Business & Finance
Farmer's Weekly

Farmer's Weekly 28 August 2020

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.
top of the misery list

One of the great things about being an agricultural journalist during this time of crisis is that we often still get to report good news, thanks to the victories being achieved in the sector despite the general sense of doom surrounding our country’s economic and political future. For example, building on the successes of the past few years, citrus farmers are again expected to achieve record export volumes this season (see story on page 15). There has been no shortage of setbacks for the citrus industry this year as COVID-19-related labour disruptions, trade restrictions and problems at the ports threatened to derail the harvest. Despite these challenges, citrus growers expect to ship a record volume of 139,8 million 15kg-cartons to destinations across the world in 2020. In further good news, after…

6 min.
covid-19 and its effect on small food businesses

“COVID-19 has prompted widespread discussion of the resilience of food systems and how efficiency and competitiveness have previously been understood. Recent decades have seen the growth of increasingly complex food value chains. These are underpinned by just-in-time delivery systems, a growing share of food products sold through supermarkets, and increasing concentration of ownership among powerful, large food manufacturers. The pandemic has further emphasised the need for a more diverse and inclusive food system, in which small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play a key role. As part of a larger project investigating challenges faced by agro-processing SMEs, we conducted qualitative telephone interviews with 16 SME maize-milling and dairy firms during lockdown to gauge the effects of the pandemic. As essential businesses, food manufacturers continued to operate through lockdown, and it might be assumed that…

2 min.
7 september food security

CONFERENCES, WORKSHOPS & EXPOS 7 SEPTEMBER MENA Food Security Digi-Conference (online). Email Lara Tan at lara@gmevents.ae. 29 OCTOBER AgriAllAfrica Agribusiness Conference, CSIR, Pretoria. Email Marianna du Plessis at marianna.duplessis@gmail.com, or phone her on 063 076 9135. 6 TO 7 NOVEMBER Environmental Waste and Landfill Management, Emperors Palace, Johannesburg.Email admin@maphosam.co.za. COURSES & TRAINING 7 TO 11 SEPTEMBER Introduction to Pig Production, Agricultural Research Council Irene Campus, Pretoria. Email Mpho Makhanya at makhanyam@arc.agric.za, or phone her on 012›672›9153. 14 TO 18 SEPTEMBER Introductory Course to Small-stock Management, Agricultural Research Council Irene Campus, Pretoria. Email Mpho Makhanya at makhanyam@arc.agric.za, or phone her on 012 672 9153. 19 SEPTEMBER Cattle Calf Rearing, George. Phone Lily Rothman on 078 546 7985. 21 TO 23 SEPTEMBER Artificial Insemination, Agricultural Research Council Irene Campus, Pretoria. Email Mpho Makhanya at makhanyam@arc.agric.za, or phone her on 012 672 9153. 21 TO 25 SEPTEMBER Aquaculture, Agricultural…

3 min.
how fatty acids yield benefits in dairy cows

New research from Michigan State University in the US demonstrates significant improvements in cow productivity with specific fatty acid supplementation through early lactation. The concept of feeding fat in dairy rations is nothing new; the energy-dense nutrient is hugely beneficial to meeting increased nutritional requirements as cows simultaneously produce milk while maintaining body condition ahead of breeding. Something that is new, however, is the developing science that continues to improve our knowledge of the roles of different fatty acids on animal performance. Dr Richard Kirkland, global technical manager for Volac Wilmar Feed Ingredients, says: “Data indicates key roles for palmitic (C16:0) and oleic (C18:1) fatty acids at different stages of lactation. “C16:0 is very beneficial in improving milk fat production and yield, but it is now clear that this may be at the expense…

3 min.
probing the panama problem

39 YEARS AGO Panama disease remains one of the most economically important diseases of banana crops, and a cure is still to be found. Prevention is thus better than cure, and farmers are advised to regularly scout their plantations for the disease and use resistant cultivars. Panama disease is causing concern among banana farmers in the major production centres of South Africa, where it is said to be causing serious damage. Dr JC Robinson of the Citrus and Subtropical Fruit Research Institute (CSFRI) says the disease is so named because it first became serious in Central America, and did considerable damage to the industry before growers there were able to find resistant cultivars. He says officials of the CSFRI are now studying the qualities of resistant banana cultivars imported from Central America to…

3 min.
kick-starting the agri economy in a post-covid-19 world

There is a growing volume of literature outlining what ought to be done to reconstruct South Africa’s economy after the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic. I have certainly added to these by outlining options for igniting growth in South Africa’s agriculture sector along the east coast, and all the way up to Limpopo. In reality, however, it might be too early to place much emphasis on some of the plans that have been published by various institutions, as we are all still trying to fathom the full ramifications of this pandemic. It seems as if we have thus far only seen a glimpse of the impact, as only four provinces in South Africa have experienced increased infection numbers, namely, Gauteng, the Western Cape, the Eastern Cape, and KwaZulu-Natal. One can only assume that…