Cottoning on to better smallholder farming

Two smallholder cotton communities in Limpopo and Mpumalanga packed their last woolpack by hand in August, after welcoming new baling machines. With automated baling these communities can look forward to making bigger margins on their cotton crop. African Farming’s Robyn Joubert reports.

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Turnkey solutions for future farmers

Agricultural services company FarmSol Holdings is keenly focused on supporting the needs of black farmers. The FarmSol model aims to incubate emerging farmers into thriving businesses, by linking them to the key pillars of growth: access to markets, finance, training and mentorship. Peter Mashala spoke to FarmSol managing director Aron Kole about their track record in sustainable development.

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No-till farmer thrives with fast-moving veggies

Sithembele Malgas has run a successful vegetable and beef cattle farm in the Eastern Cape for 20 years, employing eight full-time workers. Although he moved out of agricultural extension services many years ago, his passion for transferring skills remains and he continues to mentor and inspire upcoming farmers. Peter Mashala visited him on his Idutywa farm.

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Tiger Brands’ big appetite for growing smallholder farmers

Tiger Brands, the country’s largest food manufacturer, is committed to supporting South Africa’s black farmer suppliers through its enterprise and supplier development programme. A key aspect of this is the aggregator model, which builds both smallholder and commercial farmers. Peter Mashala caught up with Litha Kutta, Tiger Brands’ enterprise and supplier development director, to learn more about this initiative.

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Retirement reignites a passion for farming

Solly Mafuya started farming part-time in 1991 but spent most of his career in the corporate world. When he retired in 2008, he turned to farming full time, pinning his hope on the versatile Dohne Merino sheep breed. He spoke to Peter Mashala about his long-standing passion for the industry.

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Ask the vet: Foot and Mouth Disease

Foot and mouth disease has been in the news lately, impacting the red-meat value chain and farmers very negatively. The disease has spread to an extent never seen before in South Africa. The reliance on livestock farming makes poor rural households much more vulnerable to the impact of the disease.

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In conversation with FNB Agric

In uncertain times communication is a critical commodity that should be used in abundance. Agriculture is currently in a vice grip due to high input costs, challenges around infrastructure, and increasingly restricted access to credit, says Theo Vorster of Galileo Capital.

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pests; potatoes

Finished with late blight

There’s good news for potato farmers struggling with late blight. Corteva Agriscience has just introduced a new fungicide, ZorvecTM Encantia ® (Reg. no. L11227, Act 36 of 1947), to specifically combat late blight, a bacterium that causes damage to potatoes.

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