Business & Finance
Farmer's Weekly

Farmer's Weekly 04 September 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.
agriculture: shining light or fading star?

For most industries, 2020 will probably be a particularly bad year with an abrupt fall in performance, but this should be followed by some degree of recovery in the near future. For agriculture, the situation is the exact opposite of this. Widespread and prolonged droughts, animal disease outbreaks and lacklustre commodity prices resulted in two years of negative growth for the farming sector in 2018 and 2019 when it contracted by 1,86% and 9,86% respectively. Then 2020 happened. The world shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing entire industries into close-to-zero revenue situations for several months. Through all of this, the one sector that “emerged as a shining light in the economy” was agriculture, which, as a provider of essential goods, was largely exempt from lockdown restrictions. According to…

6 min.
weak rand an opportunity for cotton industry reboot

“Until March 2020, the cotton industry was considered a success story in South African agriculture. Established in June 2014, the Sustainable Cotton Cluster (SCC) was funded by an initial grant of R200 million from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). The SCC connects the entire cotton value chain (farmers, gins, yarn manufacturers, weavers and knitters, dyers, finishing plants and retailers) under one umbrella. In the six years it has been in operation, cotton production and processing have increased 800% and almost 50 000 jobs have been created or maintained in the cotton sector. Then came the COVID-19 lockdown. Harvesting and processing were allowed to continue, but exports were suspended, striking the first blow to the industry. Since then, export restrictions have been lifted, but global demand for cotton is decreasing and…

2 min.
grow your own food

CONFERENCES, WORKSHOPS & EXPOS 7 SEPTEMBER MENA Food Security Digi-Conference (online). Email Lara Tan at lara@gmevents.ae. 19 SEPTEMBER Grow to Life Workshop, Soil for Life, Cape Town.Email info@soilforlife.co.za. 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…

3 min.
from our archives

20 JANUARY 1989 Don’t ease off because it’s easy 31 YEARS AGO Producing top-quality fruit for the competitive market means paying close attention to the finer points of management, said this Hoedspruit mango grower. You can’t slack off when aiming at the competitive market, particularly the export market. That’s the warning given by Mr LCJ van Vuren, of the Jonkmanspruit farming region at Hoedspruit. After about 15 years of growing mangoes, he has clear views on how to succeed with this fruit. One of the most important requirements, especially for the overseas market, he says, is that fruit should have a good colour. “Our strongest competition is from Peru and Brazil,” he says, “where farmers seem to be able to produce surprisingly vivid colour with the same cultivars. So it is important that local…

3 min.
donkey behaviour

Donkeys and horses act similarly in terms of behaviour, but there are some distinct differences between them, according to the Donkey Sanctuary in the UK. Understanding donkey behaviour is important for training and handling, and as many South Africans still use donkeys for transport and agricultural purposes, these considerations are worth mentioning. KEEPING COMPANY The Donkey Sanctuary says that donkeys “naturally enjoy the company of their own kind, and when other donkeys are not present they may bond with horses, mules or other small stock”. Donkeys are very territorial, so when introducing them to other livestock, great care must be taken. This process must be supervised, and it is recommended to introduce them to other livestock across fencing. Domesticated donkeys may exhibit more territorial behaviour than horses, says the Donkey Sanctuary. It…

1 min.
take a chance on me!

With the recent changes that COVID-19 has put on our doorsteps, it has been absolutely amazing to read about how our hands and the soil are our constant source of life. I recently lost my job in the development planning space and I hope to get myself fully immersed in the agricultural space. Of course, I come on board with zero knowledge, but am committed to learning and carving out a livelihood for my family. So, as I go about this new journey, I ask someone to take a chance on me. To guide me, teach me, mentor me and help me get started. At the moment I have managed to secure a small patch of land, which I am renting in Delmas. I need to start from scratch, such as…