Agribusiness

New markets for SA farmers

As the economic crisis in Europe closes doors to agri-exporters, markets in other parts of the globe are opening. Robyn Joubert reports on export opportunities in Iran, Australia and Vietnam

Where using bagasse for green energy production works

In Mauritius, the sugar industry co-generates a significant proportion of the country's electricity needs, using bagasse as feedstock.

Rates rumble in Beaufort West

Farmers in Beaufort West are taxed R3 104 (R2 500 after rebates) per annum for each R1 million their farm is worth, while farmers under the adjoining Baviaans municipality are paying about R95 per R1 million. This indicates problems in the application of the new Municipal Property Rates Act, which farmers need to be aware of.

Finding water for the Vaal

If nothing is done to increase water availability in the Vaal River water supply system - including clamping down on illegal water use by irrigation farmers - it will be the farmers themselves who first feel the pinch of a severe drought-like deficit.

Increasing crop yields with trees

Evergreen agriculture combines conservation farming and agroforestry to create what proponents call an 'out of the box solution' to increase crop yield, improve soil, make better use of scarce rainwater and absorb atmospheric carbon. Alan Harman investigates.

Size matters

Charl Senekal's achievements over the past 30 years have made him a 'super farmer' - he's got big ideas and the guts to follow them through. He told Robyn Joubert about his success with mechanisation and economy of scale.

Major conservation win for famers

'KwaMandlangampisi' might be a bit of a mouthful, but it's a name to savour because it's the country's first Protected Environment, and it bars an important catchment area from mining. Heather Dugmore finds out how this giant step for conservation in South Africa carries a range of other benefits for farmers.

Harvesters keep American farmers in business

For six months every year, the Eberts family and other contract harvesters are on the road, cutting crops for farmers across the American Midwest, from the Texas border in the south to the Canadian border in the north. The job takes dedication, as machinery is expensive and rain can hold up crew, who sometimes work for up to 18 hours straight.

How banana flour is helping Ugandan farmers

A presidential pilot project in Uganda is using value-adding to exploit a massive banana surplus, producing banana flour with biofuel as a byproduct. Robyn Joubert reports.

Animal improvement ‘needs a rethink’

Kevin Watermeyer, president of the Nguni Cattle Breeders' Society of South Africa, shares his views about the way forward for animal improvement and the future of the Nguni. Heather Dugmore reports.

Harrison Hope -The Eastern Cape’s first wine estate

American missionaries Ronnie and Janet Vehorn travelled to South Africa to preach to the Xhosa. Now they've fulfilled their dream of establishing the Eastern Cape's first wine estate along the Klipplaat River near the former Ciskei town of Whittlesea.

Struggling to farm in a land of plenty

Eastern Cape's Umnga flats was once a highly productive commercial farming area. But it slipped into decay in the early 1980s, when commercial farmers were relocated and the farms were leased to emerging farmers and incorporated into the former Transkei bantustan.

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Technology and animal welfare improve piggery profits

Pig stud breeder and farmer CP Kriek is convinced that contented pigs are more productive. For this reason, he has brought his operation, Taaibosch Piggery, in line with European standards...
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