Farming for Tomorrow

Protecting the jewel in SA’s biodiversity crown

Jan Coetzee, land programme manager at the World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa, explains how one man’s vision changed the trajectory of conservation in the Succulent Karoo.

Boosting agricultural productivity via small-scale vertical farming

Zikhona Buyeye, a junior researcher at the Agricultural Research Council’s Natural Resources and Engineering Division, explores the importance of vertical farming structures for small-scale vegetable production.

Farming in Africa: producing coffee and cocoa in Côte d’Ivoire

Despite being a major producer of coffee in the early 2000s, Côte d’Ivoire’s coffee production has declined significantly. However, cocoa production is still massively on the rise, cementing the country’s place as the world’s top producer.
soil health earthworm

Soil health: crucial for future food production

Healthy soil is a key driver of farm productivity, profits, and sustainable food production. Dr Hendrik Smith explained to Magda du Toit how farmers can improve the health and fertility of their soils.
Pure cultures of four Streptomyces species

The bacteria that serve as fertilisers and growth promoters

Dr WJ Botha of the Biosystematics Division attached to the Agricultural Research Council’s Plant Health and Protection Research Institute explains why Streptomyces bacteria are an ideal alternative to chemical fertilisers and growth promoters.

Why small-scale farmers are hit hardest by post-harvest losses

With the relentless growth in population, countries can no longer afford to waste food. Manoshi Mothapo, a researcher at the Agricultural Research Council’s Natural Resources and Engineering division, examines how post-harvest losses affect smallholder farmers, and how they can be reduced with correct handling and storage.

Management: the key to improving soil health

Healthy soil is a crop farmer’s most important asset. Farmers Danie Bester and Tyson Zunckel, both of whom produce maize, soya bean and wheat, spoke to Magda du Toit about their soil-management practices.

Lessons from Danish researchers and farmers

Research and development in agriculture is accelerating to keep up with the numerous challenges in the sector. On a recent agricultural tour of Denmark, Lindi Botha discovered the many different ways in which the Danish are tackling the age-old dilemma of optimising inputs while achieving maximum output.

The approaching crisis threatening SA’s bees and beekeepers

With bees pollinating approximately one-third of the world’s crops, commercial pollination services are a crucial and sought-after resource for many farmers. However, unscrupulous industry players are doing more harm than good, exacerbating the problem of dwindling bee populations.

Using livestock for healthier soil

Angus McIntosh, a livestock farmer at Spier, recently hosted an information day during which he discussed the importance of ‘outdoor’ livestock production for the future of food security.
Beetle Daisy Flower

The unique pollination strategies of plants ensure their survival

South Africa is filled with an array of remarkable plant species. Landscape designer Leon Kluge spoke to Magda du Toit about this mysterious world of flora and the tricks they have developed to attract pollinators in order to survive.

Floating wetlands: a cleaning solution for polluted farm dams

Floating wetlands are successful at improving the quality of nutrient-polluted water, and can be made from a few basic materials, says Dr Alanna Rebelo, a senior researcher in the Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology at Stellenbosch University.