Business & Finance
Farmer's Weekly

Farmer's Weekly 18 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.
a reflection on ‘women’s month’

August has passed and with it we bid goodbye to the month which, every year, is marked by numerous overtures to women, some earnest and some opportunistic, as companies, organisations and government endeavour to celebrate the role of women in society, and to highlight the challenges they still face in their work and personal lives. I am generally cautious of participating in anything that deals with the achievements or experiences of women in a ring-fenced kind of way. This is because I believe we must be careful of creating a separate kind of narrative and domain of success where we celebrate women for their achievements compared only with other women, rather than rating their achievements against a full spectrum of their peers, both male and female. It is so important that…

6 min.
healthy eating is getting more expensive in sa

Food inflation plays a central role in headline inflation, but is also an important metric to track in terms of access to sufficient and sufficiently nutritious food for households. The Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy’s (BFAP) ‘Baseline Agricultural Outlook 2020 to 2029’ explores current and possible future trends in food inflation and their potential impact on household food security from an affordability perspective. TRENDS IN FOOD INFLATION For the past couple of years, BFAP has included a food inflation forecast in its baseline report that is in line with the statistical properties of the inflationary series in question (be it food inflation or one of its sub-categories). This has been done with relative confidence, as most inflationary series exhibit a degree of inertia that can be drawn on to forecast trends.…

2 min.
small-stock management

CONFERENCES, WORKSHOPS & EXPOS 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 14 TO 18 SEPTEMBER Introductory Course to Small-stock Management, Agricultural Research Council Irene Campus, Pretoria. Email Mpho Makhanya at makhanyam@arc.agric.za. 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 her on 012 672 9153. 21 TO 25 SEPTEMBER Aquaculture, Agricultural Research Council Irene Campus, Pretoria. Email Mpho Makhanya at makhanyam@arc.agric.za. 24 TO 26 SEPTEMBER Cattle Embryo Transfer, George. Visit rltsafrica.com/product/ embryo-transfer. 28 SEPTEMBER TO 2 OCTOBER Handyman Course, Agri Skills Cullinan Farm Training…

1 min.
banks and expropriation without compensation

News that Standard Chartered Bank is suing the Land Bank to recover its funds is a stark reminder of the vulnerability of South African agriculture. Holding something in the region of a quarter of farming debt, the Land Bank is a critically important institution for the farming economy. Its credit rating downgrade and its inability to service its debts are threats to its operations, the farmers who depend on it and the food supply of the country. For this reason, Cabinet agreed to a ‘recapitalisation’ of some R3 billion in the Supplementary Budget. ‘SA’S FOOD SECURITY NEEDS A ROBUST LAND BANK’ The Land Bank’s current difficulties remind us that the sustainability of South African agriculture cannot be assured by the state or state-owned entities on their own. The willingness of private financiers to extend…

1 min.
home-made banana bag

I have a banana tree in my garden in Pinetown. In order to protect the bunch, I manufactured a banana bunch bag from old shade net, cable ties and shade-net string to tie it up onto the mother banana tree. Since then, the tree has started producing more and more bananas, with each bunch yielding at least 28 bananas! This old shade-net banana bag has got enough space if more bananas are going to grow and is wide enough not to damage the skins of these baby bananas. I hope my idea will take root and farmers will now make/use these bags instead of the plastic variety that takes up too much space in landfills! Perhaps this is also an idea for an entrepreneur to take up? Kind regards, Natalie Rowles…

3 min.
food-manufacturing robots

In years gone by, manufacturing processes consisted of a line of workers being solely responsible for all material-handling functions. Whether it was assembly, picking or packaging, it was largely a laborious manual process. The detrimental effects to these workers’ health have been well documented, as many employees were subjected to conditions that sometimes resulted in serious illness, injury, and even death. As automation became widely accepted and implemented throughout various industries, robotics took it one step further with robots designed for specific applications, such as handling, packaging and palletising. Suddenly, these new pick-and-place robots allowed for more speed and consistency in throughput, while being customisable to meet production requirements. INDUSTRIAL ROBOTS PICK-AND-PLACE ROBOTS CAN WORK IN THE TIGHTEST SPACES While the usual suspects, such as the automotive and pharmaceutical industries, are already deeply invested in…