Business & Finance
Farmer's Weekly

Farmer's Weekly 07 August 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.
it doesn’t rain grass!

As I write this, it is almost the end of July and about four months since South Africa went into a national lockdown in an attempt to contain the spread of COVID-19. There have been questionable decisions made by government since the start of the lockdown, but over the past 10 days this trend seems to have reached fever pitch. Lucien Jansen, CEO of the Perishable Products Export Control Board, one of the only well-managed public entities in this country, says that one of the benefits of maintaining a positive outlook is that it puts you in a position to notice opportunities even during difficult times (see page 83). I have to agree with Jansen. Optimism begets opportunity. However, as the lockdown drags on, and as government seems bent on…

4 min.
why africa’s food supply needs a regional approach

“As supply chains around the world are disrupted and the demand for certain types of food decreases in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, questions have begun to emerge about Africa’s capacity to ensure food security for its citizens. While parts of the continent have faced recent food production challenges due to droughts, floods and locust swarms, Africa continues to have enough staple food to feed the majority of its citizens, thanks to local farmers and imports from other parts of the world. The outbreak of COVID-19, however, has highlighted the need for the continent to concentrate its efforts on becoming self-sufficient in the production of certain food, such as wheat, maize, rice and proteins, as well as value-addition and the processing of raw materials. FROM GLOBAL TO REGIONAL More formalised or efficient value…

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 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, Delmas.Visit buhle.org.za. 4 AUGUST TO 22 SEPTEMBER Introduction to Agribusiness,…

3 min.
state of sa’s agricultural economy

The South African economy has faced challenges in recent times with GDP declining 2% quarter-on-quarter (q/q) in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020. This comes after South Africa recorded contractions of 1,4% and 0,8% in the two preceding quarters respectively. However, the one sector that has outperformed other sectors is agriculture. Output by the farming sector increased 27,8% q/q due to higher production of animal products, horticulture and field crops. KEY FACTORS The performance of various agricultural industries is one of the key factors responsible for the state of agriculture in South Africa’s economy. Underpinned by the enormous contribution from field crops, horticultural products and animal products, Q1 GDP for the forestry and fishing sector increased 27,8% q/q with a 0,5 percentage point positive contribution to the country’s GDP. EMPLOYMENT IN THE AGRI…

3 min.
8 april 1964 old breed conquers new territory

56 YEARS AGO The Simmentaler may be a European breed, but according to breeder JCG Johnstone, it is more than able to adapt to the South African climate. In fact, it seems to be thriving, and improving the calving percentage and weaning weights of his indigenous cow stud. The Simmentaler, a hardy dual-purpose breed from the Continent is rapidly gaining popularity in South Africa. After repeatedly coming out among the top performance tests in South-West Africa, more South African beef breeders are using Simmentalers, and several studs have sprung up in different parts of the country. One of the regions where the breed has gained foothold is the Eastern Transvaal sourveld. One of the pioneer Simmentaler breeders in this area is JCG Johnstone, of WH Vallei, Amersfoort, who first acquired them in 1959.…

3 min.
the intrigue surrounding africa’s palm oil imports: part 2

In my previous column (FW, 24 July), I discussed the intricacies of data discrepancy on the African continent, and used Tanzania’s palm oil imports as an example. I noted that the complexity of Tanzania’s palm oil imports was not unique, but in fact, part of a wider systemic problem, which becomes even more difficult to untangle when looking at specific countries. In the second of this two-part series, I discuss Zambia’s edible oil imports. Unlike Tanzania where the edible oil sector is dominated by sunflower seed production, Zambia’s edible oil industry is mainly soya bean-based. Estimates from the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) suggest that Zambia consumes an average of around 125 000t of edible oil, 30% of which is supplied by local producers. Edible oil imports account for…