Business & Finance
Farmer's Weekly

Farmer's Weekly 21 February 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

3 min.
how much will you give to save sa?

For the last year or so, I have often thought about what occurred in South Korea in 1997 and 1998 when the country faced economic ruin due to the impact of the Asian economic crisis. At the time, with few options left, South Korea had to accept a massive US$58 billion (about R862,48 billion in nominal value) bailout package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). What followed is still considered one of the greatest demonstrations of patriotism and citizen solidarity in history. Responding to a call from their government to contribute to lifting South Korea out of its monstrous debt trap, nearly 3,5 million people lined up to voluntarily donate household gold in the form of jewellery, coins, medals, trinkets and bars to help their country. In as little as two…

4 min.
water metering: the first step towards more efficient use?

“In his ‘From the Desk of the President’ letter of 7 October 2019, President Cyril Ramaphosa wrote: “Unless we take drastic measures to conserve water sources and promote efficient use, water insecurity will become the biggest developmental and economic challenge facing this country. Our current energy challenges will seem small by comparison.” We are all aware how great South Africa’s energy challenges are, so these words put the water situation into perspective. The need for regulated water efficiency measures cannot be overstated. According to the 2019 Master Plan of the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), if water-use demand in the country continues to grow at current levels, by 2030 demand could exceed supply (from available surface water and groundwater) by about 17%. This is likely to bring water-efficiency measures sharply into…

2 min.
undercover farming

CONFERENCES, WORKSHOPS & EXPOS 19 T0 21 FEBRUARY Argus Africa Fertiliser Conference, Cape Town. Email Andrea Ribeiro at fertsconferences@argusmedia.com. 24 TO 25 FEBRUARY Undercover Farming Expo, CSIR International Conference Centre, Pretoria. Visit undercoverfarmingexpo.co.za. 27 TO 28 FEBRUARY Cannabis Conference, Garden Court Hotel, East London.Email moddie@vukanicomms.co.za. 3 TO 5 MARCH Animal Feed Manufacturers’ Association Forum, Sun City.Visit afmaforum.co.za. 3 TO 5 MARCH IPPS Annual Conference, Cradle Moon Lakeside Game Lodge, Muldersdrift. Visit sa.ipps.org. 26 TO 27 MARCH Environmental Waste and Landfills Management, Emperors Palace, Johannesburg.Email admin@maphosam.co.za. 31 MARCH TO 1 APRIL Power Africa, Sandton Convention Centre. Email Precious Jiyana at precious.jiyana@terrapinn.com. 31 MARCH TO 1 APRIL The Water Show Africa, Sandton Convention Centre. Email Brian Shabangu at brian.shabangu@terrapinn.com. COURSES & TRAINING 24 TO 28 FEBRUARY Beef Cattle Farming and Production, George. Email Lily Rothman at office@rltsafrica.com. 2 TO 4 MARCH Sheep: Artificial Insemination, George. Email Lily Rothman at office@rltsafrica.com. 2 TO 6 MARCH Veld…

3 min.
a plan for successful land redistribution

The following was submitted by Hugh R Lee as comment on the Draft Constitution Eighteenth Amendment Bill (Section 25 amendment). The deadline for public comment on this bill has been extended to 29 February. All stakeholders are encouraged to submit their comments to section25@parliament.gov.za. I know many groups with much more knowledge have submitted very good reasons why there is really no need to amend Section 25 of the Constitution to achieve the required land redistribution. However, I wish to submit the following points: • It is of prime importance to move away from the term ‘land’ and rather concentrate on ‘land use’. • Without a clear audit of land use in South Africa, we are not debating wisely on facts, but trying to score points based on emotion, which may backfire through economic…

3 min.
from our archives

27 JANUARY 1995 Narrow cast points for minimum tillage 25 YEARS AGO As traditional agricultural tillage practices made way for reduced and minimum tillage, manufacturers met farmers’ needs through new tine and point designs. Reduced tillage must be aimed at if cereal farmers are to preserve the soil while sustaining grain farming in most parts of the cereal-producing areas of South Africa. This can take two forms: by limiting structural soil damage by reducing the amount of tillage, and secondly by minimising the amount of damage done to the soil on each pass by paying special attention to point design. Ideally, a combination of the two should be the objective, says Marius Ras, of IMC in Brackenfell in the Cape. Ras says as farmers sought out minimum tillage implements, attention turned to the use of narrow…

3 min.
how shifts in gm policy will open up african markets for sa

The African continent has been widely resistant to the adoption of genetically modified (GM) crops. South Africa is an exception and produces approximately 80% of its maize from GM seeds. This means that South Africa’s capacity to supply African markets is limited under the sub-region’s stringent no GM policy. However, natural disasters such as droughts and pest invasions have resulted in renewed thinking about revising GM policies. The current season has seen Zimbabwe having another sub-par season due to the late onset of rain. At the same time, East Africa is being ravaged by swarms of locusts that have caused extensive damage to crops and pastures. RELAXATION OF POLICIES The effects of these exogenous factors are leading to a relaxation in GM policies, which are opening up key markets, and South Africa is now…