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Farmer's Weekly

Farmer's Weekly 25 September 2020

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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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South Africa
Caxton Magazines
50 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
agri gdp better, but not at its best

There weren’t many surprises, nor much good news, among the second-quarter (Q2) GDP results that were released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) during the second week of September. As was expected, due to the effects of the COVID-19 business lockdown, on top of an already ailing economy, GDP fell by just over 16% between the first and second quarters of 2020, giving a negative annualised growth rate of 51%. As Stats SA explained in a press release, an annualised growth rate shows what growth would be over a full year if the quarter-on-quarter growth rate were to occur four times in succession. Agriculture performed well. The primary agriculture, forestry and fishing industries, which together account for agriculture GDP as measured by Stats SA, were the only positive contributors to GDP…

4 min.
will the pandemic change how people eat for good?

The views expressed in our weekly opinion piece do not necessarily reflect those of Farmer’s Weekly. This article has been compiled from articles published by RSA Group and PMA Southern Africa to reflect the conversation that took place between RSA Group CEO Jaco Oosthuizen and Dr William Li during a public session of the 2020 PMA Fresh Connections: Southern Africa conference. For queries, email Jonell Fourie, personal assistant to Jaco Oosthuizen, at jonell.fourie@rsa.co.za, or Lianne Jones, country manager PMA Southern Africa, at Ljones@pma.com. “South Africa has coped bravely with the direct medical threat of COVID-19, but the pandemic has nonetheless exposed how vulnerable local communities are in terms of baseline health. The virus poses particularly severe risks for people with underlying health conditions, obesity and non-communicable diseases, underpinning many COVID-19 hospital admissions. According to…

2 min.
farmer’s diary

Handy skills 28 SEPTEMBER TO 2 OCTOBER BEING ABLE TO FIX THINGS AROUND YOUR HOME OR FARM CAN SAVE YOU MONEY. THAT IS WHY THIS COURSE OFFERS DELEGATES THE OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN A FEW HANDY SKILLS, SUCH AS OPENING BLOCKED SEWERAGE PIPES, FIXING GUTTERS AND REPAIRING WALL CRACKS, AMONGST MANY OTHERS. 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 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…

3 min.
drought continues to cause devastation

The devastating drought that has plagued various parts of South Africa for several years has brought the farming community of Prieska to a halt. Farmers in the area have been on their knees for more than a year, with cattle farmers in particular taking strain. Herd sizes have been depleted and, in some cases, farmers have had to close shop as they watch their animals starve to death. This is the grim picture portrayed by Philip Roux, a Beefmaster Group cattle farmer and vice-chairperson of the non-profit organisation Prieska Droogtehulp. Roux is also a resident of this drought-stricken area in the Northern Cape. He says the community is confronted daily by the impact of the drought. “Farmers who have been in the area for generations are simply no longer able to afford…

3 min.
woolmen don’t like the idea

47 YEARS AGO Three prominant wool producers, who wished to remain anonymous, raised concerns about the possible closure of the Durban port and the effect this would have on the handling of wool exports. Will the closure of three of the Republic’s ports (Durban, Cape Town and East London) be a feasible proposition? Can South African Railways possibly give such a scheme its blessing? This was the question posed to me by three leading figures in the wool industry. “Does the South African Wool Board and its Committee of Inquiry into Wool Marketing really think that Mr Schoeman will allow his railway budget to be disrupted to such an extent that his trucks will carry full loads of Natal, Transvaal and Free State wool to Port Elizabeth and return empty to Durban? “It must…

3 min.
sa exports in danger if zimbabwe increases maize production

Maize is one of the key agricultural commodities that Zimbabwe continues to import; however, the country has the favourable climatic conditions to change this dynamic. Between 2015 and 2019, Zimbabwe’s maize imports averaged 17% of overall agricultural imports, which were valued at US$795 million (about R13,2 billion), according to data from Trade Map. In the fist week of September, the Zimbabwean government made an important statement aimed at boosting the country’s maize production. The government said it aimed to encourage farmers to plant 1,5 million hectares of maize, which would be a 3% increase from the five-year average area. This is plausible as the country managed to plant 1,9 million and 1,7 million hectares in 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 respectively. However, what makes this particular announcement significant is the yield target, set at 2,4t/ha. WHITE MAIZE…