Business & Finance
Farmer's Weekly

Farmer's Weekly 16 August 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.
big food waste while people go hungry

South Africa’s food poverty line, also known as the extreme poverty line, which refers to the amount of money that an individual will need to afford the minimum required daily energy intake, has increased from R547 (figures adjusted for inflation) in 2018 to R561 this year. This was according to Statistics South Africa’s (Stats SA) National Poverty Lines 2019 report, released at the end of July. The contents of the reference food basket used by Stats SA to calculate the food poverty line will be of interest to farmers (read the full report at bit.ly/2GRIfPH). The cost is based on a 2 100-calorie per person per day diet, and the items chosen do not reflect a recommended healthy diet, but are instead a reflection of what people are actually buying. The items…

4 min.
low investment in research hampers agri growth

“Modern society is characterised by constantly changing technology, which has been enhanced by the arrival of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). The 4IR era requires countries to invest in adequate research, development and technology innovation to remain globally competitive. The pressure to stay ahead in this era is partly at the root of the ongoing trade war between the two global economic giants, China and the US. Recognising the need to strengthen research and development capacity, industrialised countries, especially those belonging to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, spend on average 2,3% of their gross domestic product (GDP) on these activities, while countries in sub-Saharan Africa spend on average 0,5%. South Africa spends about 0,8% of GDP on research and development, which is equivalent to roughly R32 billion. The National…

3 min.
farmer’s diary

7 SEPTEMBER Waterblommetjie Festival FOUR LOCAL WINE PRODUCERS IN PAARL HAVE JOINED FORCES TO CELEBRATE THE 10TH ANNUAL WATERBLOMMETJIE FESTIVAL WITH A FUN-FILLED LINE-UP FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY. TRADITIONAL WATERBLOMMETJIE BREDIE AND SOUPS WILL BE ON OFFER, AS WELL AS GIN COCKTAILS AND DECADENT WATERBLOMMETJIE ICE CREAM. CONFERENCES, WORKSHOPS & EXPOS 21 TO 22 AUGUST Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition, CSIR Convention Centre, Pretoria. Visit fertasa.co.za/fertasa-events/ symposium. 26 TO 28 AUGUST Bio Africa Convention, ICC, Durban. Visit africabio.com/ conference. 29 TO 30 AUGUST Africa Biennial Biosciences Communication Symposium, Pretoria. Visit abbcsymposium.org. 3 TO 5 SEPTEMBER No-Till Conference, Bergville. Email Sandra Findlay at ntcsandra@gmail.com. 1 TO 3 OCTOBER Africa Fertilizer Agribusiness Conference, Cape Town International Convention Centre.Visit events.crugroup.com/ astafrica/home. COURSES & TRAINING 24 TO 25 AUGUST The Building Blocks to Beekeeping, Johannesburg. Email David Fraser at david@beelife.co.za, or phone him on 082 578 6038. 26 AUGUST TO 27…

1 min.
what not to feed your donkey

Dear Dr Mac, Somebody I know who wants to take on donkeys has been proposing feeding them maize and lucerne. Are these two feeds not too rich for donkeys? Apparently these donkeys will also graze on ‘healthy’ Karoo veld. Kind regards, Mrs E Thas Dear Mrs Thas, Donkeys have very different digestive systems to horses. Over generations they have adapted to eating poor-quality roughage, including straw. In Ethiopia, which has the highest number of donkeys in the world, working donkeys are fed teff and a very small amount of maize when they carry heavy bags through the streets of Addis Ababa to the mills. When donkeys are fed rich grass, as happens in the UK, or maize and lucerne, they are highly likely to get severe digestive disturbances and may develop laminitis. In South Africa, donkeys…

1 min.
4000 pupils benefit from nwk’s school shoe project

‘AN ACT LIKE THIS RESTORES CHILDREN’S TRUST’ At the end of July, agricultural service provider NWK distributed another 500 pairs of school shoes among needy pupils of primary schools in areas surrounding Coligny and Lichtenburg in North West. This was after the company handed out about 175 pairs of school shoes to pupils of Skuinsdrif Primary School near Groot Marico in the province. Shoes were handed out at the Manana, Calisonia and Platvlei primary schools on 25 July. NWK concluded its School Shoe Project for 2019 on 26 July by handing out shoes at the Hakboslaagte and Tlhalefant primary schools. This amounts to about 4 000 pupils who have benefitted from the project since its inception in 2012/2013. Many of these pupils have to walk several kilometres to school daily, some of them…

3 min.
from our archives

6 FEBRUARY 1998 Blackhead Persian: the breed that thrives on hardship 21 YEARS AGO The Blackhead Persian, one of the world’s oldest sheep breeds, has been in South Africa since 1870. Historical records indicate that it existed as long ago as 2000 BC, when its natural habitat appeared to be the Middle East and the eastern African seaboard down to Somaliland. The first few head of this exceptionally hardy breed to reach South Africa arrived here by pure coincidence, when a badly damaged sailing vessel dropped anchor at Port Beaufort for repairs. On board were a ram and three ewes of the Blackhead type, which some months earlier had been taken aboard in the Persian Gulf for later slaughter as fresh mutton for the crew. The fat-tailed sheep attracted the interest of a Cape farming…