• It has become fashionable in conferences to say “let’s make agriculture sexy in order to attract the youth”. 

  • Since Zimbabwe’s land reform of 2000 – when around 8 million hectares of formerly large-scale commercial farmland was distributed to about 175,000 households – debates about the consequences for food security have raged.

  • Australian farmers are becoming increasingly proactive when it comes to succession planning, with close to 70 per cent reporting they are actively looking to incorporate the next generation into their business through transfer of assets or shared ownership, according to a recent survey commissioned by agribusiness specialist Rabobank.

  • Programme gives the subsistence farmers access to 90 of South Africa’s most successful commercial farmers, who serve as their mentors.

  • With summer’s end, the savviest farmers plan to harvest more than crops alone.

  • Just as the routine clinical herd testing performed by vets to address preventive or reproductive issues, the farmer’s financial planning should be reviewed on a regular basis by an expert who will adopt a holistic approach, taking into account every aspect.

  • 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


  • Back in 1870, almost half the U.S. workforce was employed in agriculture — today just two percent of Americans work on farms.

  • Smallholder farming has been neglected over the past 25 years of South Africa’s attempt to redistribute land taken away from black people during the apartheid era.

  • The proportion of smallholder farms globally may be much larger than previously thought, suggesting that their current contribution to global food production could be underestimated, a crowdsourcing study reveals.

  • Farmers across South Africa are warning the government they might not survive the current drought gripping South Africa. 

  • It is significant to mention, as the presence of the two Gs – God and Government – were a constant during the day’s well-attended proceedings – which were translated into three languages: Xhosa, Afrikaans and English.

  • Theo de Jager, President of World Farmers Organisation, brings the perspective of farmers to the climate change debate. This guest-post is part of Farming First’s ‘Farmers Taking Action on Climate Change’ campaign for the COP25.

  • Food security in Sub Saharan Africa is under threat with the continent losing an average US$4 billion in post-harvest losses annually, hence the need for farmers on the continent to invest in modern storage methods to avert acute hunger,  the United Nations food agency has advised.

  • The government has today confirmed nearly £3 billion of funding for 2020 to support farmers once the UK leaves the EU.

  • Something over 82 million more people are alive this Christmas than have ever been alive before, as our world population moves inexorably towards the eight billion mark, due in now just over three years.

  •  Al Mawashi South Africa, the South African subsidiary of the Kuwait Stock Exchange listed Al Mawashi (KSE: KLTT) - one of the largest international livestock transport and trading companies in the world, announced the country’s first-ever live export, off-take agreement for sheep with emerging South African black livestock farmers.

  • Providing food for others has always required heroic efforts.

  • The total number of farms/farming units involved in the commercial agriculture industry in 2017 was 40 122.

  • The 21-day lockdown period may lead to a newfound respect for our food producers.

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