A heritage of quality and expertise
Where It All Began
In 1979 Dr Hans Gevers, maize breeder of international repute, employed in the Department of Agricultural Technical Services Summer Grain Sub-Centre based in the Faculty, released the high lysine maize cultivar HL1, followed in 1982 by HL2.
These offered enormous potential in meeting South Africa’s future protein needs, both in the human food and animal feed industries. Subsequent experimentation produced opaque – 2 hybrids with high lysine content which provided crops as big as the best normal commercial cultivars.
Following his retirement from the Department of Agriculture, Gevers was appointed Honorary Professor in the Department of Genetics in recognition of his considerable ongoing contribution to the training of plant breeders in the Faculty through his research supervision, specialist teaching and supply of unique genetic material for student projects. He also continued to produce opaque–2 maize hybrids for his private breeding company Quality Seed (cc), based at Ukulinga, where for decades he had led the maize breeding programme in conjunction with his work at Cedara. Gevers’ research had a significant impact on the value of maize as a staple in Africa, contributing also to the development of resistance to maize leaf blight and to the release and exchange of maize breeding material to more than 20 countries over a period of 30 years.
 Excerpt from A Fine Band of Farmers Are We! by Bill Guest (PhD) (Occasional Publications of The Natal Society Foundation, 2010)
John Klopper, Managing Director of Quality Seeds.
QUality Seed (Pty) Ltd Today
The Baton is Passed
Quality Seed has revived and is building on the excellent breeding foundation of Dr Hans Gevers, the visionary pioneer of Quality Protein Maize in South Africa. The new directors, James Stegen, John Klopper with Dr John MacRobert as seed consultant, acquired the company in 2014 and began by reviving a well-known QPM hybrids as well as adding a variety of high performance non-GMO white and yellow maize hybrids for both rain fed and irrigation use. For this, the team thanks God who blessed Quality Seed with the network, resources and skills to maintain a strong emphasis on research and development locally and with the help of its European research partners.
The company is based in Potchefstroom, where John Klopper and his team manages the productions, processing and sales. John MacRobert provides technical and breeding consultation support, while James Stegen manages the finances and business matters. From a virtual zero base at acquisition, Quality Seed has established seed multiplication capacity and extended seed sales into the SADC region.
New products being introduced include non-GMO soya varieties, dry bean and sorghum. The company has the vision of prosperous farmers producing nutritious and productive varieties that contribute to the well-being of communities, focusing on small-holder’s farmers.