Business et Finance
Farmer's Weekly

Farmer's Weekly

23 October 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
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3 min.
wine glut threatens industry’s sustainability

The South African wine industry is sitting with between 250 million and 300 million litres of “uncontracted wine”, which is almost equal to the volume of wine sold on the local market every year, according to Vinpro and the South African Wine Industry Information and Systems (SAWIS). This wine glut was already having a negative impact on local and international wine prices, which had fallen 7,4% since the introduction of COVID-19-related trade restrictions. The next season’s wine grape harvest was due to start in about four months, with early indications pointing to a normal harvest. PRODUCERS WERE STRUGGLING LONG BEFORE COVID-19 “Farms in general experienced enough cold units for uniform bud break, while soil moisture and dam water levels look better than during the previous season,” said Wanda Augustyn, media and communications…

2 min.
‘new ammunition’ for opponents of captive-bred lion industry

Opponents of South Africa’s controversial captive-bred lion industry have ramped up their campaign to have the sector shut down by government. Wide-ranging allegations have been levelled against captive lion breeders in recent years, mainly with regard to inhumane and unethical practices. Most recently, the Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (SATSA) sent a letter to the Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Barbara Creecy, fully endorsing a list of requests by the Blood Lions and Humane Society International: Africa organisations. In the letter, the association’s chairperson, Tony Romer-Lee, reiterated the requests for a declaration of a zero export quota for lion bones from South Africa in accordance with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES); a moratorium on lion breeding in captive breeding and tourism facilities; that…

1 min.
south african wool market continues its upward trajectory

The wool market continued its upward trend at the seventh sale of the 2020/2021 wool season, with a strong performance driven by improved market sentiment and a weaker rand. The Cape Wools Merino indicator was 6,2% higher, compared with the previous sale, and closed at a price of R131,55/kg (clean). After 1 264 bales were withdrawn prior to the sale, 7 713 bales came under the hammer, of which 92% were sold, according to Cape Wools. Good-quality, fine Merino wool, especially finer than 18,8 microns, achieved excellent prices, with Responsible Wool Standard lots attracting very good competition throughout the sale, and achieving good premium prices. The largest increase of 7,2% was in the 18,5-micron segment, Cape Wools said. For the OVK sale, 3 804 bales were on offer, of which 91,9% were sold,…

4 min.
incentivise the private sector to invest in agriculture

In June 2020, the Minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni, announced a zero-based budgeting approach. Although more specific details will have to be provided from National Treasury about how exactly this approach will be implemented, the basic principle seems to be that government departments will in future not be able to submit a pre-existing budget with some inflationary adjustments, but instead have to start off from a zero base and justify any expenditure items. Although it still has to be seen if this approach can be effectively implemented, the principle of a zero-based approach is undoubtedly the correct point of departure for a post-COVID-19 economic recovery phase. The prioritisation of public investments and policies have to be carefully considered to ensure maximum impact on inclusive growth and agricultural transformation that is so desperately…

1 min.
fast facts

• Extension experts William Gillespie, Felicity Mitchell and others developed the concept of the ‘demonstration plot extension methodology’ to motivate and upskill potential smallholder sugar cane growers. • Extension officers are provided with a practical, step-by-step manual to teach sugar cane production to small-scale farmers. • Since the introduction of the demonstration plot approach, the Noodsberg area’s small-scale sugar cane farmers have increased their average yield 34% and their collective gross income 200%.…

5 min.
regain profitability with these post-drought sheep management tips

As every South African farmer knows, droughts are a frequent reality in the country. According to Prof Tertius Brand, a specialist scientist in animal nutrition at Elsenburg and a presenter during a recent webinar on drought recovery, parts of South Africa are hit by droughts at an average rate of almost once every five years. Sheep farmers are not spared the effects of drought, and it is therefore vital that they put proper management practices in place before and during a drought to keep their animals in good condition. It is no less important to adhere to proper management principles after a drought to regain profitability as soon as possible. According to Brand, sheep farmers can follow a number of well-recognised steps to ensure good feeding management of their flocks during and after…