• South Africa's wetlands play a key role in climate change mitigation and disaster risk reduction, writes Alanna Rebelo. Part of the answer to surviving climate change may be South Africa's wetlands.

  • The Expropriation Bill of 2019 was published in December last year for public comment. People might be surprised to find out that we had an Expropriation Bill in 2008 that was shelved, that there was a lesser known attempt in 2013 and that the 2015 bill that was published, went through four negotiated versions, and was almost passed before it was sent back to the National Assembly due to presumably concerns about public participation on provincial level. 

  • Although your body naturally generates nitric oxide, as you age the amount your body is capable of producing decreases greatly. Without intaking a sufficient amount of food, your health, physically and mentally, can begin to deteriorate in different ways.

  • I had feared that South Africa’s agricultural exports for 2018 would take a big knock because of the decline in the Western Cape’s agricultural production. But the statement released by Wines of South Africa (WOSA), a representative body of the country’s wine producers, late in January 2019 was encouraging.

  • TAU SA supports various countries’ concern over the threat the situation in South Africa holds for foreign investment.

  • Avocado goes on toast, in a smoothie, and yes, on pizza.

  • Farms that are being put on the market in South Africa have more to do with financial challenges and the impact of droughts, rather than fear around land expropriation without compensation.


    South Africa - FEBRUARY 2019

    The Honourable Minister of Finance, Mr Tito Mboweni, has called on South Africans to send him and his team ideas on how South Africa can boost its economic growth. The Treasury said in a statement on 24 January 2019 that the Minister would like to hear from South Africans about how the country can achieve faster and more equitable growth, and what the government can do differently to grow the economy.1)
    It is a privilege to have this opportunity and a pleasure to present this submission to the Minister of Finance.

    Fanie Brink

    An independent agricultural economist, advisor and mentor with more than 40 years of experience in the agricultural industry in South Africa. He was for almost 22 years a Senior Agricultural Economist with Agri SA and Deputy General Manager: Research and Development with Grain South Africa. He was the most of his career directly involved in the profitability and sustainability of grain and oilseeds production, food security and the
    development of a biofuels strategy for the government. He is also a member of a group of 30 economists in the country who evaluate and predict the state of the economy in South Africa on a monthly basis for the Business School of the University of Stellenbosch. He obtained a BSc-Agric degree from the University of the Free State in 1974 and a MSc- Agric degree from the University of Pretoria in 1978.

  • Know-how is the secret sauce of productivity and prosperity A fundamental question economists ask is why people in some parts of the world are able to produce so much more value than people in other places or in the same place at earlier times. A key part of the answer economists usually give is ‘technology’. But what is this?

  • South Africa is among a handful of countries that experience winter rainfall in some areas and summer rainfall in others. The southwestern tip of the country has a Mediterranean climate, with hot dry summers and cool wet winters. This is because mid-latitude cyclones migrate further north during winter, allowing the edge of the cold front arm to sweep across the southern most part of the country.

  • A survey released last week by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) confirms what many around the country already fear: the poor rains in the first half of the season and their inconsistency in the second have driven away farmers from the fields, blighted crops and left livestock teetering on the brink.

  • The power and water industries on the continent have responded with enthusiasm to the latest call for nominations for the sixth edition of the annual African Power, Energy & Water Industry Awards that returns to Cape Town on 15 May 2019.

  • The land reform dear to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is not only of concern to white farmers. As large landowners, mining groups are also afraid of paying the price of a massive and unbridled redistribution of land.

  • Although we wrote about South Africa’s agricultural trade last month, the recently released data for December 2018 paint a clear picture of the full year’s agricultural trade performance that is worth highlighting.

  • In his state of the nation address, President Ramaphosa was very clear on the need to develop agriculture for the benefit of all. However, inexplicably, he said sweet nothing about the perilous state of the sugar sector.

  • South Africa-based produce multinational Capespan has announced the formation of The Logistics Group (TLG) as an integrated logistics service provider.

  • In recent months, there has been a big crisis in the citrus production sector, especially in the case of oranges and mandarins, with prices falling below the production costs and plantations left unharvested.

  • The initial estimate for the 2018/2019 avocado season is between 15.5 and 16 million equivalent 4kg cartons, says Derek Donkin, CEO of umbrella body Subtrop. That is a reduction of around 6 million cartons on last year’s record crop, due partly to unfavourable weather conditions.

  • South Africa's efforts to curb rhino poaching continue to produce results, with 2018 figures revealing that incidents had dropped to 769, down from 1 028 in 2017.

  • Following the rain in the first part of February, are the prospects for drier conditions to follow for the last part of February and first week of March over the central to western and southern parts of the country and Namibia but possible high falls of rain possible over the north eastern parts with an intense tropical low that is likely to develop over Mozambique and adjacent areas.




Farming Diary


03.03.2020 - 03.05.2020


06.17.2020 - 06.19.2020

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