Farmer’s Weekly brings you the latest agribusiness news and updates from South Africa and the rest of Africa.

Surviving tough times

Award-winning farmer Steve Botha has managed to remain successful in the niche market he created through innovation, extending his product range, maintaining a close relationship with his clients and growing baby vegetables and herbs that are hard to find in SA.

Reducing the distance between farm & fork

Jasmyn in Hartbeespoort has grown from a double garage-size farm stall to a farmers’ market of choice for fresh food lovers in the Gauteng area. The farm and shop are run side-by-side, ensuring that customers gets the freshest produce, and the absence of a middleman ensures greater profits.

Invest in your WORK FORCE

An effective labour management system is one of the most important investments 2011 Agri SA Young Farmer of the Year Gog van der Colff made in his grape and raisin enterprise. It afforded every worker the opportunity to take responsibility in this major enterprise and resulted in better production. Annelie Coleman reports.

Georgia on their minds: Why SA farmers and investors are looking east

The natural beauty isn't the only reason why many agri-investors are eyeing Georgia. During a whirlwind tour as guest of the State Ministry on Diaspora Issues, Farmer's Weekly editor Alita van der Walt was introduced to the reforms stimulating economic growth and encouraging foreign investment.

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.