Kleinjan Gasekoma made history when he became the first black farmer to win the prestigious BKB Commercial Farmer of the Year award. And just like genetics played a big role in his success, it can also contribute to the success of a good crop yield. Genetics, utilised effectively, elevate a farmer’s business to the next level.
Angie Khumalo, presenter of Mzansi Wethu’s new show, African Farming, was eager to learn more about Gasekoma, and how he became so successful. She visited his farm in the North West province, to find out more. It was during the studio interview with a panel of experts that she also discovered the value of genetics for crop farmers.
Dr Kulani Machaba, Regulatory Leader at Pioneer (part of Corteva Agriscience), said that genetics play an important role in the selection of crop cultivars, similar to how Gasekoma would use gene selection to breed top animals.
“It is not just selecting the best genetics that will ensure that a farmer succeeds, but also how he manages the environment in which a crop grows, as well as effectively controlling diseases that might affect a crop’s yield.”
He said seed technology can be utilised to help a farmer understand the outcome and diseases of a specific seed or crop.
“When we sell seeds to farmers, we tell them about the genetic potential of the crop, but also the possibility of diseases.
“We can share valuable information with them like how these crops will perform under certain conditions. But most important of all is that Pioneer does not only sell seeds, we are also committed to take the farmer by the hand and guide him so that he can reach the level that Gasekoma is on.”
Pioneer has one of the best germplasm libraries in agriculture. This makes it easier for farmers to select between various crops and cultivars. The company has a 90-year history of trailblazing innovation. They sold the first commercial hybrid corn seed in 1926 and are continually pushing the limits of what’s possible, to give farmers what they need to succeed.
Scientific advances in all kinds of disciplines, have allowed Pioneer to be innovative with genetics, traits and seed treatments, in new and faster ways. It allows them to bring new products to farmers faster than ever before. These technologies mean that Pioneer can take a wider view of farming and recognise its challenges as a business, and all the complexities involved in running it. Farmers then have an option to integrate the various parts of their farming business to achieve greater success.
When working with a local Pioneer team, the farmer gains a hardworking partner that knows the land. Count on Pioneer to be there throughout every season, working directly with you and for you!