The Maize Trust, in recent years, funded most of its transformation projects through the Farmer Development Programme of Grain SA and by means of the Grain Farmer Development Association (GFADA).
The Grain SA Farmer Development Programme has been in existence since 2000. An amount of more than two hundred million Rand has hitherto been funded by the Maize Trust through this programme for the training and development of new black maize farmers. There are approximately 3 600 black farmers in the Grain SA study groups and 58 farmers in a 250 ton maize club. More than 120 black farmers are serviced currently as part of an advanced farmer project within the Development Programme.
GFADA assists 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. By not being limited to funding for only one commodity, GFADA has the added benefit of offering crop rotation opportunities for the farmers. The annual funding granted by the Trust for GFADA projects and its administration costs amount to approximately eighteen million Rand.
Over and above the funding granted by means of GFADA and Grain SA, the Trust also funds transformation projects through projects of the Agricultural Research Council and other smaller beneficiaries. In 2020, an application for transformation funding was also submitted by the South African Grain Farmer Association (SAGRA).
In addition to direct farmer assistance for transformation, the Trust also annually grants approximately twelve 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. The Trust also has a formal Internship Policy to assist students in improving their knowledge and skills and to find employment opportunities within the agricultural industries.