa’. NWK is a “producers’ and buyers guide, mentor and partner”, and provides “the logistics and expertise powerhouse” for modern and efficient farming. It offers a complete service to the producer. “We offer a complete service to the producer, miller and buyer; everything conceivable from agricultural management to getting credit and investment resource, buying seed, fertiliser and equipment, and all the way through to harvesting and subsequent handling services,” says corporate marketing manager, Johan Bezuidenhout. “And for the new producer we can help from day one. “Big guys will get bigger and with costs rising noone will make it on say 1,000 hectares and planting maize. But on the agricultural



services side we are very closely involved in developing up-coming farmers, taking them to the next level to become commercial farmers.” Around 12 percent of the national landmass can be used for crop production. Less than a quarter is highpotential arable land, of which more than 60 percent is given over to South Africa’s most important crops - cereals and grains. South Africa has a dual agricultural economy; a well-developed commercial sector and a predominantly subsistence sector farmed by black farmers. Yet South Africa has the ability to be self-sufficient in virtually all major agricultural products. Since NWK was founded as a co-operative more than a century ago, South Africa’s population has increased


from four million to 40 million. And in the last 30 years, in the predominantly white-controlled commercial sector, applied research and improved farm management have nearly doubled agricultural production. South Africa is not only self sufficient in virtually all major agricultural products but in a normal year is also a net food exporter, making it one of only six countries in the world capable of exporting food on a regular basis. NKW has been a pioneer in the development of North West Province agriculture, surviving wars, depressions, storms and inclement weather. It is a saga of determination, courage, cooperation, innovation, service, ambition and integrity.

“We’ve always had a very good reputation as a company, regarded as people of integrity who are straightforward in business with no strings attached, with values focused on the client,” says Bezuidenhout. With grains and oilseeds forming a major part of agriculture in the North West, NWK’s Grain Services are perfectly placed and geared to provide producers with a comprehensive service from agronomics to marketing. To make delivery convenient silo facilities are strategically placed within NWK’s service area, with backup services spanning weighing, grading, cleaning, drying and storage. NWK also offers professional marketing, price risk management and stock-adding services to grain buyers and sellers.


NWK’s Liquid Fertiliser Plant Other key NWK operational produces a complete range of liquid components include: Agricultural Management: With fertilisers with high quality requirements the pressure on producers to increase as well as outstanding support and advice. production in the face of macro-economic Financial Services: The NWK and climatic uncertainties, the support of Financing department understands the expert partners is essential. NWK’s wide producers’ needs, offering custom-designed range of specialised precision services packages to enable the farmer to manage includes GPS land-mapping, mechanical more competitively. As and chemical well as financing solutions precision farming, for production costs, NWK soil analysis and also provides financing mapping. Specialised for farm implements, agricultural vehicles, insurance and management other needs. services range from agronomical and NWK Insurance livestock management s in Zeerust, The inside of one of our trade store Brokers “supply the best to agricultural North West Province insurance products”, economics. including short term insurance, crop, and Trade: NWK Trade offers its input insurance, and retirement planning, clients a range of high quality input efficiently, professionally, and at the most and consumer goods at competitive competitive price. prices, while the Industries: Epko, Mechanisation a subsidiary of NWK, Business Unit focuses has facilities to press on the marketing and sunflower oil and servicing of a prime sunflower oilcake from range of agricultural seed and refine crude implements sunflower oil and bottle including tractors pure sunflower oil of the and harvesting highest quality. Noordfed equipment. Setter passage at manufactures and markets Opti Chicks hatch ery The Seed a superior range of wheat, Department supplies and markets a wide grain-sorghum and maize products. variety of quality seed, and stringent Opti Feeds, another NWK subsidiary, quality requirements ensure it complies produces and sells an inclusive range with the highest standards. of animal feed, backed by an excellent Fertiliser marketing operates under technical support team. Opti Feeds based the banner of the NWK-Omnia agency and in Lichtenburg, North West province, is a focuses on the marketing and supply of dry subsidiary supplying the eastern part of and liquid fertiliser and agricultural lime, Botswana with products including a range as well as scientific nutriological advice. for poultry, pigs, (beef) cattle and sheep. 6

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We ensure that our clients enjoy competitive rates within the market by providing you with comparisons between all the Credit Insurers. We ensure that our clients receive the service you expect, as well as strive to exceed your service expectations. We assist you with any service related matter you may have with your Credit Insurer and strive to achieve a positive end result! Tel: +27 (0) 11 022-0642

The list is impressive. But it doesn’t end there. Chicken is South Africa’s favourite meat and poultry production - especially broiler production - is big business. With the huge market demand set to grow even further, Opti Chicks is part of NWK’s longterm strategy to diversify and invest in enterprises supporting core business. As part of its expansion strategy, rearing and laying sites have been built in the Ottosdal district. Two years on and 100,000 eggs are being produced daily, and 500,000 day-old broiler chicks brought to market. “It requires a scientific approach. You can’t just jump in and assume you are going to be successful, but we are doing well,” says Bezuidenhout. One of the main challenges facing South African agriculture, he adds, is food security, an increasing and worldwide issue.

NWK’s strategy is to grow and increase differentiation. “We also want to streamline and take the company to a new level of production and effectiveness, aligning ourselves with new market opportunities, and play an increasing role in agricultural and business as a whole,” Bezuidenhout says. “For us and our clients we always want a win-win situation, a cost-effective service that is always a pleasant experience for anyone who does business with us. “We have a new slogan – ‘Your Grip on the Market’ - which means we will help any farmer to get a grip on whatever market he is in. “South African farmers are ordinary people doing extraordinary things, and together we can tackle any situation in the changing and challenging world of agriculture. NWK is here so the producer can flourish.” END

South African farmers are ordinary people doing extraordinary things


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SA Mag - Issue 14 - NWK FEATURE