• Parliament is on track to finalise the redrafting of section 25 of the constitution, or the property clause, amid growing concern by investors about the government’s proposals to expropriate land without compensation.

  • South Africa’s FNB Sauvignon Blanc Top 10 as well as a unique line-up of Slovenian wines will be in the spotlight at this year’s Sauvignon Blanc SA TechnicalSeminar at Allée Bleue, Franschhoek on Wednesday 20 November 2019.

  • In his latest newsletter on climate and agricultural conditions, Johan van den Berg of Santam Agriculture says very dry conditions are currently dominating most of the country.

  • Hope doesn’t always spring eternal!

  • South Africa’s summer crop farmers are upbeat about the 2019/20 production season as is evident in the farmers’ intentions data released by the Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) this afternoon.

  • Fifty-four percent of South Africans are hungry or at risk of hunger.

  • Most European countries have a reasonable production, with Poland as a major exception, as the volumes there have dropped by no less than 40%.

  • One of South Africa’s richest people has launched a fund to provide “thousands of jobs over a few years”.

  • In its August 2019 economic strategy, Treasury outlined the laudable objective of increasing agricultural exports by R6 billion over the next ten years.

  • Recent rains in some parts of the country have renewed hope of a normal season after weeks of heat, dryness and decreasing dam levels.

  • The first Russia-Africa summit held last week concluded with an announcement that urged all participants to increase co-operation in security, science, environmental protection, trade and economic matters.

  • Over the past decade South Africa’s public finances have come under more and more strain.

  • Ahead of his Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) on Wednesday 30 October 2019, the SA Canegrowers Association (SACG) and the South African Farmers’ Development Association (SAFDA) call on Minister Tito Mboweni to halt the sugar tax, pending a full socio-economic impact assessment of it.

  • As South Africa grapples with falling dam levels and concerns about looming shortages of water, spare a thought for neighbours to the north.

  • A dramatic increase in suicide among framers – whose lives have become unbearable during the drought as a result of high debt, unsympathetic banks and other financial service providers, and exploiting lawyers – has the agricultural community worried.

    Although the ANC has been threatening with expropriation without compensation for years now, it is the banks and credit providers that are calling in the debt of drought-stricken farmers on a daily basis and evicting them from their farms. The sharpest point of this practice is when hundreds of farmers – who have been farming on their farms for generations, and whose debt is a fraction of the value of the farm, but who could settle the debt after one or two good seasons – end up on the streets without jobs or refuge.

    During disastrous droughts there are very few buyers at auctions, and after a lifetime’s work and development of a farm, these farms are sold at prices much lower than the farmer’s outstanding debt. Moreover, the farmer is still held responsible for the remainder of his debt even after his farm has been sold.

    Many of these farmers would have been able to pull themselves from debt after one or two good seasons. Not everything legal is always morally justifiable. The drive for higher profits for shareholders in banks and agricultural businesses cannot be reconciled with the suffering that a country and its farmers are subject to during destructive natural disasters such as a drought.

    Saai will gather as much information as possible on the extent and intensity of the problem to investigate possible collective actions and solutions in cooperation with affected farmers. Thereafter, Saai will liaise with banks and other creditors and, if necessary, apply pressure to government to change the regulative environment so that exploitation and greedy actions by megacorporations are eliminated.

    The financial positions of farmers who are bowled out by the drought are dire, and their families are at breaking point. Help us to identify them and also where the pressure is coming from. Send email with the information to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

    Saai pak skuldeisers om familieboere op hul plase te hou

    ’n Dramatiese toename in selfdood onder boere – wie se lewens weens die ergste droogte in dekades deur ’n hoë skuldlas, ongenaakbare banke en ander finansiële diensverskaffers, en uitbuiterprokureurs ondraaglik gemaak word – het die landbougemeenskap diep bekommerd.

    Hoewel die ANC vir jare al met onteiening sonder vergoeding dreig, is dit banke en ander kredietverskaffers wat daagliks droogtegeteisterde boere se skuld oproep en hulle van hul plase afsit. Die skerpste punt van die praktyk is wanneer honderde boere – wat geslagte lank al op hul plase boer met skuld van ’n fraksie van hul plaaswaarde, maar wat in een goeie seisoen dié skuld sou kon delg – sonder werk of heenkome op straat beland.

    In die rampspoedige droogte is daar min kopers op veilings, en ná ’n leeftyd se werk en opbou van ’n plaas word dié plase deur banke verkoop teen pryse wat minder as die boer se uitstaande skuld is. Boonop word die boer ná die verkoop van sy plaas steeds vir die uitstaande bedrag aanspreeklik gehou.

    Baie van hierdie boere sou hulself in een of twee goeie seisoene uit hul skuld kon boer. Nie alles wat wettig is, is noodwendig moreel regverdigbaar nie. Die dryf na hoër winste vir aandeelhouers in banke en landbou-ondernemings is onversoenbaar met die swaarkry wat ’n land en sy boere ly in ’n verwoestende natuurramp soos ’n droogte.

    Saai gaan soveel as moontlik inligting oor die omvang en intensiteit van die probleem insamel om moontlike kollektiewe aksie en oplossings te ondersoek saam met boere wat hierdeur geraak word. Daarna sal Saai met banke en ander skuldeisers skakel en, indien nodig, ook druk op die regering plaas om die regulerende omgewing só te wysig dat uitbuiting deur en gierige optredes van megakorporasies ingeperk word.

    Die finansiële posisie van boere wat deur die droogte uitgeknikker is, is benard en hul families is op breekpunt. Help ons om hulle te identifiseer, en ook waar die druk op hulle vandaan kom. Stuur ’n e-pos met hierdie inligting na This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

    Dr. Theo de Jager


  • In a recently published study on the political activities of the soft drinks industry in the lead up to South Africa introducing a sugar tax, we outlined the complex and systematic way in which big corporations and business associations misrepresented evidence to the country’s National Treasury.

  • Promotional activity for the South African stone fruit industry is underway and growers are optimistic about the season ahead. 

  • he olive oil industry wants more government oversight. On Monday, the American Olive Oil Producers Association (AOOPA) formally requested the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) set and enforce quality standards for different kinds of olive oil.

  • The private sector and public entities  pledged new investments during the government's latest investment conference, which is aimed at bolstering the struggling economy.

  • China and Russia stood out as the more difficult markets of the 2019 citrus season, says Snyman Kritzinger of Grown4U, a grower-exporter of citrus from the Sundays River and Gamtoos valleys in the Eastern Cape.




Farming Diary


07.15.2020 - 07.17.2020


08.11.2020 - 08.14.2020


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