Business - Business features
Farmers Weekly
Commercial success from ‘instant’ trees

The journey of Themba Trees Tree Farm near Grabouw started in her backyard, says Caroline de Villiers, the Western Cape department of agriculture’s Top Commercial Female Entrepreneur for 2016. Today, the 12ha wholesale tree farm boasts more than 50 000 indigenous and ornamental trees.
Young agripreneur links small-scale farmers to markets

Agribusiness entrepreneur, Leeko Makoene, has a grand vision for South Africa’s young farmers, but thinks a mindshift is needed to kick-start renewal in the sector. She explained to Wilma den Hartigh why the country needs more agribusinesses and fewer farming projects.
Agri insurance: why more and more farmers are opting out

The hefty losses suffered in the agricultural sector as a result of the drought has raised questions about the relevance of agricultural insurance in today’s farming environment. Wilma den Hartigh asked agricultural insurers how farmers should be mitigating risk in the future.
The essence of organic brandy production

Edmund Oettle, South Africa’s only organic brandy producer, explains that his farming approach is a life choice. He speaks to Jay Ferreira about his business operation near Wellington in the Western Cape.
Côte d’Ivoire – bringing out the best in cocoa production

Cocoa may be the main ingredient in one of the world’s favourite confectioneries, but its production has, at times, been plagued by scandal. Efforts are underway in Côte d’Ivoire and elsewhere to bring about ethical cocoa production, says Lloyd Phillips.
Vertical farming - less space, less water, higher yield

Water scarcity and the lack of access to land are critical issues facing many farmers today. Jan du Plessis, general manager of CAN-SA, spoke to Gerhard Uys about his company’s water-efficient vertical farming operation.
Poultry: tips for better chicken house heating and ventilation

To raise healthy and uniform birds in a chicken house, it is essential to maintain optimal heating and ventilation at all times. Sonét Roux, technical advisor at Country Bird Holdings, explains to Wilma den Hartigh what this entails, and how it can help a farmer achieve top production rates.
Agritourism: what to offer and how to maximise income

There are numerous agritourism ideas out there – and many ways of generating income from visitors.
The sawmill that runs on wood gas power

With renewable energy becoming increasingly necessary, could wood gasification present a viable alternative? Lloyd Phillips spoke to a KwaZulu-Natal sawmiller who is experimenting with this question.
Managing a farming business in financial distress

Your farming business is in a one-way financial cul de sac. What remedies do you have at your disposal to solve the problem? Johan Botha, an attorney specialising in insolvencies, and agricultural consultant, Pietman Botha, offer some advice.
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This week's poll
Do you think there are equal opportunities for women & men in the South African agri sector?
No, a lot still needs to change
Yes, much progress has been made to empower women in agriculture
The playing field is slowly levelling out
Last week's poll
Have you received any aid or assistance for drought relief?
Yes, it has been a saving grace. (1.34%)
I received some assistance, but not enough. (44.78%)
No, I don’t know how or where to apply. (51.34%)
I have not been affected by the drought. (2.54%)
I received some assistance, but not enough. (44.78 %) Yes, it has been a saving grace. (1.34 %) I have not been affected by the drought. (2.54 %) No, I don’t know how or where to apply. (51.34 %) I received some assistance, but not enough. (44.78 %) Yes, it has been a saving grace. (1.34 %) I have not been affected by the drought. (2.54 %) No, I don’t know how or where to apply. (51.34 %)
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