The KwaZulu-Natal Agricultural Union (Kwanalu) have announced their board for 2019 as well as the election of the President of the union, Greytown farmer Andy Buchan and the appointments of Vice-Presidents Phenias Gumede and Peter-John (PJ) Hassard.
Gumede brings his expertise to the position as a cotton and vegetable farmer from Jozini, a Project Manager for numerous community upliftment projects and as Vice President of the national body, Agri SA. Hassard is a fourth generation beef and game farmer from Hluhluwe who began to conserve and protect animals at the tender age of 10 years old.
Other board members include Christopher Hadebe, a Newcastle beef and crop farmer, Greytown timber farmer Andy Mason who serves on various bodies and is involved in FSA Forestry South Africa. Bobby Hoole, a Risk and Mitigation Fire Management Specialist and Business Strategy and Operational Work Flow Processes manager. Hoole is also the chairperson of two of the largest farmer associations, the HDLA and NRLA. The final board member is Dr Kathy Hurley from SA Cane Growers. Dr Hurley serves as an Executive Director on the SA Cane Growers board, specialising in collaborating across commodities in order to ensure sustainable development through inclusivity especially in rural areas.
Buchan was unanimously elected by the board and is backed by 23 years of experience in farming, having spent 15 of those years on his own farm - El Shammah, in Greytown, where he farms strawberries and kiwi fruit. This will be Buchan's fourth term as President of Kwanalu.
"The agricultural industry is at a crucial time in the future of our country with many challenges impacting the sustainability of agriculture. The critical role organised agriculture plays in the shaping of this future has never been more pertinent; we have a crucial role to play in order to advance the transformation process," said Buchan.
CEO of Kwanalu, Sandy La Marque, said that Buchan's re-election for a fourth term was indicative of the crucial role he has played over the past three years guiding Kwanalu during some of agriculture's most turbulent years.