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Farmer's Weekly

Farmer's Weekly 22 - 29 May 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

3 min.
the media in peril

During the first week of Level 4 of the lockdown, which has been imposed in South Africa to slow the initial spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the tragic news broke that Caxton Magazines, the division within the Caxton publishing group that publishes Farmer’s Weekly, would be closing the majority of its titles. After five weeks in lockdown, this was the worst possible end to what had already been a strange and frightening period. I and the rest of the Farmer’s Weekly team were relieved and grateful that out of all the print titles, our magazine was the only one that would be retained within the larger company, and that the magazine would continue to be published. But we don’t operate in isolation. Many of the support staff and many…

5 min.
what covid-19 has taught us about food security

At a time when most industries will be reducing employment, it is hoped that agriculture will at least maintain employment in primary activities. Agriculture has kept its employment levels up because by nature it is a labour-intensive sector, employing nearly 900 000 people in South Africa directly. In fact, there are many agricultural industries, such as fruit exporters, that are currently increasing employment, albeit seasonal work. Another reason that agriculture deserves recognition is that on a commercial level, it is a strong employment multiplier. This assists in alleviating poverty and even helps in the establishment of new businesses and investment. LESSONS FROM A CRISIS It is well documented that food production and availability is strategically crucial to any country, but the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis has also shown the importance of being food-secure;…

2 min.
important announcement!

Due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, South Africa’s National Coronavirus Command Council has announced a nationwide lockdown, resulting in many events in the Farmer’s Diary being cancelled or postponed. At the time of going to print, Farmer’s Weekly could not confirm whether some of the listed events had been officially cancelled. However, most of the organisations hosting these events are due to make announcements in this regard shortly. Readers will be kept up to date. Farmer’s Weekly urges its readers to contact the relevant organising body before attending any course or event to confirm whether the event has been cancelled or postponed. CANCELLED EVENTS 19 TO 20 MAY IFU Fruit Juice Conference, Spier Wine Farm, Stellenbosch. Visit ifu-fruitjuice.com/event/ JuiceConference2020. 24 JULY TO 2 AUGUST The Royal Show, Pietermaritzburg.Visit royalshow.co.za. 18 TO 20 AUGUST South African Sugar Technologists Association…

3 min.
agribusinesses must prepare for water shortages

Water has a vital role to play in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). From detecting the presence of COVID-19 in sewerage systems, to maintaining basic hygiene standards, ensuring an adequate water supply has never been more important. On 15 April 2020, Minister of the Department of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Lindiwe Sisulu published directions in terms of the Disaster Management Act 2002 to implement the emergency procurement of water supply and sanitation services, and deploy these to identified areas that lack water for basic hygiene purposes to combat the spread of COVID-19. COMMAND CENTRE The National Disaster Water Command Centre (NDWCC) has been established to achieve these objectives and will be staffed by representatives from various water boards, as well as officials from the department and municipalities.…

4 min.
from our archives

11 MAY 1990 Wouldn’t wood straighten matters? 30 YEARS AGO Robin Blyth began his toy-making business to help generate more money on the farm. As this article shows, this was a game changer. Habit dies hard, but the child in us even more so. While many farmers have an artistic flair of some kind, you don’t often come across one such as Robin Blyth of ‘Netherton’ near Elandslaagte, who makes toys for a living. Blyth says there was not enough work on Blyth Farm, which comprises 50ha, for both himself and his father. They keep a flock of 50 to 60 Dorper, Dohne Merino and Suffolk sheep, mainly for meat, and grow a little maize and oats to supplement winter diets. About another 1 300ha are leased. Having worked in Ladysmith for many years,…

3 min.
export bans should not be pursued, amid ample supplies

The last week of April brought further evidence that there is no need for protectionist policies on the global grains market, as there are abundant supplies available. Russia, Vietnam and Cambodia are among countries that recently announced export quotas and bans on rice and wheat exports. This led to an increase in global prices of these commodities because of the large export contribution these countries make. Vietnam and Cambodia collectively account for 18% of global rice exports, while Russia accounts for 10% of global wheat exports. Data recently released by the International Grains Council (IGC), shows that the 2020/2021 season will add to already high global grains supplies. The data suggests that in 2020/2021, global maize production could increase 4% year-on-year (y/y) to a new record high of 1,2 billion tons. This will…