Grain trusts support sustainability
PART 4: Sorghum Trust

Mariëtta Cronjé, SA Graan/Grain contributor

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Following the closing of the Sorghum Board in 1997, the reserve funds of the Board were transferred to the Sorghum Trust. These funds became the discretionary funds of the Trust and are managed by the Trustees in terms of the Trust Deed.

Sorghum traders, commercial sorghum producers, emerging sorghum farmers, sorghum processors and the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development are respectively represented by the five Trustees.

The Trust works closely with the Sorghum Forum, which is a voluntary association of members. The objectives of this association are:

  • To act in the interests of the sorghum industry and deal with such matters as may affect the common interests of the members;
  • to act as a mouthpiece for the sorghum industry;
  • to consider and to motivate submissions to the Minister for statutory measures;
  • to recommend to the Sorghum Trust that funds be made available in the interest of the sorghum industry in terms of the objectives of the Marketing of Agricultural Products Act, 1996 (No. 47 of 1996);
  • to recommend to the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development any amendments to quality standards/regulations;
  • to consider and to motivate research projects to be conducted in the interest of the sorghum industry;
  • to continuously keep all the members informed on the progress and results of such projects;
  • to identify new information to be collected and to apply for statutory measures in this regard; and
  • to keep the members informed with regard to feedback on submissions to the Minister and other institutional developments.

Annually, the Sorghum Trust invites acknowledged research institutions to submit project proposals, which are evaluated by the Sorghum Research Evaluation Committee (SREC) of the Sorghum Forum. These recommendations are submitted to the Trust for consideration and funding of the projects.

Furthermore, the Trust administers a scholarship scheme for deserving candidates in order to increase the availability of suitably qualified scientists and professionals in the industry.

More information is available on the following website: www.sorghumtrust.co.za.