Our passion is to generate insights that facilitate growth in agricultural, agro-processing and food sectors across Africa to reach their full potential and ultimately contribute to economic growth and poverty reduction on the continent.
Our purpose is to objectively inform and support decision-making by key stakeholders in the agro-food, fibre and beverage sectors. Our solutions are based on independent, research-based analyses, underpinned by industry experience and a suite of models enabled by the Integrated Value Information System.
To compliment this, we collaborate with an extensive network of research institutions, development agencies, and public and private partners to develop innovative insights and solutions. We fundamentally believe that a competitive and thriving agricultural sector, with its related value chains, is built on long-run partnerships.
To serve matters to us
Doing your work with a higher calling in mind;
We deal with each other in kindness and with empathy;
To assist and be patient with other members’ growth.
Honest & transparent feedback and communication;
Being accountable to our standards to ensure credibility;
Knowing that my team will have my back.
Acknowledge the contribution above position;
To recognise and value all stakeholders for who they are;
Everyone in this organization is approachable.
BFAP’s Divisions and team
Commodity Markets & Foresight
In the dynamic agricultural marketspace, our team of commodity modellers and market analysts combine quantitative modelling techniques and generate insights to inform strategic decision-making. We generate insights to facilitate sustainable growth and provide custom solutions through scenario development to quantify a range of future outcomes, evaluate risk, identify growth opportunities and assess impacts of changes and external influences in the macro-economic, business and policy environment.
BFAP evaluates the South African poultry industry’s international competitiveness and unpacks the drivers behind the recent increase in poultry meat imports.
- Impact analyses on Tariff changes and price formation mechanisms – https://www.bfap.co.za/impact-of-reduced-import-tariffs-on-soya-value-chain/
The above study illustrates BFAP’s work on industry-wide impact analysis of strategic tariff changes or impositions. Similar work has been done on the impact of price formation mechanisms for various industries.
Farm and Production Analytics
Our farm and production specialists generate intelligence and actionable insights through continuous collection, contextualisation and integration of farm- and agro-resource data in a changing and uncertain environment. We generate substantive value through our in-depth understanding of the interdependence between agro-resources and input-output markets, farming systems and the business domain.
Comprehensive financial and business support to clients through economically integrated agro-resources, production & farming systems and inputs (use and markets) data.
Consumer & Food Economics
The Consumer and Food Economics Division of BFAP aims to provide our clients with fact-based consumer insights, within the context of South Africa and Africa’s food and agricultural sectors. Our client solutions span across both the commercial sector and the public health focus of food and nutrition security.
Food affordability analysis from the perspective of both typical food consumption, and ‘ideal’ (basic healthy) eating as measured with the BFAP Thrifty Healthy Food Basket.
Helping our clients to understand their target consumers is a key focus within the consumer and food economics division.
- Investigating South African middle-income and affluent consumers’ knowledge and perceptions regarding soya products:
- Oilseeds Focus. March 2022. The wants and needs of the SA soya consumer. pp.44-47.
- Enabling marketing strategies of the South African red meat industry:
- The BFAP Food Inflation Brief is released on a monthly basis, following the official monthly release of the Stats SA CPI inflation figures. In this publication we explore food price inflation movements, look at the individual food items with particularly high inflation, analyse the affordability of basic healthy eating by applying the BFAP Thrifty Healthy Food Basket, present a view on International food inflation and drivers, as well as background information on the factors affecting food inflation in the SA context. For example, refer to:
- May 2022 edition: https://www.bfap.co.za/food-inflation-brief_may-2022/
- April 2022 edition: https://www.bfap.co.za/food-inflation-brief_april-2022/
Water, Energy, Food & Land
Equipped to identify and analyse the interconnectedness of Water, Energy, Food and Land, our team is focused on resource modelling and data integration aimed at achieving economic and sustainability goals. Through research and quantitative techniques, topics such as renewable or green energy, climate change mitigation and adaptation, decarbonisation and Net Zero, and regenerative agriculture are further analysed across the agriculture and processing value chain.
- Agriculture could play a significant role in value chain decarbonisation and in reducing poverty by improving food security and creating sustainable jobs – all critical objectives within the Global Sustainability Development Goals. BFAP follows an integrated approach in developing solutions to the above mentioned objectives.
- WEF NEXUS : To truly prioritise the interventions and investments that are required to achieve net zero by mid-century, there needs to be a cross-sector integrated approach with respect to the water, energy and food nexus. With the demand for all three resources continuing to grow and supply limited, the trade-offs within these resource sectors and the rest of the economy need to be considered carefully. Resources (like water and land) and seasonal trends need to be carefully analysed to mitigate risk and trade-offs and work towards an economic, social and climatic sustainability.
- Decarbonisation: BFAP’s suite of models and approach, supports the identification and prioritization of agricultural value chains that provide both economic growth (through competitive market participation) and sustainable impact (through job creation and carbon sequestration), which guides organisations to deliver real value chain decarbonisation, while enhancing livelihoods, contributing to improved food security, and reducing poverty. Following a market led approach to quantify the commercial viability and sustainability of agricultural value chain investments, whether focusing on providing bio-energy as part of a renewable energy portfolio (supporting initiatives where corporates and governments aim to systematically replace carbon-based energy with renewable energy sources) or value chain decarbonisation through regenerative agricultural programmes, ensures that the underlying commodity has both economic and social value.
- Regenerative Agriculture, a BFAP Schematic Overview:
BFAP has applied its models and analytical approach in the past to quantify and illustrate some of the impacts of climate change by:
- Quantifying the competition for natural resources (i.e., land and water) among the agricultural, mining and domestic users in the various catchments areas of South Africa (BFAP, 2015 and BFAP, 2012).
- Evaluating the impact of climate change on the South African agricultural sector through crop modelling linkages and partial equilibrium model applications (DEA, 2013).
- Identifying land use change and risks to natural resources that pose constraints to agricultural activity expansion (BFAP, 2021).
- Livestock sectoral growth vs the natural resource constraints (BFAP, 2021).
Our data scientists, statisticians and analysts distil information and insights from vast amounts of diverse data sources. We develop innovative solutions through the application of econometric, statistical and spatial analytics tools.
- Application of data protocols and controls to achieve accuracy and consistency.
- We perform in-depth exploratory analysis on Big Data sets, including tabular data and various spatial data formats by applying statistical and GIS software. (e.g., raster, vector).
- Methodology development including survey design, ranking and prioritization methodologies as well as capacity building and training.
- The Data Science team often collaborates with Integrated Systems Solutions towards creating innovative product solutions for the BFAP Group and its clients (e.g., Data process facilitation, mobile and web-based survey applications, web-based reporting etc.).
- Data Intensive Farm Management – https://sagrainmag.co.za/2022/06/06/data-intensive-farming-more-to-learn-from-each-season/, https://sagrainmag.co.za/2021/03/30/optimal-profit-with-data-intensive-farming/
Precision agriculture is combined with big data technologies and used to generate thousands of observations of yield and seed and / or fertilizer inputs applied in a single field. Analytics using these data intensive trial datasets inform site-specific management practices and enable further research.
- Land use and land capability – https://www.bfap.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Land-resource-in-the-Water-Energy-Food-nexus-context.pdf
Spatial analytics enable the development of contextualised insights for improved decision-making. Here, South Africa’s land use and capability were summarised at a national scale.
- Hedonic price modelling – link forthcoming.
A combination of statistical techniques sheds light on the qualitative drivers that differentiate potato fresh produce market prices.
Value Chain Analytics
We feature a holistic market-led approach (https://ppvc.bfap.co.za/) which combines classic value chain frameworks with empirical models that are anchored in pragmatic ground-truthing. We provide insights that incorporate the interconnectedness of agricultural industries within the broader economy.
- The linking of product flows and margins at farm, agro-processing and consumer nodes of the value chain into sector and economy-wide models enables the evaluation of various scenarios, value chain upgrades and optimization outcomes. This framework generates granular insights which guide actionable policy and investment decisions. https://ppvc.bfap.co.za/
- Our end-to-end value chain approach consist of integrating product flows and margins at farm, agro-processing and consumer nodes of the value chain into sector and economy-wide models which enables the evaluation of various scenarios, the potential for value chain upgrades and optimisation outcomes.
- Our base of empirical models are anchored in pragmatic ground-truthing with a deep understanding that the tentacles of agricultural value chains are spread throughout the rest of the economy and hence factors affecting elements of inputs supply, transport, storage, manufacturing, retail, personal services, financial services, wholesale and accommodation, to name just a few, has significant bearing on the competitiveness of the value chain.
- Our integrated and holistic analytics of agricultural value chains provide insights into market led opportunities for growth, key interventions required to drive competitiveness and the socio-economic impacts of value chain initiatives.
Agri-Socio Economic Impact Analysis
As thought leaders, we facilitate the conceptualisation of frameworks that enable planning and ensure successful implementation of development initiatives in public and private spheres.
Through a holistic, scalable, systemised methodology, we enable project implementation and progress monitoring and independently assess and evaluate direct and indirect impacts on livelihoods.
Integrated Systems Solutions
Our systems solutions offer strategic decision-making-support, along multi-dimensional value chains, through integration of data, interactive maps, visualisation and systems-solutions to articulate informed insights.
Define your need. Integrate data. Assess your impact. View IVIS
- Integrated solutions provide software as a service to ensure our clients get the latest in technology, security and best practises. All of the features, none of the overheads.
- Spatial contextualisation in the form of interactive maps and dashes that put into perspective the linear perspectives of the typical numbers only approach
- Analytics & Data science tools that enable the extraction of insights that really matter and that ensure that sound practise is followed
- Monitoring and Evaluation solutions that can track across value chains, processes, periods or any combination of complex parts (https://minagri.ivis.africa)
- Data and process continuity means the peace of mind that your information will be integrated and available no matter what.( https://covid19.ivis.africa)
Our African Footprint
Our BFAP Board is a unique combination of non-executive and executive directors, who are recognized as leaders in public and private sector, and academia. This speaks to BFAP’s distinct value proposition to deliver a holistic solution to public sector and private clients active in the agricultural sector and related value chains. As a Board, we evaluate and approve the long-range strategic plan and monitor the company’s progress toward the achievement of its mission and strategic objectives. Furthermore, we also approve the annual plan and budget, assure cost effectiveness, financial integrity, and accountability, exercise oversight of investments, and ensure compliance with relevant legal and regulatory requirements. We embrace the ethos of Grace, Trust and Humility in all our engagements with the company and its stakeholders and commit ourselves to the bright future of the company.
Board of Directors
Adv. Annamarie van der Merwe (Chair)
Annamarie has been a corporate lawyer and company secretary of companies in the listed environment for more than 30 years. She was a longstanding member of the King Committee on Corporate Governance for South Africa and was actively involved in the writing of most of the King Reports and, in particular, the preparation of the King IVTM Report as part of a dedicated task team mandated by the King Committee for this purpose. Annamarie is a regular presenter of workshops to directors, executives and company secretaries on a wide range of governance and legal topics. She is a member of the JSE Advisory Committee and fulfils the role of executive Chair of FluidRock Governance Group while also serving as a non-executive director of several companies including Pick n Pay Stores Limited, the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy NPC (Board Chair) and Vastfontein Community Transformation NPC (Board Chair).
Prof. Ferdinand Meyer
As agricultural economist, Ferdi has more than 20 years of experience, specialising in the agricultural market, trade – and policy modelling and analyses, value chain analytics, strategic foresight and scenario planning. He grew up on a crop and livestock farm in the North-West Province of South Africa and continues to manage the farming business’s finances, investments, and marketing. He was a founding member of BFAP in 2004 and as managing director, his passion lies in motivating people and growing institutions and businesses with strong national and international networks. Ferdi serves on various boards of firms, frequently appears as an invited speaker on national and international platforms and holds a position as Professor Extraordinary in the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of Stellenbosch.
Dr. Mmatlou Kalaba
Mmatlou is a senior analyst at BFAP with vast experience in research and academic background in the fields of agricultural policy and international trade. He was previously a senior lecturer at the University of Pretoria. He is the past President of Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA) and served as the President and Secretary-Treasurer for more than a decade. He is currently a member of the Limpopo Premier’s Economic Growth Advisory Council (PEGAC) and the Technical Working Group (TWG) on Agriculture and Tourism Departments.
Dr. Tracy Davids
With a PhD in Agricultural Economics and over 10 years of experience in the industry, Tracy leads the Commodity Markets and Foresight programme in BFAP. Her passion for and dedication to strategic foresight and its application to inform strategy and investment decisions in both the public and private sectors underpin Tracy’s specialization in commodity market modelling, competitiveness, scenario planning and policy analysis across an array of agricultural value chains. She has fervidly led numerous capacity development initiatives throughout the African continent, hoping to expand analytical tools and expertise in various regions. Not only does Tracy frequently contribute to international outlook publications, she’s also a regular and acclaimed speaker at local and global events and a Research Fellow at Stellenbosch University.
Ms. Lulama Ndibongo-Traub
Lulama’s dual citizenship – U.S. and South Africa – signifies an underlying passion for both countries she considers home. Her involvement at Michigan State University (MSU) led to her pursuing her master’s degree in Agricultural Economics during which time she developed an econometric model to test the effect of maize market reform on milling margins within South Africa. Lulama’s current research interests include outreach and capacity building programs in collaboration with African-based agricultural policy think-tanks, focusing on regional staple food marketing, trade policies and their effects on sustainable and equitable development. To this end, she serves as BFAP’s Research Director to the Regional Network of Agricultural Policy Research Institutes (ReNAPRI); an African-led, African-driven regionally coordinated group of national agricultural policy research institutes. She currently resides in South Africa and lectures at the University of Stellenbosch.
Mr. Wandile Sihlobo
Wandile is an agricultural economist, policy advisor and writer. Wandile currently works as the Chief Economist of the Agricultural Business Chamber of South Africa (Agbiz). He is the author of “Finding Common Ground: Land, Equity, and Agriculture”. Wandile was appointed as a member of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Presidential Economic Advisory Council in 2019 (and reappointed in 2022), having served on the Presidential Expert Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture from 2018. He is also a member of the Council of Statistics of South Africa (Stats SA) and a Commissioner at the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa (ITAC).
We honour great partnerships
Let’s take hands and not only dream but be change-makers actively participating
in building a better future.