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Farmer's Weekly 09 July 2021

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
CTP Limited
R 21,50
R 698,75
50 Issues

in this issue

2 min
municipal collapse is ruining rural sa

Over the past few years, Farmer’s Weekly has reported extensively on the deterioration of infrastructure in South Africa due to a lack of maintenance. In this issue, three articles (pages 13, 14 and 16) discuss the collapse of rural towns and South Africa’s road networks. In the past few months, we also ran a number of stories on the crisis at the country’s ports, which are now ranked as some of the worst-performing in the world. As Justin Chadwick, CEO of the Citrus Growers’ Association of Southern Africa, says on page 16, it is no longer only the economy that is being hurt by the state of ruin; the appalling condition of roads, especially in rural areas, has become life-threatening for the people who have to use them. We have now…

6 min
droughts: a global crisis that hits the poorest

The views expressed in our weekly opinion piece do not necessarily reflect those of Farmer’s Weekly. This article is an edited excerpt from the ‘Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction: Special Report on Drought 2021’ by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction. To read the full report, visit undrr.org/publication/gar-special-report-drought-2021. “At least 1,5 billion people have been directly affected by drought this century, and the economic cost has been estimated at US$124 billion [about R1,76 trillion]. The true cost is likely to be many times higher, however, as estimates do not include much of the effect of droughts in developing countries. According to ‘Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction: Special Report on Drought 2021’, most of the world will be living with water stress within the next few years. Demand…

2 min
on the spoor

24 July to 6 August, Botswana The EcoTracker Course: Animal Tracks and Tracking involves all aspects of tracking wild animals, including track and sign identification, trailing, and survival techniques of wildlife. Delegates will have the opportunity to practise trailing wild animals themselves under the guidance of an EcoTracker instructor. They will also be taught how to interpret mammal and bird alarm calls and animal behaviour, as well as how to assess the age of tracks. Email Terry Gouws at enquiries@ecotraining.co.za, or phone her on 013 752 2532. CONFERENCES, WORKSHOPS AND EXPOS 19 TO 21 JULY UN Food Systems Pre-Summit (online). Visit un.org/en/food-systems-summit/pre-summit. 28 TO 29 JULY Aquaponics and Smart Greenhouse Technology Conference, Radisson Blu Hotel, Sandton. (Delegates may also attend online.) Email Connie Mamabolo at connie@mathematraining.co.za, or phone her on 011 862 4001. 11 TO 12 AUGUST Bushveld Dorper…

3 min
the first disease-free dry beans

In the late 1970s, major breakthroughs in the production of disease-free dry beans heralded a boom for farmers in terms of higher yields. Boom times are ahead for dry-bean growers in South Africa, with yields likely to rise by 25% or more with the introduction next September of the country’s first disease-free seed. This fillip to South Africa’s R28 million [about R832 million] annual dry-bean industry will see farmers putting substantially more into their pockets from crops that will not only be higher yielding, but where quality will be better than previously known. This happy state of affairs in the drybean industry will be as a direct result of a two-year scheme of seed purification instigated by the Department of Agricultural Technical Services under the direction of department agronomist AJ Liebenberg. BENEFITS OF SEED…

3 min
technology-led agricultural insurance to broaden inclusivity in sector

Despite numerous setbacks caused by COVID-19, optimism in South Africa’s agricultural value chain recently reached a six-year high. This suggests that the industry is bouncing back, although the full impact of the lockdown is still coming to the fore. Farmers have adapted to a new normal, but risks remain, from theft and natural disasters to pandemic-linked crises, such as an excess of beer-grade barley due to the alcohol ban. Insurance plays a pivotal role in proactive risk mitigation, with technology increasingly catalysing broader inclusivity. Hanlie Kroese, head of Segment Solutions at Santam Agriculture, says: “Santam believes in proactive risk management and mitigation strategies that employ technology to add lasting value to our clients. “We’re harnessing the power of technology and next-generation learning to ensure we set the benchmark for agricultural insurance in Africa. “Throughout…

1 min
unigrain chairperson passes away

Hennie de Lange, chairperson of the Unigrain and neXgro group, passed away on 21 June 2021 at the age of 61 due to COVID-19-related complications. Gert van der Walt, managing director of neXgro, remembers De Lange as a mentor, visionary, and beloved friend. “Hennie [made] deep footprints in South African agriculture for 33 years, and was a pioneer in the trade between farm and mill, as well as logistics management.” Van der Walt added that the company would continue to focus on its business and pursue De Lange’s vision. May De Lange’s family and friends find comfort during this time.…