Nel - Agricultural Economics - Johannesburg, GP, South Africa

Marius Nel

Johannesburg, GP, South Africa


Agricultural Economics

Work History

Business Owner

MDA Agri Consultancy (Pty) Ltd

From October 2009

Wholly owned consulting business involved in agricultural consulting in various agricultural fields. Clients included Individual Farmers, Agricultural Organisations and Land Affairs.

Manager Sector Intelligence of the AgriBusiness Division of Absa Corporate and Business Bank. Responsibilities


April 2005 - October 2009

includes the following:

• Maintain relationships with Organised Agriculture, Agricultural Producer Organisations and individual clients.
• Provide input into the Agri Business Strategy determination.
• Conduct Agri Seminars and presentations internally and externally on agricultural topics on a continuous basis.
• Conduct Agri Economic training internally and externally on specific agricultural topics.
• Write and publish articles on various agricultural topics in various agricultural publications.
• Agricultural Economic Analysis on a quarterly basis to determine the status of the Agricultural sector.
• Conduct regular industry specific analysis and reviews and provide written industry outlook reports.
• Evaluation of agri-business development opportunities and or projects and agri-business related applications.
• Develop and maintain an Agri Knowledge Management system on which the Absa Agri Business data base is housed. The data base include comprehensive industry data on all major industries, Land and fixed improvements guideline values, enterprise gross margins, add hock reports, articles and reports of interest.
• Risk compliance officer of the Agri Business Department regarding the potential impact and risk of new legislation.
• Develop specific risk mitigation strategies to ensure that the bank is protected when industries are in distress.
• Represented Absa Agribusiness as full time member of the various ABSA Business Bank Credit Committee's.
• Continuous support and input to Credit Department and Business Rescue Services.
• Perform the annual review of the Agri Credit policy of ABSA Business Bank.
• Review of the annual Target Market Criteria to determine the potential exposure to the Agricultural Sector.
• Annual Concentration Risk Analysis of the Absa Agri Book to determine potential concentrated exposure to specific industries. The concentration risk analysis is an input tool used to determine the growth strategy for the following year and which...

Manager Agribusiness Finance

Land Bank of South Africa

September 1999 - March 2005

Responsibilities includes the following:

• Strategic direction to the units staff including sales growth strategies, generation of new business, risk management (asset and security valuation), budgeting, HR management, planning & organising.
• The preparation, appraisal and evaluation of agri development projects and agri-business related applications.
• Establishment of required securities including loan agreements, bond registrations, cessions etc., disbursement of the loan, collection of instalments.
• Maintain good client relationships with the clients of the unit which included most of the major Agri Co-ops.
• Liaison and consultation with potential borrowers and the 28 Branch offices of the Land Bank on the feasibility and viability of proposed projects and agri-businesses
• Managing the Agribusiness Finance loan book and individual clients' accounts.
• Chairperson of the Agribusiness credit committee.
• Financial administration of the budget and loan book of the unit.

❖ The loan book of the unit was grown from a zero base to R 1,95 billion in a five year period with arrears of less than 2%.

General Manager of the Agricultural Division

Mpumalanga Development Corporation

October 1996 - July 1999

The operational and staff function responsibilities and activities are basically the same as that of the previous position of General Manager at the Kangwane Agricultural Development Corporation. The exception is that the service area being now the whole of the Mpumalanga Province as compared to only the territory of Kangwane previously and the staff component is larger.

The commercial agricultural operations included the following:

• Various crops including citrus, bananas, sugar cane, vegetables and tobacco under irrigation totalling 7 617 hectares.
• Various crops including maize, sunflowers, cotton and groundnuts under dry land totalling 16 000 hectares.
• Other included a sawmill with an annual throughput of 70 000 cubic meters of saw logs, a cut flower project producing roses in hot houses, a broiler production unit producing 500 000 broilers annually and a wine cellar at Loop Spruit producing its own wine.

In control of three area and seven regional offices with three Area Managers, seven Regional Managers, nine Accountants, A Human Resource Manager and six personnel officers, a Marketing Manager and five Marketing officers, a Training Manager and five training officers, Fifty four Project Managers, thirty eight financial administrative staff, 650 permanent workers and 1 200 seasonal workers.

❖ The successful merger of the previous Kangwane and Kwandebele Agricultural Development Corporations into one Agricultural Division operating as a Business Unit. This included the development of a new policy framework and a strategic plan to implement the policy in order to achieve the set objectives.
❖ The development of an organization structure for staffing, the development of a new personnel and remuneration policy and the recruitment of staff, internally and externally for the organizational structure. It also involved negotiations with redundant staff for retrenchment purposes, re-negotiation of employment conditions for staff recruited from...

General Manager Agriculture

Kangwane Agricultural Development Corporation

August 1990 - September 1996

• Full responsibility for all operational aspects of the commercial agricultural development schemes where small farmers are also established. Further responsible for staff functions such as Human resources management and administration, Internal auditing and Marketing. Chairman of the Corporation's Board of Trustees of the retirement fund.
• The commercial agricultural development schemes included the following:
- Various crops including citrus, bananas, sugar cane, vegetables and tobacco under irrigation totalling 4 642 hectares.
- Various crops including maize and cotton under dry land totalling 4 500 hectares.
• Other include a sawmill with an annual throughput of 70 000 cubic meters of saw logs.

In control of four regional offices with four Regional Managers, Four Accountants, a Human Resource Manager and two personnel officers, a Marketing Manager and four marketing officers, thirty six Project Managers, twenty financial administrative staff, 450 permanent workers and 700 seasonal workers.

❖ The Corporation was the principle developer of a major irrigation expansion development program which is linked to the construction of the Driekoppies Dam. The program entailed the development of 7 500 hectares under irrigation with sugar cane as the main crop. The whole program consisted of the development of irrigation schemes with individual small farmers, the construction of bulk water storage (weirs) in the Komati River and the upgrading of the electricity network in the whole Nkomazi subregion. The program which was community driven accommodated 900 emerging commercial farmers.

Senior Operations Manager

Gazankulu Development Corporation

June 1988 - July 1990

Agriculture. Duties included

• Day to day management of the commercial agricultural operations, the compilation of cropping programs, compilation of gross margins and annual technical and financial budgets. The commercial operations included various subtropical fruit, vegetables and cash crops including cotton and tobacco on 1 642 hectares.
• Liaison with agric input suppliers, agricultural service providers and marketing agents.
• All administrative functions of the agricultural division, personnel management and administration of all agricultural staff in consultation with the personnel department, control and management of the financial budget.

In control of eight project managers, a citrus pack house manager, four accountants, an agricultural engineer, an agronomist, an agricultural economist, a mechanic and ± 2 000 permanent and seasonal workers.

❖ Developed a new agricultural budgeting system for the Corporation.
❖ Changed the financial results of the Agricultural Division from a loss to a profit making Division.

Agricultural Project Leader

Development Bank of Southern Africa

March 1985 - May 1988

in the Operations Division. Duties included

• Strategic direction of a multi functional project team to achieve set goals.
• Responsible for the preparation and appraisal of agricultural development projects.
• Liaison and consultation with borrowers on the design and layout of agricultural project proposals, the co-ordination and evaluation of natural resources and other related surveys (i.e. irrigation systems layout, mechanization requirements, cropping programs, feasibility and viability, etc.) done by the project team and professional consultants, required for the agricultural project's evaluation.
• Compiling appraisal reports containing the financial package and loan recommendations for the DBSA's Board of Directors.

❖ Successfully finance and implement development projecys to the value of R 200 million.

Agricultural Economist in Pretoria

Department of Agricultural Economics and Marketing

January 1982 - February 1985

Duties included

• Design and execute production cost surveys on maize and wheat to determine the annual producer price for the Minister of Agriculture.
• Determination of crop gross margins.
• Economic evaluation of farming enterprises.
• Determination of the economic viability of irrigation farms and irrigation schemes and the calculation of individual farm viability for the purpose of the subdivision of farms.

❖ Assisted in the design and completion of the COMBUD farm gross margin program which was nationally used in the agricultural sector.
❖ Initiated and completed a study on part time farming in South Africa which led to the recognition of part time farmers by Government financial institutions i.e. Land Bank and the Agricultural Credit Board.


Development projects unit

Develop loan book for the Land Bank development projects unit. Value of book increased to R 2 Billion within 4 years

Nkomazi Irrigation development

Development of 7 500 hectares new irrigation with emerging farmers producing sugar cane

Qualifications & Certifications

MSc Agricultural Economics


BSc Agricultural Economics

University of Pretoria Agricultural Faculty


Tukkies South African University

Centurion High School

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