About Us

About Us

The Maize Trust was founded in August 1998 to promote the South African maize industry. The Trust serves the industry through financial support for institutions and organisations with programmes aimed at market and production related research. The secondary objectives of the Trust are to fund the assimilation and dissemination of market information and to broaden market access for the benefit of the maize industry.

The Trust was formed after the closure of the Maize Board and inherited the remaining assets of that Board. These assets consisted of a reserve fund in excess of two hundred million Rand, which was accrued from surplus funds of the Board over a number of years from various sources, inter alia, the sale of imported maize. Once transferred to the Trust, these assets legally became the property of the Trust to be utilised by the Trustees in terms of the objectives and other provisions of the registered Trust Deed.

The Trust does not have personnel, but makes use of the services of an investment adviser on a contractual basis to advise the Trustees on the investment of the Trust’s funds. The administrative services of the Trust are contracted out to an independent entity. The Trustees are not remunerated for their services, but are reimbursed for their direct and indirect expenses on behalf of the Trust. The Board of Trustees comprises six members and is appointed for a term of two years. Three of the Trustees are appointed by specific maize industry sectors, while the other three Trustees are appointed by the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development.

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The mission of the Maize Trust is to facilitate the continuous improvement of the entire maize industry in South Africa, to ensure that the industry becomes the leader in the region and that it is internationally competitive.

The Trust Deed does not specify beneficiaries but only lists the objectives of the Trust. This means that funding from the Trust can be accessed by anybody in the maize industry who can demonstrate that an intended programme will benefit the industry as a whole. The Trust’s funding is aimed at the financial support of actions and programmes by acceptable institutions involved in the industry.

The general criterion for funding is that each project should have a quantifiable and measurable outcome, which is consistent with the mission and objectives of the Trust. The Trustees have also compiled a set of Norms and Procedures that are applicable to applications for financial assistance that are submitted to the Trust. The Trustees, twice a year, consider applications for funding and approximately a further six meetings are held annually to discuss the general operations and investments of the Trust.

Since its establishment, the Maize Trust has granted a large amount of money to a variety of organisations and institutions involved in research, development and information programmes in the South African maize industry. The grants are paid from the annual income of the Trust, which is derived from dividends and interest on the investment of the donations that have been received from the Maize Board. The Trust does not have any other income.

The Maize Trust currently funds most of its transformation projects through the Farmer Development Programmes of Grain SA and the South African Grain Farmer Association (“SAGRA”), which assist black emerging farmers by paying for, inter alia, soil correction, comprehensive crop insurance and the costs of mentors to assist the farmers for a five-year period or longer.

The Trust also annually grants approximately 12 bursaries for maize related M.Sc and Ph.D studies to qualifying students at all the South African Universities, of which at least 50% is from disadvantaged communities.

Aims and Objectives

The Trust exercises its mandate principally by providing financial support for organisations conducting research focused on maize production and marketing. The Maize Trust objectives further include the acquisition, assimilation and dissemination of market information for the local maize industry, and the facilitation of market access for South African maize. This would include support for training, technical assistance and the creation of marketing infrastructure.