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Ethanol-from-sugar-beet project in the great Fish River

The planned ethanol-from-sugar-beet project in Cradock looks like it's going ahead. But the farming community has been left divided, with some excited by the prospect of new markets, while others dread increased crime and a disrupted community.

Snails put BEE on the fast track

Elezane Industries started as a community development project in 1999 and is now South Africa's first live-snail exporting business. It creates hundreds of jobs while also offering an environmentally friendly solution to the snail problem on Cape farms.

Variety keeps citrus industry competitive

Etienne Rabe of integrated citrus company Biogold USA believes introducing new citrus varieties that cater to changing consumer demands is key to ensuring the global citrus industry remains competitive. A progressive grower can’t afford to sit on the sidelines and new management tools can greatly reduce the risks involved.

Are you a criminal?

It seems people can come on your land and kill you with impunity these days, but woe betide the farmer who fiddles with a watercourse or indulges in a “listed activity” without the proper permission. A host of legislation now determines what you can and can’t do on your land. And failure to comply, even through omission, can lead to hefty fines and even imprisonment. Advocate Douw Venter takes us through the fine print.

No land for this promising pig farmer

Ivan Cloete started farming with pigs in Blackheath near Cape Town seven years ago.

Low maize price: your options

The current low maize price, with supply greatly exceeding demand, is a problem for most maize farmers. Henry-Ben Rheede, Standard Bank’s agricultural adviser for the northern Free State shares some creative ideas on how to counter, survive and even profit from the situation.

Farming one herd: answer to communal poverty?

Getting communal cattle farming to work has always been difficult, as many farmers refuse to cooperate. But the Vuvha community in Venda has found that sharing resources and managing all community cattle as one herd, is a great way to ease poverty in the community, writes Peter Mashala.

How to draft a business plan

A business plan will differ according to the size and technical complexity of the business.

Selling seedlings to communal markets

After producing vegetable seedlings for almost 40 years, Dux Meintjes knows how to adapt to market demands. These days, that may mean less reliance on commercial farmers and more attention to the hawker, communal and emerging sectors.

Desperate to reap the former homelands’ elusive harvests

Government-funded development agency Asgisa Eastern Cape, food giant Unilever South Africa and the Development Bank of South Africa recently signed an agreement in East London to promote crop production to supply Unilever’s processed food range. Mike Burgess assesses the developmental challenges that may face this agreement, as reflected in a paprika project near Keiskammahoek, and possible long-term solutions to an embarrassing developmental vacuum in the region.

Moringa: A tree for all seasons

The moringa tree is being touted as the ideal biodiesel crop for communities farming on marginal soils, writes Robyn Joubert.

Developing an award-winning bed and breakfast on-farm

While the hospitality industry isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, an Mpumalanga farming couple has been able to successfully marry their farming business with a now internationally renowned and multi-award-winning, four-star on-farm accommodation and dining establishment. Lloyd Phillips reports.

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