The Agricultural Economics Department at Stellenbosch University (SU) has a new chair. Having assumed office in January 2023, Prof André Jooste boasts an impressive CV with over 24 years’ experience across various disciplines in the field of agriculture.
As an academic, André’s previous endeavours include being former associate professor and chair of the Agricultural Economics Department at the University of the Free State. At the National Agricultural Marketing Council, he spearheaded the establishment of the Markets and Economic Research Centre (MERC), which he developed into a highly regarded policy advisory unit in the South African and international context. As chief executive officer of Potatoes SA, André led this industry body in strategy development and the implementation of its core business mandate, including building business and public-sector relations. In 2013, he received the Agriculturalist of the Year award of Agricultural Writers SA North. André currently serves on various agricultural industry councils and government committees and has extensive networks in the national and global private and public sector.
When asked about his vision for the Department during his tenure as chair, he says: “The brain trust in the Department has made its mark in agriculture in South Africa over the years and contributed significantly to an agricultural sector recognised globally for expertise, sustainability and resilience. My vision is to build on these successes in a rapidly changing environment.” To this end, André will rely on the entire Agricultural Economics team. “To sustain our success, staff need to keep pace with, and be involved in, the engine room where changes occur. We must ensure that we prepare students for the future, equipping them with relevant knowledge and skills. At the same time, our research must remain industry-focused and relevant. The task is too big for one person, so the Department will undertake this journey together as a team to ensure that we remain relevant and provide the necessary leadership and critical thinking to make a meaningful contribution to society.”
For more information about SU’s Agricultural Economics Department or to explore collaboration opportunities, please email email@example.com