Business & Finance
Farmer's Weekly

Farmer's Weekly 31 July 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.
sorting fact from fiction

One of the problems that always emerge when we start debating the role and future of smallholder farming is that there is no clear definition put in place to describe what type of farmer we refer to when we talk about small-scale farmers. Small-scale, smallholder and subsistence farming can refer to anything from a person growing a few stalks of maize in a home garden, to someone producing a crop or running livestock on a small but very much commercial scale, for example, a farmer growing maize on around 10ha or running a livestock herd of 50 animals. We cannot have the same discussion about the person with a small vegetable garden as the one we should be having about the small-scale commercial producer. A recent tweet by Kees Blokland, managing director…

6 min.
healthy food is becoming increasingly unaffordable

“More people around the world are going hungry, with tens of millions of people having joined the ranks of the chronically undernourished over the past five years. In the 2020 edition of the ‘State of food security and nutrition in the world’, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) estimates that almost 690 million people went hungry in 2019, which was up by 10 million from 2018, and nearly 60 million in five years. In addition, the report forecasts, the COVID-19 pandemic could cause about 130 million more people to suffer from chronic hunger across the world by the end of 2020. THE NUMBERS EXPLAINED In total, the amount of people suffering from hunger worldwide was revised down from 820 million, as stated in the 2019 report, to the…

2 min.

Where will the next pandemic come from? Apart from contagions like COVID-19, neglected zoonotic diseases such as anthrax, bovine tuberculosis, rabies, and Japanese encephalitis kill at least two million people every year, mostly in developing countries. According to a study by the UN, over 60% of diseases affecting humans originated from animals. Diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans are also known as zoonoses. These transmissions can occur in various ways, including through contact with sick animals, or the consumption of infected animals. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences conducted research focusing on how pigs contributed to the H1N1 pandemic in 2009. The organisation classified pigs as intermediate hosts for the generation of pandemic influenza virus. It is therefore critical that farmers take note of such findings, not only those…

1 min.
matter of fact

• The headline of the article, ‘Concern about mystery elephant deaths in Namibia’ (FW, 24 July), incorrectly stated that the elephant deaths had occurred in Namibia. These deaths had, in fact, occurred in the Okavango Delta, which is located in Botswana, as indicated in the body of the article. • In the article, ‘Insect farm’s plans for sustainable protein’ (FW, 24 July), the following was published incorrectly: 1. The product was referred to as a sports drink; however, the product is in fact a high-quality protein supplement. 2. It was stated that the company Sustento was established in 2018; the company was in fact established in 2019. 3. It was said that the black soldier fly larvae feed on the substrate for 12 days. While black soldier larvae can feed on the substrate for…

2 min.
farmer’s diary

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, South Africa’s National Coronavirus Command Council has announced a nationwide lockdown, resulting in many events in the Farmer’s Diary being cancelled or postponed. Farmer’s Weekly will continue to keep readers updated with regard to cancelled or postponed events as the information becomes available to the editorial team. All readers are encouraged to contact event organisers before planning to attend events listed in the diary, to confirm that the event is still going ahead. CANCELLED EVENTS 24 JULY TO 2 AUGUST The Royal Show, Pietermaritzburg.Visit royalshow.co.za. 11 TO 14 AUGUST (Previously postponed) Nampo Harvest Day, Bothaville.Visit grainsa.co.za/pages/nampo. 18 TO 20 AUGUST South African Sugar Technologists Association Congress, Durban ICC. Visit sasta.co.za/annual-congress/ notices. 28 SEPTEMBER TO 1 OCTOBER IDF World Dairy Summit, Cape Town. Visit idfwds2020.com. COURSES & TRAINING 3 TO 7 AUGUST Introduction to Broiler Management, Buhle Farmers’ Academy,…

3 min.
power from manure

29 YEARS AGO Producing power from biogas is not only environmentally friendly, but can save farmers money, as these Danish power stations have proven. A network of nine municipal power stations in Denmark use biogas, derived from animal manure, to drive their generators. Farmers give slurry to the stations in exchange for: • Cheap slurry storage facilities for up to nine months; • Free collection from and return of slurry to the farm; • Enhanced nutrients in the returned manure. “At one of our biggest biogas stations, Sinding, 36 farmers with pig, poultry or dairy units have contracted to supply all their slurry. “The advantages to them are calculated to be worth on average R3 511 [about R21 140 today] per farm,” reports farm adviser Henrik Ortenblad. Bacteria in the slurry produce methane for community central heating…