The Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) was founded in 2004 with the purpose to inform decision-making by stakeholders in the agro-food, fibre and beverage complex by providing independent research-based policy and market analyses. BFAP is a non-profit company where the University of Pretoria (UP) holds a position on the advisory board together with the other founding members of the network, namely the University of Stellenbosch, the Directorate of Agricultural Economics at the Provincial Department of Agriculture, Western Cape, the Maize Trust and the Barclays ABSA Group. The board of directors consists of Prof Ferdi Meyer as managing director, who is also an associate professor at the University of Pretoria, Ms Lulama Traub as the executive director and lecturer at the University of Stellenbosch and Dr PG Strauss as non-executive director, currently also the managing director of Free State Oils Pty Ltd.
At UP, BFAP is embedded in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences under the Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development. BFAP aims to:
- Undertake unbiased, scientifically rigorous and industry relevant research.
- Generate research outputs and solutions guided by market-based requirements and scenarios in order to drive sustainable commodity and food production and improve food security.
- Support capacity development through postgraduate research at the associated universities.
- Publish research outputs with the associated universities in peer reviewed journals as well as respected valid popular media.
BFAP is a company linking individuals with multi-disciplinary backgrounds and network partners into a co-ordinated research system that informs decision-making within the food and agricultural systems. It is the first of its kind in South Africa and has become a valuable resource to government, agri-business and farmers by providing analyses of future policy and market scenarios and measuring impact on farm and firm profitability. BFAP offers various programmes which have been structured in such way to optimise the inter-linkages between the various fields of specialisation to ensure efficient delivery of quality research outputs.