Ian Jarvie joined PANNAR (then Pioneer) Seed Company in 1960 and initiated Pioneer’s hybrid maize breeding program in Greytown, KwaZulu-Natal. In 1967 the company became the first private company in South Africa to register proprietary maize hybrids for the South African market. The company diversified into a number of field crops, including sunflower, sorghum, soybeans and wheat. The company grew to become a major seed company in South Africa and one of the largest privately held seed companies in the world with operations that spanned Africa, Argentina, the USA and Europe. Ian Jarvie led the PANNAR Research program for 37 years until he retired in 1997. Ian is an Honoury Life Member of the South African Plant Breeders Association and the South African Seed Organization.
In July 2013 Pannar was sold to Pioneer Hybrid International, part of the DuPont group. Ian’s son Andrew was appointed as Managing Director of Pannar Seed in November 2013 and steered the company during DuPont’s first year of ownership.
The Jarvie Group was established in 2009 and has developed an extensive portfolio of commercial properties in South Africa and Australia as well as substantial investments into agribusiness and selective private equity transactions. Ian’s sons Andrew, Graeme and James have now all joined the business.