Saasveld breaks Elsenburg’s rugby stranglehold

The NELSON MANDELA METROPOLITAN University (NMMU) Saasveld rugby team broke the seven-year winning streak of the defending champions
Issue date: 01 August 2008

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The NELSON MANDELA METROPOLITAN University (NMMU) Saasveld rugby team broke the seven-year winning streak of the defending champions, Cape Institute for Agricultural Training: Elsenburg, during the 2008 Pannar Rugby Week for Agricultural Colleges, which took place in George earlier this month.

Eight teams from the country’s agricultural colleges competed on the Saasveld campus for the coveted IPJ du Plessis trophy, as well as several other accolades. Played in its official capacity since 1969, the Pannar Rugby Week is known for the good spirit and camaraderie between teams and players, and is hailed for its quality rugby. NMMU Saasveld spokesperson Pieter Botha said the university was proud of its victory.

“It’s the first time that we have won this trophy – we shared it before with Elsenburg in 2000. It’s been a wonderful week of good rugby,” he said. Grootfontein Agricultural College (Middelburg) was third, while Transagric Potchefstroom Agricultural College took fourth place. – Athane Scholtz

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Nedbank funds black sugar farmers in KZN

Nedbank Business Banking has provided R2,6 million funding to the Noodsberg Growers’ Development Trust, a BEE farming operation, as the start-up capital required to develop 240ha of sugar cane. The trust is a group of about 40 emerging black farmers who will produce the crop on tribal land in the Swayimane area, within the uMshwati Local Municipality in KZN.

Jenny Goddard, head of Nedbank’s KZN Inland Region, says that due to the unique positioning of the tribal land, the loan was made under the bank’s enterprise development banner so that different lending criteria could be considered.

“To help a number of subsistence farmers create a viable business that can benefit from resulting economies of scale, a unique lending solution had to be found for this project,” she said. “What resulted is a direct contribution to the aim and objective of enterprise development, which is to help small, medium and micro enterprises achieve operational and financial independence.” The Noodsberg Growers’ Development Trust deal is a challenging concept in banking terms, because the loan was granted without the type of security banks normally require.

But loans of this nature are set to become more prevalent as banks contribute towards the Department of Trade and Industry’s objective of providing easier access to finance for developing enterprises in South Africa. The project’s viability was thanks to the combined involvement of the Noodsberg Cane Growers’ Association, Gijma KZN, an EU-funded community development fund which commited R3,8 million, and the project management of NGO Lima Rural Development Foundation. – Staff reporter

Old cow’s new record

One of the hardest-working registered Jersey cows in the US was honored for her record-setting lifetime production. The 18-year-old cow, Duncan Hibrite of Family Hill, Excellent-93%, owned by Ryan Lancaster of Ferndale, Washington, is the breed’s new lifetime champion for all production measures after supplying more than 146 000â„“ milk, 6 800kg fat and just over 5 300kg protein in 5 211 days and 12 lactations.

Her lifetime milk and protein records as of 31 December 2007 toppled the nine-years-standing records of 140 800â„“ milk and just over 5 000kg protein made by Maplerow Mercury Aron-PTL-P in 1999. Her lifetime fat production also overtakes the 6 600kg fat record made by Chasin-Rainbows Brig Gold, which had stood since 2005. For the second consecutive year, “Hibrite” swept all categories of the American Jersey Cattle Association’s Leading Living Lifetime Production Contest.

In the past year, she added over 9 600â„“ milk, 445kg fat and 565kg protein to her lifetime totals. She outdistanced her closest competitor by just under 12 000â„“ milk, 413kg fat and 539kg protein. Her best record was made after calving at nearly 10 years of age, when she produced just over 10 700â„“ milk, 499kg fat and 386kg protein. er performance does not come as a surprise.

Her dam, Belvidere Saint Hibiscus, Excellent-93%, topped the milk and protein categories of the lifetime contest in 2001, while her daughter, Family Hill Boomer Brite Hilite, Excellent-90%, was ranked ninth in 2004. – Alan Harman