Business & Finance
Farmer's Weekly

Farmer's Weekly 22 November 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.
drought now a r1,3 billion disaster

The local agriculture sector has emerged over the past two decades as a major asset in what has become an otherwise ailing economy. The agriculture, food and fibre value chain contributed an estimated 14% to the country’s GDP, and agriculture exports have become an important source of foreign earnings for South Africa. According to Prof Ferdi Meyer, director of the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy, who was speaking at a recent Agbiz Information Day in Pretoria (see story on page 16), the agriculture sector’s positive contribution to the country’s trade balance amounted to just under R60 billion in 2018, up from around R20 billion in 2010, and far outperforming other sectors, which in 2018 made a negative contribution to the trade balance of more than R40 billion. However, the contribution that…

5 min.
disruptive changes reshaping the fresh produce sector

“The fresh produce industry is increasingly becoming more complex and less predictable, due to disruptive global changes that are changing the status quo forever. Technology, emerging markets and rising consumer demands are just some of the disruptions reshaping the industry. AN UNCERTAIN WORLD The global trading landscape is littered with uncertainty. This comes in many forms, and includes protectionism, migration and political issues such as Brexit. Much of the world has become closely interlinked, particularly in terms of trade. However, many of these links, even between traditionally close allies, are starting to weaken. At the same time, countries like China and India that are continuing to develop, have an increasing influence in the world, putting considerable strain on the multilateral trading system. Global authorities such as the World Trade Organization and the International Monetary…

2 min.
cattle pregnancy awareness

CONFERENCES, WORKSHOPS & EXPOS 26 TO 27 NOVEMBER African Agri Investment Indaba, Cape Town International Convention Centre.Visit agri-indaba.com. 26 TO 27 NOVEMBER Management and Treatment of Domestic and Industrial Wastewater, International Convention Centre, East London.Email dev@gptc.co.za. 27 TO 29 NOVEMBER Water Security in Africa, Radisson Blu Hotel, Cape Town. Email gmahlanzi@intellect-adv.co.za. 28 TO 29 NOVEMBER 4.0 Industrial Revolution Agri Tech Conference 2019, The Lanzerac, Stellenbosch. Email Empire Training and Conferences at ryan@empiretraining.co.za, or phone 073›946 9796. 10 TO 11 DECEMBER The International Forum of Agricultural Robotics, Toulouse, France. Visit fira-agtech.com/en. 18 TO 20 FEBRUARY 2020 Africa Agri Tech, The Maslow and Sun Arena, Pretoria. Email Willem Reyneke at willem@africa-agri.co.za. 19 T0 21 FEBRUARY 2020 Argus Africa Fertiliser Conference, Cape Town. Email Andrea Ribeiro›at fertsconferences@argusmedia.com. COURSES & TRAINING 21 NOVEMBER Cattle Pregnancy Awareness, Bloemfontein. Visit rltsafrica.com/ product/pregnancy-awareness. 25 TO 27 NOVEMBER Cattle: Artificial Insemination, Elsenburg. Email Lily Rothman at…

3 min.
employment tax incentive: an instant cash windfall for employers

In order to remain competitive, businesses need to take full advantage of cash flow subsidy benefits. This is especially relevant during times of financial difficulty. A subsidy that generates immediate monthly cash flow for a business is the Employment Tax Incentive (ETI), which is determined by the employer on a self-assessment basis. Accordingly, no applications are required to receive the subsidy, which is exempt from income tax. The Employment Tax Incentive is a National Treasury initiative, and is administered by the South African Revenue Service (SARS). The objective is to encourage and incentivise employers to employ and upskill the youth. The ETI reduces an employer’s cost of hiring people through a cost-sharing mechanism with government, while leaving the wage the employee receives unaffected. QUALIFYING AS AN EMPLOYER The terms and conditions of the ETI are governed…

4 min.
the disease that launched no-till in kzn

Dr John Mallett, a pioneer no-till researcher in Africa in the early 1970s and head of the tillage team of the Agricultural Research Council’s (ARC) Summer Grain sub-Centre, Cedara Agricultural Research Institute, and the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Department of Agriculture and Environmental Affairs, mentored me for 12 years on the how to’s of no-till from 1983 to 1995, when he retired. Mallett was a prolific writer and authored many scientific and popular publications on topics such as maize yields, soil water content, soil penetrometer resistance and compaction under different tillage methods. GREY LEAF SPOT I believe that grey leaf spot (GLS) on maize was the catalyst for widespread adoption of no-till farming in the KZN Midlands, which shortly afterwards led to the launch of the No-till Club of KwaZulu-Natal. In 1994, I was Treasurer of…

3 min.
from our archives

24 JULY 1968 Snakes: one of the farmer’s best allies 51 YEARS AGO Snakes are important to a farm as they keep rats and other rodents at bay. This article explored why farmers and households need to protect their snakes. It is incredible how many otherwise sensible and sensitive people will claim, “The only good snake is a dead snake.” Such prejudice is costing us dear, for snakes are one of the farmer’s best allies. Since the virtual elimination of pythons and other snakes in parts of the sugar cane belt, there has been such a build-up of cane rats and rodents that some farmers are considering importing snakes and restocking their farms with them. This experience has parallels in other areas, such as the Transvaal, Free State and Boland. In one Transvaal town,…