Business & Finance
Farmer's Weekly

Farmer's Weekly 28 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

2 min.
sa is holding the rest of africa back

While still considered by many foreign investors as the ‘gateway into Africa’, South Africa’s dismal economic performance has been a drag on the rest of the continent, which, in 2019, was home to six of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies, namely Rwanda, Ethiopia, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Tanzania and Benin. There are a number of positive signs in the recently released African Development Bank’s (AfDB) 2020 African Economic Outlook on the future growth of African economies. While the continent still has to grapple with deep inequality, high youth unemployment, and a disconnect between the skills required in the workplace and the type of education offered in schools and institutions of higher learning, signs of growth and reform are plentiful in many African countries, but not in South Africa. As the report states, for…

4 min.
us-south africa trade: what does the future hold?

“The US, led by President Donald Trump’s administration, recently updated the list of developing countries benefitting from its trade remedy laws. South Africa, China and India, among other countries, were removed from the exemption list. In addition, South Africa’s preferential market access to the US is under review after the United States Trade Representative accepted a complaint from the International Intellectual Property Alliance that alleges South Africa’s Copyright Amendment Bill and Performers’ Protection Amendment Bill fail to “provide adequate and effective protection” of US copyrights. A negative ourcome may result in South Africa losing its preferential market access under the African Trade and Opportunities Act (AGOA) and the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). South African exports to the US may then be subject to the same general duties as products from…

2 min.

CONFERENCES, WORKSHOPS & EXPOS 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. 23 TO 27 MARCH Aquaculture Association of Southern Africa Conference, Stellenbosch University.Email deidre@iafrica.com. 26 TO 27 MARCH Environmental Waste and Landfill Management, Emperors Palace, Johannesburg.Email admin@maphosam.co.za. 31 MARCH TO 1 APRIL The Water Show Africa, Sandton Convention Centre. Email Brian Shabangu at brian.shabangu@terrapinn.com. 13 TO 14 APRIL The Solar Power and Wind Renewable Energy Show, Cairo. Email Prima Castelino at prima.castelino@terrapinn.com. COURSES & TRAINING 2 TO 4 MARCH Sheep: Artificial Insemination, George. Email Lily Rothman at office@rltsafrica.com. 2 TO 6 MARCH Veld Management, Botanical Gardens, Pretoria. Email Frits van Oudtshoorn at courses@alut.co.za, or phone him on 071 866 1331. 4 MARCH Breedplan/Genomics, Ebuhlanti Wagyus, Marble Hall.Email office@lrf.co.za. 4 MARCH Lucerne Hay Grading, Cradock. Email Sunet Vermeulen-Fenthum at sunet@lusern.org. 4 TO 5…

3 min.
‘don’t always point to climate change!’

The following letter was submitted by Farmer’s Weekly reader Grahame McLeod, and concerns the article ‘SA’s drought vulnerability will hamper agriculture in 2020’, which was published in the 24 January issue. McLeod is a senior lecturer of agriculture at the Tonota College of Education in Botswana. I would like to offer some comment on the aforementioned article. The article points to climate change as the cause of the ongoing bushfires in Australia. But is this true? All the articles and TV reports on these fires conveniently forget to mention two things: 1) the Eucalyptus tree, which makes up much of the forests in New South Wales and Victoria, is one of the most flammable trees on the planet, as the leaves of these trees contain a lot of oil; 2) climate…

3 min.
from our archives

8 APRIL 1970 Underground water storage 50 YEARS AGO As temperatures around the world rise, the evaporation rate of water is also increasing. The concept of ‘recharging’ rainwater into boreholes to reduce the rate of evaporation was thus explored. South Africa’s most valuable natural resource is water. The scarcity of water prompted government to declare 1970 a water year, aimed at making every citizen water-conscious. Dr Charles Porszasz, a hydrologist with the Department of Water Affairs, in co-operation with Gordon Fraser, a geologist for Gypsum Industries, has worked out a general plan of investigation on underground storage, by means of recharging rainwater into boreholes after a heavy downpour. There is not enough information in South Africa at present regarding the practicability of recharge and storage underground, and this programme is in the nature of…

3 min.
mixed bag of global grain market dynamics for 2019/2020

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) released the monthly update of its ‘World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates’ report in the second week of February. The commodities typically featured in this report are wheat, maize and soya bean. As South Africa is generally a net importer of wheat, it is vital for us to understand global wheat supplies and other market developments. THE FORECAST FOR SA’S COMMERCIAL MAIZE PRODUCTION IN 2020 IS 12,5 MILLION TONS In the 2019/2020 season, South Africa’s wheat imports could increase 33% year-on-year (y/y) to 1,8 million tons, which is 13% higher than the five-year average import volume. The wheat supply situation was exacerbated by the decline in domestic wheat production, on the back of unfavourable weather conditions in parts of the Western Cape late in 2019. Fortunately, there…