• South African agriculture is comprised of mainly two categories of farmers -- the subsistence farmers in the former homeland areas and the large-scale commercial  farmers. This is in contrast with the situation in many other countries in the world where one would find a whole range of farm sizes, ranging from the very small or subsistence farmer to the very large farmer/agribusiness. 

  • The agriculture sector survived a year of rising uncertainty in 2018, but with the national elections and the threat of drought looming, 2019 will be every bit as challenging. 

  • A point that we South Africans always overlook is that South Africa, like the rest of Africa, is a neocolonial society. We like to think of ourselves, if not as a developed country, at least as very close to being one.

  • In the past 5 years, volatile weather conditions have kept the South African producers on their “knees”. Through these trying times they’ve always remained resilient. Another dry and trying season.

  • So much more goes into feeding the planet than the assembly of ingredients on our plates. Whether it’s soil quality, availability of clean water or climate change, the global farming community is constantly having to overcome challenges to grow fresh produce in a sustainable manner. From autonomous robots to satellites and cutting-edge science, farmers around the world are deploying new technologies to help them work in smart and cost-effective ways.

  • Precision Agriculture Company Aerobotics and major farming co-operative based in Humansdorp, The Co-op (also known as “Die Koöperasie”), have formed a partnership that will make Aerobotics’ leading tree crop analytics technology and software available to 1,300 farms in the Eastern Cape. This partnership is the first of its kind in South Africa and is set to serve as a template for others like it in the future.

  • When policymakers talk about “green jobs,” they tend to default to examples in solar power, wind and other sources of renewable energy—or perhaps manufacturing and supply chain management. They’re less likely to talk about agriculture.

  • Agbiz CEO Dr John Purchase on Tuesday shared the agricultural sector’s five-year business plan at the Business Unity South Africa Business Economic Indaba, held in Midrand.

  • Agriculture minister, Senzeni Zokwana and the Indian Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Minister Parshottam Rupala held a bilateral meeting in New Delhi, India on 24 January, 2019. This bilateral meeting was aimed at strengthening cooperation between the two countries in the fields of agriculture, forestry and fisheries with a focus on crop and animal production, research, food and nutrition security, agro-forestry, aquaculture and agro-processing.

  • The decrease in the total gross producer value (GPV) of maize for 2019 will be limited by increased maize prices. Due to the severe drought in 2016 the increased price levels maintained the gross producer value of production. It is thus expected to be the case in 2019 as well.

  • So much more goes into feeding the planet than the assembly of ingredients on our plates. Whether it’s soil quality, availability of clean water or climate change, the global farming community is constantly having to overcome challenges to grow fresh produce in a sustainable manner.

  • In 2017, there were nearly 40 million more people living in hunger than there were in 2015, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)—a number that sets global progress against undernutrition back nearly a decade, despite a global, UN-led commitment to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030.

  • Agriculture featured prominently in the State of the Nation Address (SONA) by President Cyril Ramaphosa on 07 February 2019. The focus was the sector’s ability to absorb labour, and also untapped opportunities to ensure inclusive, export-led growth.

  • Underneath is an interpreted summary of the aspects covered in the SONA on agriculture. (Full SONA attached in MSWord). It will be interesting to see how the national budget on the 20th February will allocate funds in support of the vision set out in the SONA. The importance of agriculture was highlighted a couple of times.

  • The United Nations reports that about 1/3 of the food produced globally each year is lost or wasted, and I’d reckon that number is not too surprising.

  • By now there is little doubt that the younger generation is rapidly changing the look and feel of the agricultural industry. Although inevitable, it still may be tough to swallow the fact that millennials now outnumber the baby boomers in this country. We’ve often talked about what this all means for the farmer and for food production in general. For this generation of up-and-comers food is personal. How, where and by whom food is produced matters a lot to them.

  • South Africa’s primary agricultural employment improved marginally to 849 000 jobs in the last quarter of 2018 compared to the previous quarter. Although this data is encouraging in a climate where South Africa is exploring strategies that could unlock job creation in the agricultural sector, the country is still far behind its target of creating a million agricultural jobs by 2030 as envisaged in the National Development Plan.

  • Agriculture has become a carbon-intensive endeavour. Crop, livestock and fossil fuel use in agriculture account for about 25 per cent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

  • Although I use peanut butter almost daily, for some reason I had not looked at its production pipeline in the past couple of months until today when I received a call from a Zambian trader looking to export peanuts (groundnuts) to South Africa. This prompted me to do some back of the envelope calculations on the South African supplies for the 2019/20 marketing year, which starts on 01 March 2019.

  • For decades, agriculture has been associated with the production of essential food crops. At present, agriculture above and beyond farming includes forestry, dairy, fruit cultivation, poultry, bee keeping, mushroom, arbitrary, etc. Today, processing, marketing, and distribution of crops and livestock products etc. are all acknowledged as part of current agriculture.Thus, agriculture could be referred to as the production, processing, promotion and distribution agricultural products.