Business & Finance
Farmer's Weekly

Farmer's Weekly 11 October 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.
what to do about farming job losses

All things considered, the farming sector in South Africa has not performed too poorly in terms of job losses since the turn of the century. According to Statistics South Africa, employment stood at just under one million in 2001, before declining to about 660 000 in 2012. This was followed by an upswing to just under 900 000 by 2016. Since then, the number of people employed in the farming sector has decreased again to about 842 000. As I explained in this column last week, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, following deregulation, farmers were forced to increase productivity in order to compete with global commodity prices. One way in which they managed to curb costs was to cut down on labour by investing in mechanisation. However, as the expansion…

6 min.
legal evictions: landowners need to know their rights

“The term ‘eviction’ has become a swear word in certain circles, and some non-governmental organisations are quick to make a connection between ‘bad, unfeeling farmers’ who evict people from farms, leaving them without refuge, and the call for expropriation without compensation (EWC) and security of tenure for farm dwellers. The reality is far more complicated, and this matter therefore deserves to be viewed from all angles. Land invasions are of great concern to farmers; certain political parties and other groupings have threatened farmers openly with unlawful occupation of land. It is important to understand the legal framework around such occupation, and especially the rights of the landowner. NOT JUST A RURAL PROBLEM There are no reliable statistics for evictions in South Africa, but the perception exists that they occur primarily in rural areas…

3 min.
farmer’s diary

10 TO 13 NOVEMBER International Moringa Symposium THIS SYMPOSIUM IS EXPECTED TO BRING TOGETHER EXPERTS ON MORINGA FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD, MAKING IT THE IDEAL OPPORTUNITY FOR INTERESTED PARTIES TO EXPAND THEIR KNOWLEDGE AND CREATE NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES. CONFERENCES, WORKSHOPS & EXPOS 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. 16 TO 18 OCTOBER The Future of Farmworkers in South Africa National Conference, University of the Western Cape. Email foodsecurity@uwc.ac.za. 6 NOVEMBER Subtrop Marketing Symposium, Ingweyama Conference and Sport Resort, White River. Email Lizette de Wet at lizette@subtrop.co.za, or phone her on 015 306 3676. 10 TO 13 NOVEMBER International Symposium on Moringa, CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria. Email Laila…

3 min.
farmers’ intuition and decision excellence

The following article was submitted by Dr Peter Nuthall, honorary associate professor in the Agribusiness and Commerce Faculty at Lincoln University, New Zealand, and refers to the importance of intuition in farming. Managerial intuition is not something farmers are born with. They pick up knowledge starting from a young age and this continues throughout life. Initially, parents are important in the process, but then a farmer’s lifetime education and experience take over and become the ‘teacher’. Good farmers, according to the research [see sources], have an ability to take on board the lessons from their life’s activities, covering all things both farming and managerially. The research used information from several hundred farmers to examine what made up their intuition. THE STUDY LEARNING FROM EXPERIENCE IS CRITICAL TO SUCCESS The farmers were divided into groups according…

3 min.
from our archives

13 JANUARY 1971 ‘Mole’ will link the great waters 48 YEARS AGO An advanced new hardrock tunneller was used to dig the canals in the Orange River Project (ORP). In 1884, the first tunnel to convey water in South Africa was constructed from the Gamtoos River to Hankey. The Orange River Tunnel, which forms a major part of the ORP, is now under construction. The tunnel is 30% complete, and the Hendrik Verwoerd Dam, which will make the diversion of this water possible, has already begun to store water. When the Orange-Fish tunnel has been completed, in 1973, water from the Orange River will augment the supply of irrigation water to the fertile Great Fish River Valley. Soon after, the Fish-Sundays River link canal system will carry this part of the ORP a stage further, when,…

3 min.
eastern cape offers many opportunities for agriculture

At the end of September, I visited the Eastern Cape on the invitation of The Co-op, an agribusiness based in Humansdorp. I also used the visit to scan the agricultural activities in the province, with the intention of assessing whether there has been an increase in activity and transformation. My first stop was at The Co-op’s head office, where I received a broad overview of the province’s agricultural activity and the inclusive growth projects with which they are involved. Recently, the Eastern Cape’s average dam levels have seemed healthy, at over 50%. The reality, though, is that the levels of a number of dams located close to agricultural activities have been low for months, and this has taken a toll on the agriculture sector. Aside from the dry conditions, the variation or time…