9 March 2012
Petrochemical giant Sasol has launched a trust aimed at improving the competitiveness and sustainability of South African agriculture while providing support for enterprise development projects and emerging farmers in the country.
The Sasol Agricultural Trust, which will be administered by independent trustees, will also support initiatives aimed at enhancing education and training programmes for farmers and the agricultural industry at large.
Sasol will donate R30-million to the trust over a three-year period.
Announcing the launch of the trust this week, Sasol said it would focus in particular on the sustainability of grain production, taking into consideration grain’s large contribution to food security in South Africa.
Sustainable agriculture for food security
“Sasol believes that sustainable agriculture for food security is a priority for the continued development of the country,” Sasol Nitro managing director Marius Brand said in a statement.
A successful agricultural industry depends, among other things, on the availability of quality fertilisers and fuel, as well other products produced by Sasol as part of its value chain.
Brand said Sasol saw itself as having an important role to play in South African agriculture.
The company’s most recent agricultural investments include a boost to the fertiliser manufacturing sector, with the development of a new 100 000 ton per annum ammonium sulphate plant, along with a 400 000 ton per annum limestone ammonium nitrate production facility due to be commissioned by mid-2012.
‘Cooperation of all players needed’
Sasol said it believed the cooperation of players along the entire value chain was needed to collectively improve the competitiveness of South African agriculture – a position supported by Grain South Africa, which assisted with the establishment of the new trust.
“Grain SA welcomes the announcement and views it as a positive gesture from Sasol to plough back into the South African grain industry,” said Grain SA chairman Neels Ferreira.
Sasol Nitro manufactures a wide range of fertilisers at its plant in Secunda, Mpumalanga, including limestone ammonium nitrate, ammonium sulphate and a range of ammonium nitrate and ammonium sulphate-based liquid and granular NPK fertiliser blends.
Farmers from across the country can buy fertilisers either directly from Sasol Nitro or from a number of fertiliser retailers distributing Sasol Nitro’s fertilisers.
To ensure an efficient, hassle-free commercial and product support service to all customers, Sasol Nitro has implemented a Customer Contact Centre to support the servicing of customers.