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Farmer's Weekly

Farmer's Weekly 20 March 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
R 21,50
R 1 075
50 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
dangerously close to the edge

Regular readers of Farmer’s Weekly will be familiar with the economic challenges facing farmers as a result of the cost-price squeeze and diminishing profit margins. In fact, profitability, or rather the lack thereof, is probably one of the greatest threats to farming at the moment. As any farmer will readily tell you, it is tough out there. Still, as an outsider, it is sometimes difficult to grasp just how difficult it really is for farmers. Any external event that has even the slightest impact on a farmer’s yield or income per ton has the potential to push that farmer into a debt trap that he/she will struggle to escape from if a hard season is not immediately followed by at least two particularly good seasons. This is why a sizeable number of…

5 min.
diversification: an essential approach in a tough economy

“Successful farming businesses in South Africa today are often well-diversified, with interests both on-farm and off-farm, and frequently operating in two or more regions. Not long ago, diversification was a buzzword thrown around at almost every agricultural conference or meeting. But what exactly is diversification? In short, it is a technique that reduces risk by allocating investments among various financial instruments (in this case, agricultural products), industries or other categories. It aims to maximise returns by investing in a number of areas, each of which would react differently to the same event. Agricultural economists preach diversification to farmers to help them spread risk, and most farmers diversify within a category; for example, they might produce maize, soya bean and sunflower, or peaches, apricots and plums. But it seems as if…

2 min.

CONFERENCES, WORKSHOPS & EXPOS 18 TO 19 MARCH Women in Tech Africa, Cape Town. Visit women-in-tech-africasummit.com . 19 TO 20 MARCH Grain Handling Organisation of Southern Africa Symposium, Diaz Strand Hotel, Mossel Bay.Email info@grainorgsa.co.za. 19 TO 22 MARCH Cannabis Expo, GrandWest, Cape Town. Visit thecannabisexpo.co.za. 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. 16 TO 17 APRIL International Conference on Advanced Dairy Science and Technology, Cape Town.Visit waset.org. 23 APRIL Fertasa Annual Congress, Farm Inn Country Hotel, Silverlakes, Pretoria. Email Hermien Wouda at hermien@fertasa.co.za. 24 APRIL Agri NW Young Farmer Conference, Bona-Bona Game Lodge, Wolmaransstad. Email Marlize…

2 min.
aquaponics school project wins first place

Laerskool Kempton Park (LPK), a full-service school in the Ekhurhuleni municipality, recently received first place at the Gauteng Department of Education Service Excellence Awards 2019 for Best Project. LPK received the award for its innovative school aquaponics system and sensory garden. The project was established in 2017 with the help of INMED and Air Products (FW, 6 December 2019). The project not only aims to teach children the basics of aquaponics, but also focuses on traditional agricultural production. The food produced in the school’s aquaponics system and sensory garden is used in the school’s feeding scheme. Adoreé Louw, project manager at LKP, says the school is elated to have received the prestigious Tanzanite award. “Our school serves a community characterised by challenging socio-economic circumstances. Two years ago, we realised that we needed to…

3 min.
from our archives

5 AUGUST 1970 More intensive banana production 50 YEARS AGO With the emphasis on improved production, these Mpumalanga banana growers had to adapt and innovate. The cry in modern activities is for increased production and this is where the stress has been laid in the farming operations on Vergenoeg Landgoed at Kierpersol, Eastern Transvaal. Run by G Pieterse and DJ van Schalkwyk, these farms are being developed with the intention of producing larger quantities of good-quality bananas. Part of this programme of improvement lies in the replacement of old plantations and the preparation of new plantations. At present, 83 morgen [about 71ha] of ground is planted to bananas, of which 55 morgen [47ha] is in full production and the rest under newly planted material. Future plans include planting a further 20 morgen [17ha] of bananas. “New…

3 min.
sa risks losing differential trade agreements: part 2

In my previous article (FW, 6 March), I explored how the US’s adjustment of the list of developing and least developed countries considered for special and differential treatment under the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) countervailing duty law, and the subsidies and countervailing measures agreement law, will have ripple effects and unintended consequences for South Africa. This will be especially relevant in terms of the country’s eligibility as a beneficiary under the Generalised System of Preferences scheme and the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). Factors to consider include the ongoing debate on South Africa’s status as a developing or developed country; concerns about the country’s broader economic policy with regard to the protection of private property rights and the protection of intellectual property, among other issues; and concerns that may arise due…