Business & Finance
Farmer's Weekly

Farmer's Weekly 27 September 2019

Farmer’s Weekly is an agricultural magazine based in South Africa, targeting the whole of Southern Africa. The magazine is committed to advancing the interests of the region’s farmers and its agricultural industry by serving as a mouthpiece for the industry and by keeping its readers informed of the latest developments in the agricultural sector.

South Africa
Caxton Magazines
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in this issue

2 min.
sa’s biggest land reform mistake

Perhaps the single biggest mistake South Africa has made with land reform since 1994 has been to entrust a government department with not only the transfer of land, but also the responsibility to provide support to land reform beneficiaries. Of course, the support aspect only really became part of the process after the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform realised that most land reform projects that had been implemented since 1994 had not been successful, as evidenced by the results of an evaluation study conducted in 2009. Previously productive farmland was lying fallow, and many beneficiaries were auctioning off or selling their land due to the collapse of the farming businesses they had inherited along with the land. It became clear that land reform was heading for disaster, and in an attempt…

5 min.
don’t ignore these aspects of the land panel report

“The past month has seen a flurry of opinion pieces on the report published by the Presidential Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture. While the document has generally been well received, with critics saying it moves the land reform debate forward, the reviews have raised some issues. These include: • The expropriation without compensation (EWC) approach on whether to amend Section 25 of the Constitution to enable EWC, or revert to applying existing legislation, which some argue is sufficient to expropriate without compensation. • Land tax, to be levied as a punitive measure on those holding unproductive or underutilised farmland. The tax is based on an incentive system that promotes optimal land use by increasingly taxing land that is underutilised. • Land ceilings, which regulate landholding by limiting the size of parcels…

3 min.
farmer’s diary

12 OCTOBER Pinotage Festival THE WINERIES SCATTERED AROUND THE FOOTHILLS OF THE PAARDEBERG, WHICH SEPARATES THE PAARL AND SWARTLAND WINE REGIONS, ARE COMING TOGETHER TO CELEBRATE INTERNATIONAL PINOTAGE DAY BY SHOWCASING THE DIVERSITY OF THIS SOUTH AFRICAN SIGNATURE GRAPE IN VARIOUS STYLES OF RED, ROSÉ AND SPARKLING WINES. CONFERENCES, WORKSHOPS & EXPOS 1 TO 3 OCTOBER Africa Fertilizer Agribusiness Conference, Cape Town International Convention Centre.Visit events.crugroup.com/ eastafrica/home. 8 TO 10 OCTOBER The Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa Conference, Bloemfontein. Email aeasa2019@ufs.ac.za. 9 TO 10 OCTOBER Undercover Farming Expo and Conference, Allée Bleue Estate, Cape Town. Email Suzanne Oosthuizen at expo@axxess.co.za, or phone her on 082 832 1604. COURSES & TRAINING 28 TO 29 SEPTEMBER The Building Blocks to Beekeeping, Johannesburg. Email David Fraser at david@beelife.co.za, or phone him on 082 578 6038. 30 SEPTEMBER TO 18 NOVEMBER Introduction to Animal Production (online course).…

3 min.

Agriculture as a career I grew up in a small town, and after matriculating, acquired a BSc in agriculture. After graduating, I joined a reputable balanced ration company as a consultant to farmers. I have a message for those young, aspiring farmers, who would love to farm, but unfortunately land up in the ranks of the unemployed even after studying agriculture. Bear in mind that ‘farming’ includes the following: • Feed companies; • Fertiliser companies; • Seed traders; • Agricultural engineering, which includes a vast variety of farming equipment; • Irrigation firms; • Animal health services; • IT, which involves methods of record keeping; • Alternative energy services; and • Insurance companies, who would rather employ staff with some form of farming training to work with their farm and crop insurance schemes. While these categories employ aspiring farmers who have qualifications in agriculture,…

3 min.
from our archives

13 FEBRUARY 1998 Afrino – the veld breed born out of necessity 21 YEARS AGO This article chronicles the rise of the Afrino, one of South Africa’s youngest home-bred sheep breeds. The Afrino’s development started in South Africa in the late 1960s, specifically to solve a problem of concern to the wool industry. A decline in wool prices and rapidly rising mutton prices caused many wool producers to cross their ewes with mutton breeds in order to add to their income from wool. Unfortunately, the wool of the resultant progeny was either contaminated with kemp hair or contained coloured fibres. This problem exerted such a serious influence on the quality of the local clip that the South African Agricultural Union decided to make urgent representations to the Department of Agriculture to develop a white-woolled mutton…

3 min.
temporary glitches to blame for lower agri trade data

South Africa’s agricultural production data has generally been negative since the start of the year, due to the dry conditions experienced between October 2018 and early 2019 in most summer crop-growing areas. According to recently released second-quarter figures from Statistics South Africa, seasonally adjusted gross value added in the agriculture sector fell 4,2% quarter-on-quarter, on an annualised basis, after a 16,8% quarter-on-quarter decline in the first quarter. It is unsurprising, then, that the trade data continues to paint a similar picture of decline in performance from 2018 levels. South Africa’s agricultural trade surplus in the second quarter of this year, valued at US$789 million (about R11 billion) according to Trade Map data, was 30% less than the corresponding period in 2018. The driver behind this was not an increase in imports, but a…