Jaap works as a part-time consultant at Growing Nations assisting and mentoring the agricultural extension manager, with the extension team, implementing the extension work for Growing Nations in North & South parts of Lesotho including the Maphutseng area. He was involved with applied research to the farmers, assessing the adoption of CA farming, the soil quality, water infiltration as well as the economic impact.
He studied Rural Development at the Wageningen Agriculture University in The Netherlands and completed his PhD in Conservation Agriculture (CA) amongst commercial farmers in the eastern Free State. He has practical work experience in farming, development work and is a small scale commercial farmer focusing on promoting (smallholder farming (systems) towards organic CA. He is currently implementing low external input CA using cover crops on his own farm in Ladybrand, Free State, South Africa, which experiences similar climate & soils to farmers that Growing Nations work with across the border in Lesotho.
Jaap is also a director of an agri-business called “Nepo” promoting healthy (non-genetically modified) food from healthy soils and making it more affordable by localizing food value chains. Nepo promotes buying produce from smallholder- and commercial farmers practising Farming God’s Way/ Conservation Agriculture. Nepo currently processes non GM soya into roasted soya beans and soya flour. With these products Nepo addresses the lack of iron, zinc and protein in local diets.
Jaap also supports farmers in adopting regenerative agricultural practices.