Meet the Agbiz Congress 2016 students

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Pilela Mojaweni completed her BSc Agricultural Economics at the University of Fort Hare (UFH) in 2014 and currently doing her MSc Agricultural Economics at the University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN).

Her research focuses on assessing the impact of institutional support on smallholder productivity in Msinga, KwaZulu-Natal. Pilela has a passion for women development and aspires to use her education towards empowering rural women in Africa.

University of Fort Hare
Sponsored by FNB

SANELISESanilise Tafa obtained his BSc Agriculture (Hons) in Agricultural Economics at the University of Fort Hare (UFH) in 2015. He is currently doing his MSc Agricultural Economics degree at UFH.

Sanelise graduated with tutorship and civic leadership experience, gained from working with a community engagement team, where he volunteered to equip the youth of a local disadvantaged community

He has extensive experience in high-profile executive and non-executive managerial and director positions which was the result of his balanced exposure to and practical knowledge of policy, legislative and governance requirements complimented by senior positions in a diverse group of organisations.

University of Fort Hare
Sponsored by Kaap Agri

Tatenda MutungiraTatenda Mutungira is currently doing his Master's degree in Agricultural Economics at the University of Pretoria (UP). He is appointed as a research assistant for the South African Land Observatory. His responsibilities include publishing summaries of the media and policy documents on land in South Africa.

He maintains an up to date database on all publications captured. Tatenda is also involved in administrative support and general office duties within the Department of Agricultural Economics. His research is based on crop revenue insurance and will be a significant contribution to the South African agricultural economics and insurance fields.

University of Pretoria
Sponsored by Monsanto

Hannes Van Der Merwe Hannes Van Der Merwe is currently enrolled at Stellenbosch University (US) to complete his MSc Agricultural Economics degree. His thesis involves building a pre-merger model to quantify the accrual and distribution of benefits from specialised enterprise diversification through partnerships as an expansion and growth strategy for Northern Free State grain farms.

During his BSc Agricultural Economics degree at the University of Pretoria (UP) he majored in Financial Management and Accounting. This enabled him to develop an orchard replacement strategy in the restructuring of the production portfolio of Louisvale Wines Stellenbosch (completed March 2015). Hannes has a passion for nature that sprouts from my farm upbringing. He learnt the essence of hard work, forward-thinking, self-motivation and taking responsibility for my decisions.

Stellenbosch University
Sponsored by Monsanto

Dominique BougardDominique Bougard studied a B.Agric in Animal production at Stellenbosch University (US) of from 2012 to 2014. She completed her Honours degree in Agricultural Management at the University of the Free State (UFS) in 2015.

Dominique is currently working at UFS as a research assistant while completing her Master's in Credit Modelling to predict agricultural applicants.

University of the Free State
Sponsored by Monsanto

Jaimé ManuelJaimé Manuel completed a degree in Business Science from the University of Cape Town in 2014, majoring in Finance (Honours) and Accounting. In 2013, he was asked to assist with an emerging farmer project in the Free State Province and developed a keen interest in agriculture and agribusiness.

Accordingly, he decided to pursue a career in agribusiness and enrolled as a postgraduate studying towards a MSc (Agricultural Economics) in 2015. He is currently working towards a dissertation in the field of agricultural finance.

Stellenbosch University
Sponsored by NWK

Struan GarlandStruan Garland completed his BCom in AgriBusiness Management degree in 2015 at the University of Pretoria (UP). He is currently busy with his BCom (Hons) Agricultural Economics degree.

In 2015 Struan was nominated to attend the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) Annual Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. His philosophy is "bite off more than you can chew and chew harder".

University of Pretoria
Sponsored by Overberg Agri

Nonthando ButheleziNonthando Buthelezi completed her BSc degree in 2015 at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and is currently busy with her Master's degree in Agriculture (Agricultural Economics).

Her Masters focuses on the costs and benefits analysis of investments in environmental infrastructure.

University of KwaZulu-Natal
Sponsored by Signa

Michaela ZietsmanMichaela Zietsman obtained her BCom Economics & Risk Management degree in 2014 and BCom (Hons) Risk Management degree in 2015 at the North West University (NWU). She is currently busy with her MCom Risk Management degree. Her research topic is Enhancing Options Trading: Forecasting Volatility Clustering.

Michaela describes herself as performance driven, highly motivated and a hardworking Masters student with a passion for people and a curious mind with the desire for a career in business and finance

North West University
Sponsored by SSK

Carmen Van NiekerkCarmen Van Niekerk is a PhD Nutrition student at the University of Pretoria (UP). Her PhD study will focus on the classification of potatoes in the South African market by means of a rapid assessment method. In 2015 she completed her MSc Nutrition degree entitled "Biodiversity of potatoes as related to nutrient content and quality".

Research from her master's study is in the process of being implemented in the South African potato industry. She is a researcher at the Institute of Food Nutrition and Well-being in the Department Agriculture and Wildlife Sciences at the University of Pretoria.

University of Pretoria
Sponsored by Syngenta

Frieda ScheepersFrieda Scheepersstudied Economy, Risk and Investment Management at the North West University (NWU) in Potchefstroom, obtaining econometric, risk management and international trade knowledge and skills - as well as a Golden Key award (2012 – 2014).

Thereafter, developed a stronger critical mind set and communicating skills during an Honours degree in Risk Management (2015 NWU). She is currently busy with a Master's in Economics relating to agriculture (2016 NWU). Frieda describes herself as a dynamic, decisive and ambitious professional with a passion to make a difference.

North West University
Sponsored by Syngenta

Luan Van Der WaltLuan Van Der Walt finished his BSc Agric degree in Agricultural Economics and Animal sciences in 2015, and is currently busy with his BSc Honours degree in Agricultural Economics at the University of the Free State (UFS).

He started to work as a research assistant at the Department of Agricultural Economics at the UFS where he assists senior researchers with relevant research. He wrote a paper for the AEASA Conference in 2015 and presented the paper at the annual AEASA Conference in 2015.

University of the Free State
Sponsored by Syngenta

Njabulo NkosiNjabulo Nkosi completed his BSc Agricultural Economics degree at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) in 2015 and is currently busy with his MSc Agricultural Economics degree.

His research topic is links between food security, climate change and food market value chain. Lawrence describes himself as positive, focused, eager and driven to further grow and develop in the agricultural field.

University of KwaZulu-Natal
Sponsored by Syngenta

Pascalina MohlotsanePascalina Mohlotsaneobtained her BSc Agricultural Economics and Food Sciences degree in 2014 and her Honours degree in BSc Agricultural economics in 2015 at the University of the Free State (UFS). She is currently doing her MSc in Agricultural Economics.

Her master's research is on 'Water Footprint Assessment of Wheat and Derived Wheat products' which is part of The Water Research Commission project under the supervision of Dr Henry Jordaan. Pascalina attended and presented at the 1st Conference of the Water Footprint Research Alliance in April 2016.

From 2012 -2016, she was appointed as a facilitator of the new tutoring Program (NATP) now known as A_STEP, where she was part of the facilitators of the following agricultural module: Introduction to Agricultural Economics, Introduction to Business Functions, Agricultural Finance, Strategic Management and Production Economics. In 2015 she was appointed as a Research Assistant at the Department of Agricultural Economics at UFS. Pascalina describes herself as self-starter, a go-getter and a team player, who is able to adapt easily in any environment.

University of the Free State
Sponsored by Talent Africa

Putuma QuqaniPutuma Quqani obtained a BSc Agricultural Economics degree in 2015 from the University of Fort Hare (UFH). Putuma is currently busy with BSc (Hons) studies in Agricultural Economics, anticipating to finish in November 2016.

Her academic research experience has afforded her to learn to engage and work with people of all levels. Moreover, academic research has exposed her to research work presentations.

University of Fort Hare
Sponsored by Talent Africa

Manzi SishiManzi Sishi is a BSc Food Science (Biochemistry) graduate and currently pursuing her MSc Food Science degree at Stellenbosch University (SU).

The nature of her degree has awarded her an excellent foundation in understanding the functioning of the food industry. She is a conscientious, hardworking, enthusiastic individual who always strives to perform any task at her utmost best.

Chantell is also a guest lecturer on strategy and scenario planning at a number of top business schools.

Stellenbosch University
Sponsored by TWK


We have directed a few questions to the students who participated in the Agbiz student promotion programme at the Agbiz congress.  See some of the feedback below:

Agbiz: To what extent were you able to apply your academic knowledge in solving a real life problem?

"Academic knowledge is always good, but the big question is where are the link between the academic work and the reality of solving the problem. The academic knowledge did indeed came in handy while discussing the solutions with the team members. You always remember something you have learnt in the academics. It is just important not to try to make it too complicated, but rather more simplified."
Luan van der Walt, student in agricultural economics at the University of the Free State

Agbiz: What value have you brought into the team?

"I decided to add my creativity since we all had similar ideas about the business solutions and strategies. So I came up with the rebranding idea and created a new logo and a short promotional video clip, and drafted the advertising strategies and marketing strategies. And also critiqued the other team members' ideas and also build on to them. I also made sure we don’t diverge from our key idea by being too broad."
Njabulo Nkosi, student in agricultural economics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal

Was there a fun element in the competition?

"Yes, Agbiz spoiled us in a way that I never have dreamt of. The food, the location and hotel, the welcoming and gala event and attending the last part of the congress was a wonderful experience.  Our team did not only work hard, we have also bonded, laughed, and had a lot of fun within the team and the rest of the student case group during the competition. We would have loved to go to the beach, but we ran out of time."
Frieda Scheepers, M.Comm Economics North West University Potchefstroom

What have you personally gained from participating in the competition?

"I am the kind of person who usually becomes more productive when working alone, but through this programme, I have managed to trust other people’s abilities. I grew up where I used to enjoy doing everything by myself without delegating other people. So, this competition afforded me an opportunity to allow other people’s opinions to come before mine."
Sanelise Tafa is a agricultural economics student at the University of Fort Hare
We have combined the response received from students in the linked document.

Agbiz Members

  • Absa AgriBusiness
  • Afgri Operations Ltd
  • Afrivet
  • Agri Expo
  • AFMA
  • Agrifusion
  • Agri Mega Group
  • Alltech (Pty) Ltd
  • Association of Agritourism South Africa (AASA)
  • Barloworld Handling Materials
  • Bathopele
  • Beefmaster
  • BKB Ltd
  • Capespan
  • Certisure
  • Citrus Growers Association
  • Durban Fresh Produce Market
  • East London Industrial Development Zone
  • Engen
  • Farmwise Grains (Pty) Ltd
  • FNB
  • Fraserburg Koöp Bpk
  • Fresh Produce Exporters' Forum (FPEF)
  • GWK Limited
  • Highveld Egg Co-op Ltd
  • Hans Merensky Holdings
  • Humansdorpse Koöp Bpk Trading as The Co-op/Die Kooperasie
  • Industrial Development Corporation
  • Institute of Market Agents of SA (IMASA)
  • John Deere
  • Kimech Agri Tractor and Machinery CC
  • Kaap Agri Bedryf Ltd
  • KLK Landbou Bpk
  • Land Bank
  • Marsh Africa
  • Monsanto
  • Mosstrich Ltd
  • Mutual & Federal Agri
  • National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC)
  • Nedbank
  • Netafim
  • PMI SA
  • NWK Ltd
  • Obaro
  • Old Mutual
  • Overberg Agri Bedrywe (Edms) Bpk
  • OVK Operations Ltd
  • Pioneer Hi-Bred RSA (Pty) Ltd
  • PwC South Africa
  • Rovic Leers
  • SA Agri Academy
  • Saltcor
  • San Miguel Fruits SA
  • Sansor
  • Santam Agriculture
  • Senwes Ltd
  • Signa
  • Standard Bank Agriculture
  • SSK
  • Suidwes Agriculture Ltd
  • Sundays River Citrus Company (Pty) Ltd