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Farmer's WeeklyFarmer's Weekly

Farmer's Weekly

22 March 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.

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only the brave and the foolish dare farm

The farming sector is performing better now than it ever did in the past. However, at the same time, many farmers are worse off than ever before. From the consumers’ perspective, at least for those in developed countries and developing countries with agriculture-led economies, the choice and abundance of food available would have been unthinkable to the generations that came before them. Look at this from the perspective of those who suffer from perpetual hunger in regions that face high rates of food insecurity, however, and this abundance becomes a gross display of the inequalities that plague our modern world.The simple life associated with farming only a few decades ago has become little more than a myth, with farmers, even those who produce on a small scale, having to…

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consider the environment when expanding your farm

“The South African Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) recently paid R4,1 million to the Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning to combat the illegal clearing of indigenous vegetation.A dedicated management team with specialised law enforcement officers has been established, and this unit is set to expand with the aim of enhancing environmental law enforcement so as to curb the illegal clearing of land for agriculture. COST OF NON-COMPLIANCE So, why is this relevant to existing and emerging farmers? According to the World Wide Fund for Nature, South Africa will have to produce 50% more food by 2050 to feed an estimated population of 73 million people.This raises questions around why conserving indigenous vegetation is relevant when there is such a clear need for greater agricultural output to…

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farmer’s diary

9 APRIL Trace and Save Farmers’ Day GRAHAM SHEPHERD, A SOIL HEALTH EXPERT FROM NEW ZEALAND, WILL GIVE FARMERS A PRACTICAL DEMONSTRATION OF VISUAL SOIL ASSESSMENT, AS WELL AS LEAD A DISCUSSION ON HOW TO REGENERATE SOIL. CARBON SEQUESTRATION, WHICH IMPROVES SOIL HEALTH, WILL ALSO BE DISCUSSED. CONFERENCES, WORKSHOPS & EXPOS 24 TO 25 MARCH The IRES 580th International Conference on Food and Agricultural Engineering, Cape Town. Email info@theires.org , or visit theires.org/Conference2019/SouthAfrica/1/ICFAE . 24 APRIL Soil Preparation Workshop, Kuruman. Visit bommereaipela.co.za , or email info@bommereaipela.co.za . 21 TO 23 MAY Southern African Manufacturing Expo, Nasrec, Johannesburg.Visit localmanufacturingexpo.co.za .…

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school garden gets glowing response

I am an extension officer for the Limpopo Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. Ever since Farmer’s Weekly published the article, ‘Limpopo extension officer makes farming ‘cool’ for schoolkids’ (FW, 1 February), I have received very positive feedback from the farming community and aspirant farmers. As the article is about successful school gardening initiatives, I expected the response to be somewhat confined to those interested in school gardening projects; however, the response has been far beyond my expectations as even those who intended to acquire land for large-scale farming have expressed sincere appreciation to extension services in the area and beyond. One reader even said he was planning to introduce the approach in certain areas of Botswana to fight food insecurity!At school level, the article has achieved its intended…

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saving the sugar industry to ensure transformation

Farmer’s Weekly columnist Peter Hughes says that meaningful transformation in the sugar industry cannot occur until steps are taken to save the industry. Farmer’s Weekly recently published a reader’s letter, ‘Structural reform needed to transform SA sugar industry’ (FW, 1 March). Siyabonga Madlala, executive chair of the South African Farmers’ Development Association, discussed what government and the private sector need to do in order to transform the country’s sugar industry. Peter Hughes, a Farmer’s Weekly columnist, responded to the letter as follows:Your letter highlights the key issues presently threatening the future of the South African sugar industry, namely drought, low world prices, massive imports, tax on sugar drinks, and zero support from government in terms of renewable energy opportunities such as ethanol and co-generation. You then go on to…

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lack of capital limited wool buyers

Wool remains a sought-after commodity, despite the fluctuations in its price. 53 YEARS AGO Fluctuations in the value of wool have always been common. In this article, Farmer’s Weekly explained some of the reasons for this. As October gives place to November, the first signs are appearing that the decline in world wool values, which has been gradual but almost unbroken since the season opened, may have been arrested. Should this prove the case, it is not before its time so far as woolgrowers’ interest are concerned for, since late August, Merino wools in general have shed most of the price rise which was slowly acquired over the larger part of last season. During the final week of October, Merino tops (i.e. combed wool) in the Bradford…