Mike de Klerk  is a senior consulting economist with a Master’s degree in Economics and extensive experience drawn from academic, parastatal, and independent bases in agricultural and rural development and management consulting assignments. Mike de Klerk’s main field of activity for more than 30 years has been agricultural development, with much of his work focusing on the public, private and NGO strategies for responding to changes in the economic, political, social, and natural environments. These changes include land reform, ‘trade shocks’, technological change, legislative change, and natural resource degradation. His key expertise lies in:

  • Agriculture (strategy, evaluation, small farm development, production, finance, marketing, trade, environment, knowledge management);
  • Rural development (strategy, evaluation, livelihoods, food security/gardens, community-based financial institutions, land reform, infrastructure, local economic development); and
  • Agribusiness/agro-processing (sector/value chain analysis, strategy, evaluation).

Mike’s work generally involves identifying and understanding the key drivers of change and existing responses as a basis for more appropriate strategic and operational responses. This may also include an assessment of the expected socio-economic impacts of such responses. Mike has consulted widely to the public sector (South African Departments of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; Rural Development and Land Reform; Labour; and National Treasury), and also to the Development Bank of Southern Africa, National (SA) Agricultural Marketing Council, and the SA Reserve Bank, as well as to the private sector.

He has also carried out evaluations undertaken using results-based M&E methodology (most recently for a Smallholder Sugar Cane Farmers project in Swaziland). He also has experience with GEF evaluations, having done one recently for a World Bank/NEPAD-financed project in Lesotho and Uganda.

He has carried out assignments for IFAD, the FAO, The World Bank, the ITC, UNDP, UN Capital Development Fund, GIZ, (UK) Overseas Development Agency, and SADC. Mike also has 10 years of senior management experience as General Manager: Research and Development, Land and Agricultural Bank of South Africa and Executive Director: Integrated Rural and Regional Development and then Chief Operating Officer, Human Sciences Research Council (SA), including project management.