Agri SA's president Dan Kriek has given notice of resignation after 25 years of involvement in agriculture, the organisation said in a statement on Friday.
"It is with sadness that Agri SA's Board received Dan Kriek's notice of resignation as President of Agri SA. After long and thorough consideration, Kriek decided to step down from this position with effect from 31 December 2019, due to health and stress-related reasons. He will now focus on his business interests and farming enterprise," the statement said.
Current deputy president Pierre Vercuil will take the reins until the 2020 congress, where the president is elected annually.
Agri SA, a federation of of agricultural organisations, was established in 1904. It was formerly known as the South African Agricultural Union.
In the statement, Kriek said the organisation would need "dynamic leadership" going forward, to deal with a "critical period" in which sustainable land reform would have to be negotiated.
"The organisation will need dynamic leadership to deal with these challenges. The reputation that the organisation currently enjoys has come from a lot of hard work and has always put enormous demands on the leadership - including myself," he said.
Kriek, who was on President Cyril Ramaphosa's land reform advisory panel, was one of a minority group of members who distanced themselves from the panel's recommendations on land reform and expropriation without compensation.