New Harvest winner gets the basics right and comes out tops

As the son of a farmworker, Sewis van der Horst managed to work his way up to become a farmer in his own right and an exporter of quality fruit. Last year, he was crowned the Toyota New Harvest winner. Jeandré van der Walt visited his operation close to Villiersdorp.

Community farm’s drive and discipline rewarded at last

Having suffered several setbacks in their efforts to make their agribusiness profitable, a group of hard-working land reform beneficiaries in KwaZulu-Natal at last got the help they needed from an agricultural transformation organisation. Lloyd Phillips reports on the Gugulethu community.

From seasonal worker to award-winning farmer

The Agricultural Writers SA New Entrant to Commercial Agriculture winner in 2019, Dirk Louw, is showing that it still is possible to start farming from scratch. He spoke to Glenneis Kriel about what contributed to his success, his perseverance against all odds and his plans for the future.

Empowering smallholders to access the supply chain

Black smallholder farmers are often excluded from the supply chain due to high barriers of entry. A fund established by Tiger Brands is now trying to address this problem. Mary-Jane Morifi, chief corporate affairs and sustainability officer at Tiger Brands, spoke to Jeandré van der Walt about the company’s plans to empower these farmers, as well as black suppliers and distributors.

Township vegetable garden empowers women

The Siyazama Community Garden in Khayelitsha has changed the lives of a group of women in the township. During a media tour to the garden hosted by Coronation Fund Managers, two of the farmers, Nokwanda Nkqayi and Liziwe Stofile, spoke to Jeandré van der Walt about their organic farming practices and the impact that the garden has had on their lives.

Lessons learnt from land reform

The Karsten and Dutoit groups are amongst the largest farming companies in South Africa and have holdings across the country. Both were involved in land reform long before the current urgency to do so. Piet Karsten and Pieter du Toit spoke to Glenneis Kriel about their projects and the lessons they have learnt in setting them up and running them.

Transformation project stands as an example

Despite ongoing delays and red tape, Merino stud breeder Eddie Prinsloo and eight of his employees have begun farming in partnership in a business known as the Donkerhoek Farming Project. Sabrina Dean visited them on Prinsloo’s Free State farm to learn about the venture.

Mom-and-daughter team’s formula for farming success

On 8 March, the world will celebrate International Women’s Day, and the role of women in agriculture is particularly evident at Temaretha Piggery. Excellence can be seen in each aspect here, and especially in the extremely dedicated Mampe Mmeregi and Ntshieuwa Mevane.

How aquaponics benefits children and the community

Two years ago, Laerskool Kempton Park embarked on an innovative project to introduce aquaponics in its school curriculum. The produce from this system not only provides nutritious food, but teaches the learners essential life skills, says Janet Lee Ogilvie.
Dryland maize

Farmer programme results in higher yields and better lives

Increasing yields tenfold is a feat that every farmer dreams of, but few realise. Yet, for the past 20 years, Grain SA, through its Farmer Development Programme, has quietly assisted numerous farmers in achieving exactly that. Lindi Botha visited three beneficiaries to find out more.
barley crop

Empowerment trust banks on barley

Since its inception, the Overberg Boerdery Trust has not only increased its output of barley, but raised dividend payments to its farmworkers.

Hmong-American co-op proves the power of collective farming

Adding vibrancy and diversity to the local food scene in Minnesota in the US, the Hmong-American farmers have earned their place on the agricultural landscape. But they have not been spared the challenges that face small-scale farmers everywhere. Lindi Botha spoke to Pakou Hang about the structures in place to uplift their community

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