Business & Finance
Farmer's Weekly

Farmer's Weekly 06 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
Read More

in this issue

2 min.
stealing wool off the sheep’s back

Last year, Coldiretti, Italy’s largest agriculture industry association, released a statement announcing that in 2017, Italian organised crime generated a turnover of €21,8 billion (about R370 billion) from agriculture. According to Coldiretti, this ‘agromafia’, with its well-organised crime syndicates, manipulates the supply, price and distribution of certain agricultural products such as olive oil, wine and cheese, thanks to its stranglehold on entire sectors of the agricultural industry. In comparison, South Africa’s agricultural crime-related cost of more than R7,7 billion per year seems small fry. But just because it’s less lucrative, probably less well-dressed and less sophisticated insofar as its ability to manipulate market prices is concerned, doesn’t mean that South Africa’s agromafia is any less organised than its Italian counterpart, or that its impact on the local farming sector is not equally…

4 min.
agriculture a vital part of the solution to land degradation

“Desertification is land degradation in drylands due to human activities and, of course, climate change. It is not limited to irreversible forms of land degradation, nor is it to be equated with desert expansion; it covers all forms of degradation that occur in drylands. Drylands cover about 46,2% of the globe’s total land area and are home to three billion people. More than 20% of global plant biodiversity centres are located within drylands. Plant species within these areas are characterised by high genetic diversity. From 1961 to 2013, the annual area of drylands in drought increased, on average, by slightly more than 1% a year. Desertification hotspots, identified by a decline in vegetation between the 1980s and 2000s, extended to about 9,2% of drylands, affecting about 500 million people, in 2015. The dryland…

2 min.
farmer’s diary

10 TO 11 SEPTEMBER FoodNext.Africa FOODNEXT.AFRICA IS DEDICATED TO CAPTURING THE CONVERSATION AROUND FOOD DISRUPTION ACROSS THE VALUE CHAIN FROM FARM TO FORK. TOPICS OF DISCUSSION WILL INCLUDE FOOD WASTE, AND HOW INNOVATION IS CREATING SMART SOLUTIONS, AS WELL AS WHAT FOOD RETAIL AND DELIVERY WILL LOOK LIKE IN 2030, AMONGST OTHERS. CONFERENCES, WORKSHOPS & EXPOS 3 TO 5 SEPTEMBER No-Till Conference, Bergville. Email Sandra Findlay at ntcsandra@gmail.com. 10 TO 11 SEPTEMBER FoodNext. Africa, Cape Town International Convention Centre.Visit foodnextlive.com. 17 TO 19 SEPTEMBER Urban Agri World, Durban International Convention Centre. Email enquiry@magenta-global. com.sg. 19 SEPTEMBER The Future of the Agriculure Industry in the New Digital Age, Regenesys Campus, Sandton.Email info@regenesys.co.za. 1 TO 3 OCTOBER Africa Fertilizer Agribusiness Conference, Cape Town International Convention Centre.Visit events.crugroup.com/ astafrica/home. 8 TO 10 OCTOBER The Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa Conference, Bloemfontein. Email aeasa2019@ufs.ac.za. COURSES & TRAINING 13 SEPTEMBER Cattle Calf…

2 min.

Think out of the box: try rabbit farming! Small-scale farmers should consider less conventional niches, such as rabbit farming, says Pertunia Setumo, an agricultural economist at FNB Business. Setumo says that the costs of entry into rabbit farming are lower than for other farming operations, and that rabbit farming is less demanding, easier to maintain, and requires less land and resources. Rabbits also grow and multiply very quickly. For example, it takes rabbits about 90 days to reach a production weight of 3,5kg. The gestation period is 31 days, and one doe can produce an estimated one to 10 kits per litter. “For a small-scale unit of 150 does and 30 bucks, a start-up investment is estimated at R35 000. This would cover setup costs such as breeding stock, feed, labour and other…

3 min.
archives from our

25 NOVEMBER 1988 Growing daisies for seed 31 YEARS AGO One of South Africa’s favourite wild veld flowers, the Namaqualand daisy, can be a valuable alternative winter crop for smallholders and farmers if the flowers are used for seed production. While daisy seed production can be profitable, it’s not easy money. For a start, the seed market is notoriously easily upset by overproduction. And harvesting daisy seed is extremely labour-intensive, requiring a stable and dependable source of unskilled manpower. With total production costs at around R6 000/ha [about R49 400/ha], it definitely is not a low-cost operation either. But the potential benefits are great, says Dion Lottering of Lindley farm on the Crocodile River. From 2,6ha planted to Namaqualand daisies (Dimorphotheca sinuata), he harvested some 800kg of seed when the season ended. Lottering, farm manager for…

3 min.
african free trade agreement gathering pace

Negotiations about the different modalities and trade dynamics of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement are currently underway and are divided into two key phases: Phase I deals with trade in goods and rules of origin; and Phase II deals with intellectual property rights, competition and protocol on trade in services, dispute settlements, and investment protection. Under the agreement, 90% of the tariff book (or goods traded) will become tariff-free immediately, while 7% will be subject to variable phase-down schedules that will range from five to 10 years (but up to 13 years for least developed countries). About 3% of products will be excluded from negotiations, and will form the list of sectors not subject to any tariff adjustments. The new deadline from the African Union for an offer to be…