Dr Theo de Jager

Dr The de Jager -Chairman SAAI and President of the World Farmers Organisation.

The WFO is an organisation of agricultural producers that aims to strengthen farmers' positions within value chains, with a particular focus on smallholder farmers. 

Dr De Jager, a qualified lawyer became a farmer of subtropical fruits and timber in the Limpopo province, and was re-elected for a second term in his current position as the President of the World Farmers Organisation (WFO), in May 2019. De Jager plays a pivotal role in agriculture since 1997 and has been involved in leadership roles as chairman, founder and President on various committees and organisations and groups and was awarded the Agriculturist of the Year award in 2016 as recognition of his lifetime work for the modernisation, mechanised and commercialization of Agriculture in Africa. De Jager is the founder of Agri All Africa, a solution based Agri-agency for farming investors in Africa and served as President of the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU) and President of the Pan African Farmers` Organisation (PAFO), based in Addis Ababa. He chaired CAADP – a non-state actors coalition at the African Union and NEPAD, and initiated the African Program on the presentation, protection and promotion of indigenous livestock breeds. Dr de Jager served in various roles as the founder and chairman of the Transformation Committee, the chairman of the African Committee and the chairman of the General Affairs Chamber and the Vice-President of Agri SA between 2006 – 2015 and chaired the committee on land reform and farmer development discussions between Agri SA and Government between 2008 and 2015.

For the past eight years De Jager represented Agri SA at the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Union (SACAU) and as president of the organisation since 2013. He recently stepped down as president of the Pan African Farmers Organisation (PAFO) as well as chairperson of the Non-state Actors Coalition of Nepad.  He also served for 10 years in Agri SA’s General Council, as chairperson of Agri SA’s General Affairs Chamber as well as the Transformation Committee.  

Dr de Jager has confirmed his participation for the Board meeting as the Chairman’s invited guest.  The Chairman invites Dr de Jager to share his profile with the Board and provide highlights of his expectations.

His been deeply involved in hiscountry's highly charged land reform, and has even lost a farm of his own in the process. But recently, De Jager has been doing some different work for his organisation: travelling around Africa looking for land that he and other South African farmers can acquire, on a large scale. De Jager's first success was in Congo-Brazzaville. The government promised him and his fellow farmers as much land as they might want throughout the country, along with freedom from import duties, taxes and restrictions on the repatriation of profits. De Jager and about 15 other South Africans set up a company called Congo Agriculture, and negotiated a contract with the government for 80,000 ha. The first 48,000 ha were divided into 30 farms for the participating South African farmers. De Jager says that he's already picked out plots for himself, and intends to produce oil palm, timber and cattle.