The founder and group managing director of National Emergent Red Meat Producers’ Organisation (NERPO), Aggrey Mahanjana has decided to retire as the managing director of NERPO from 1 April 2021. However, the members of NERPO have requested him to extend his stay as the non-executive chairperson of the organisation to allow for a smooth transition over the next three years. This followed the untimely passing away of Paradise Mahlangu, who served as chairperson of NERPO for the past ten years.

Mahanjana said he has been contemplating stepping down as an active operator of NERPO since 2019. However the outbreak of Covid-19 in January 2020, compelled him to stay until the emerging livestock farmers got a chance to reorganise themselves as a strong voice at district level.

He further confessed that running a commercial farm and being a full-time employee at the same time does not work. The Afrikaans saying “Ver van jou plaas naby aan jou skade” (Far from your farm, close to your losses) is very true.

“Farming is about day-to-day and hour-to-hour decision-making, guided by the circumstances of the moment. If you are far and you do not know or see what is going on, on an hour-to-hour basis you are bound to be slow in making a success of your farming enterprise,” said Mahanjana. 

Mahanjana is leaving a team of capable people who understand the industry. He will also continue contributing to industry matters, both as a full-time farmer and chairperson of NERPO. Dr Florence-Nherera will act as the CEO of NERPO until further notice. – Press release, NERPO