The Zimbabwean government had asked for more vigilant border controls to stop the spread of the PPR (Peste des petits ruminants) virus in Zimbabwe, and to countries outside its borders,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thousands of small communal wool farmers will lose out on progress that has been made in their industry over the past 20 years, if the state does not make its contribution to the NWGA’s successful wool improvement project. By Fredalette Uys.
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