Company & Team

Nati South Africa is an agricultural family business, built on two strong pillars of expertise: the company combines the production and the distribution of one of the healthiest fruits on earth.

For decades, the Villar de Rohde family has been involved in the production and worldwide distribution of high-quality food products.


Lia Villar & Dominicus Rohde

Argentine-German couple with seven children, a son-in-law and a daughter-in-law


The Argentinian Villar family has owned and harvested land in Goya, Corrientes for over 200 years and the German Rohde family has been trading South American and European produce for almost 100 years, primarily selling and distributing wine, beef and other perishable goods. The family has been active in South Africa for over 30 years. The joining of this Argentinian-German family with their South African partner families and their experience has resulted in this agricultural endeavor.

The North West region provides the perfect conditions for growing pecans. Noticing a gap in a continuously growing market for pecan nuts, the management team realized that this would be the perfect opportunity to produce and distribute a finished end-product, not something that is commonly done in South Africa.

Distribution and Marketing

Initially, the distribution is intended to cater to the growing local markets.

The operating families have over 50 years of experience in export and maintain various offices throughout the USA, South America and Europe. There is direct access to leading Pecan traders, as well as leading producers in the USA, food importers and distribution channels in China, Taiwan, Germany, France and Spain.

This allows the company to distribute globally. The fact that the Southern Hemisphere‘s production is offset by half a year to the North American harvest is an additional advantage, leading to higher sales in Northern Hemisphere markets (USA, Asia and Europe).


Business Background

The demand for Pecans in the world market continues to rise. For the past 30 years, the Pecan nut has benefited from a growing market, the constant increase in demand has exceeded supply, resulting in maximum sales at a high price. While production is estimated to double in the upcoming 15 years, the market demand is forecast to grow by 400% over the same time span.

The main customers are the USA, where Pecans are already part of the daily diet. Demand in China, the second major market, is rapidly rising. The exponential growth of the world population creates the need of even greater amounts of nutrient-rich foods.

An adequate supply of nutrients can only be ensured if especially rich foods, like the Pecan nut, are given a more prominent position in dietary recommendations in the future. In addition, health consciousness grows constantly in industrialized nations and emerging markets. The Pecan nut, as a nutritious and healthy food, embodies the spirit of the time.

Price evolution of in-shell pecans from 1980 to 2018 in USD/kg


Our Mission


Our mission is to develop the most fruitful, sustainable and healthy agricultural business in South Africa, and one of the global leaders in the pecan nuts market.


Nati South Africa links economic attractiveness with environmental sustainability. It proves that exceptional profitability, community involvement and social responsibility can successfully engage with each other.

We base our development and continued growth on five building blocks that represent the ethos of our company and our strengths that will help us become one of the world market leaders in Pecan production:

  • Eco-friendly

  • Social Responsibility

  • Sustainability

  • Emerging Markets

  • Exceptional Profitability

Leadership Team

The leadership team consists of members of the operating partner families from South Africa, Germany, USA and Argentina.


President GSD & CEO,
United States of America


Marnus van Heerden

Managing Director,

South Africa


Khanyo Ngwenya

Institutional Executive Director, South Africa


Helge Heyd

Chief Financial Officer,


Dr. Julian Urquijo

Chief Legal Counsel,


Villar de Rohde

Communication, Director,


Villar de Rohde

Investor Relations, Director,


Villar de Rohde

Accounting Manager,

Advisory Board

The following advisers assist our company:



Willem Schoeman

Chartered Accountant and Auditor. Pretoria, South Africa.

Vincent Derudder

Chair of the Advisory Committee of the FECIF, European Federation of Financial Advisors and Financial Intermediaries, Brussels, Belgium.

Miguel Muñoz

Managing Partner, Invictas Investment Fund Management, Luxembourg.


Pedrie van der Merwe

Agricultural Manager, Northern Cape, FNB Business, South Africa.

Agustín Perez Bourbon

Agricultural Engineer, Farmer, Pecan Export Expert, Professor at UB University, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Dr. Jonas Janner Hamann

Agricultural Engineer, Doctor in Pecan Investigation, University of Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.


Phillip Venter

Commercial Attorney and Property Conveyancer, Pretoria, South Africa.

Juan Popken

Lawyer Buenos Aires and Hamburg, Argentina and Germany.


Mariano Tomatis

Partner PricewaterhouseCoopers, Buenos Aires, Argentina.