“The significance of this day cannot be understated. This is where we – various industry stakeholders – come together to network, get frontrow seats of planted potato trials, and learn from each other. It is events such as these that enrich our industry. Even as the end of my term is drawing near, I can only wish that the industry will continue to grow and flourish,” says Herman Haak, Regional Manager at Potatoes South Africa at the Groentoer Petrusburg held on 18 November 2021 in Free State.
Such sentiments were echoed by Roy Coetser, Managing Director of RSA Pretoria. According to Coetser, RSA – a national business – was honoured to partner with Potatoes South Africa for the Groentoer Petrusburg. He pointed out that this event was pivotal for all industry stakeholders, particularly those who were involved with this region.
“RSA is here because we have many producers in this production area, and this is where we get to talk to our stakeholders. We sell their products and are so grateful to Potatoes South Africa for such an event because it allows us to bridge the gap between the farm and the market. We get to understand the trends, strategies, actual grassroots actualisations, volumes, sales and more,” adds Coetser.
At the end of the day, one thing that was undisputed was that it all came down to potatoes – and those who went out daily to nurture the mother earth and feed her people. One such person who attested to this was Johan Odendal, the farmer who offered his resources and time to plant the trial potatoes. Attendees of Groentoer Petrusburg were given a Groentoer Petrusburg opportunity to visit Odendal to get firsthand sights of the various potato trials planted on Odendal’s farm. – An event which was the highlight to many present.
“As a farmer, I am privileged to have the opportunity to be part of this event. Through accommodating and nurturing these trials, I am positioned at the forefront of gathering knowledge. Nothing quite compares to getting firsthand knowledge that emerges. I get to see new cultivars grow, meet new people and farming is something enriching that I truly enjoy. I hope that Potatoes South Africa will grow from strength to strength in advancing the potato industry forward,” concludes Odendal who has been generously providing his resources for such trials for the past 15 years.