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.

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BFAP evaluates the South African poultry industry’s international competitiveness and unpacks the drivers behind the recent increase in poultry meat imports.

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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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  • 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).

Data Science

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.

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  • 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.).

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.

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 ( 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.

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  • 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.
  • 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.

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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

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  • 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 (
  • Data and process continuity means the peace of mind that your information will be integrated and available no matter what.(

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.

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Mmatlou is a senior analyst, BFAP director and research fellow at Stellenbosch University. His focus areas include international trade and agricultural policy. He was previously with the University of Pretoria as senior lecturer. Mmatlou supervised PhD and Masters students and furthermore has publications covering topics such as non-tariff measures, climate change, information communication technology, regional trade agreements, and policy reforms.

An established specialist in agricultural market analysis, Tracy is a Director and leads the Commodity Markets and Foresight program at BFAP. Her research focus includes commodity market modelling, price formation and spatial price relationships, competitiveness and international trade. Tracy has an extensive record of international collaboration, contributing regularly to international market outlook publications and conferences. She has a consistent publication record in peer reviewed journals and is currently also a Research Fellow at Stellenbosch University. She obtained a PhD in agricultural economics from the University of Pretoria in 2018.

Kandas is an agricultural economist whose focus is primarily on the farm level economics of long term, export orientated high value crops, covering a wide range of commodities, including fruit, nuts and wine. Her research focus includes farm level profitability and impact quantification, competitiveness, logistics and trade flows. Her research and consequent peer reviewed publication record reflects her interest in this field.

Divan is a senior analyst and agricultural economists with more than ten years’ experience in farm-level technical, financial and investment analysis. He leads BFAP’s Farm and Production Analytics Division and partake in various value chain prioritisation studies in sub-Sahara Africa. He manages the South African cash crop network, an international initiative coordinated by the agri benchmark group in Germany. He obtained a PhD in agricultural economics, focusing on mechanisation trends and adoption of tractor rental markets in sub-Saharan Africa.

Hester Vermeulen

Consumer and Food Economics

As an agricultural economist specialising in consumer food and nutrition economics in South Africa and the broader African continent, Hester’s focus includes the analysis of consumer behaviour and food choices, the impact of macro-economic changes on food consumption patterns, consumer food trends, food consumption patterns and marketing strategy formulation. From a food- and nutrition security perspective Hester’s focus includes nutrition economics, food security elements and food affordability analysis – including monitoring the cost of healthy eating in South Africa. She is an established presenter at academic and industry conferences and has published numerous papers in peer-reviewed journals.

Louise is an analyst within the BFAP data science and systems integration division. With a background in industrial engineering, she specialises in simulation modelling and supporting system products with process development and continuous improvement.

Sandy has over 20 years of corporate experience across the various disciplines of Technical and Operational Management, Procurement, Supply Chain Management as well as Sustainable Development with specific focus on the development and implementation of Sustainable Agriculture programs across the African continent. Sandy heads the Agri-Socio Economics division in BFAP.  She works across a range of industries to support clients in the strategic planning and practical implementation of sustainable development goals that are integrated with commercial strategy to drive business growth and deliver socio-economic impact. Sandy has extensive experience in defining the required monitoring and evaluation criteria integrated with a systems approach to provide customised solutions for performance and impact measurement and reporting.

Gerhard has a rooted understanding of the strategic and operational dimensions of agricultural industries, agri-business and the combined challenges and opportunities that it presents. He works with industry organisations, private sector and governments across agriculture and other sectors such as minerals, energy, water, and environment. Furthermore, as a director of IVIS, Gerhard leads process and systems-oriented projects which require innovation and multi-dimensional subject matter integration. For more than ten years his passion as an agricultural economist was also extended into production and market analytics, where he specialises in production and resource modelling, as well as value chain optimisation.

A practiced and qualified agricultural scientist with more than thirty years’ experience in designing and implementing inter-disciplinary research projects relating to animal, crop and climate change sciences.  Wiltrud is an established data scientist with strong skills in crop modelling, GIS and advanced data analysis.  Wiltrud has led and collaborated in numerous national and international funded projects and has published in books and peer reviewed journals. 

Marion is BFAP’s lead data scientist and is responsible for data management and advanced analytics. Her training as a mathematical statistician enables her to facilitate the subject matter experts in BFAP to extract the most value from various data sources for in depth insights. She is currently a Research Fellow at the Stellenbosch University.

Louw is a Senior Analyst at BFAP with experience in both the private and public sector. His area of expertise is in agricultural value chains and agro-processing analytics, as well as international trade. Louw has more than ten years of experience in policy research in South Africa and on the African continent and is passionate about unlocking economic development. In his previous position as Deputy Director at the Western Cape Department of Agriculture he led an economic research unit doing applied research in macro and resource economics.

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 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.

Marnus is BFAP’s Operational Manager and also contributes to the Agri-Socio Economic division through his extensive experience in studying actual and potential socio-economic and farm-level impacts of development interventions or technology adoption, with special focus on resource poor farmers.

Albert is a systems specialist at IVIS. His responsibilities include the implementation and maintenance of the IVIS software services and infrastructure as well as data integration and system and process development of the BFAP divisions, their clients and partners.