Through a number of value-adding enterprises, Free State agribusiness VKB has created a viable downstream market for the commodities in its production area. Annelie Coleman asked Sas Kasselman, VKB Managing director of industries, to explain the thinking and the systems behind his company’s value-adding drive.
What are the implications of the new AgriBee codes for farmers, small agri-businesses and large enterprises? Consultant Melcus Nel talks to Gerhard Uys about the way forward.
Ownership of land in South Africa is a highly politicised and emotive issue. However, were land reform better administered, it could serve as a possible solution to rural poverty in the country. Agricultural Writers SA agriculturalist of the year for 2015, Prof Ben Cousins from the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies at the University of Western Cape, shares his thoughts on land reform and redistribution with Jeandré du Preez.
South Africa is a top producer of livestock genetics and has the technological edge needed to supply high-quality semen to local and international markets. Dr Fanie Steyn, MD of Ramsem, which has partnered with Taurus-Evolution to set up a new bull station in Bloemfontein, talks to Annelie Coleman.
The drastic increase in the cost of agricultural inputs, among others, has resulted in an increased demand for alternative production finance, according to Prof Sanlie Middelberg, associate professor at North-West University’s Potchefstroom campus’s School of Accounting Sciences. Annelie Coleman asked her about the provision of production finance in the sector.
Chief Land Claims Commissioner Nomfundo Ntloko-Gobodo recently shared the commission’s successes with Luyolo Mkentane. She detailed how the commission intended achieving its aims and engaging with organised agriculture to ensure that restituted land was used for the benefit of all.
A study by Dr Lourens Swanepoel, a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Venda, focuses on carnivore conservation and management. Its author spoke to Gerhard Uys about his extensive research on leopards.
Manfred Venter, agricultural economist at Syngenta, shares some insights with Luyolo Mkentane on the current drought situation and suggestions on how to mitigate losses.
Little progress has been made to improve knowledge about the brown locust, a super-herbivore along with which the Karoo evolved, says Dr Joh R Henschel, Arid Lands Node, South African Environmental Observation Network (SAEON), and Centre for Environmental Management, the University of the Free State. By Roelof Bezuidenhout.
Money cannot be lent responsibly without collateral, a constraint that has long hobbled the ability of commercial banks to lend money to communal farmers. The Land Bank is now exploring alternative models of funding these farmers. Its CEO, TP Nchocho, spoke to Luyolo Mkentane about its strategy.
Water has become a political issue and the quality of South Africa’s water resources needs to be addressed, says Prof Anthony Turton, a scientist specialising in water resource management. He spoke to Gerhard Uys.
As consumers grow more affluent, they become more fastidious about the food they eat. This trend has sparked a rising demand for food that is produced in an environmentally friendly fashion. Dr Hannes Swart, the chairperson of the local organising committee of the World Veterinary Poultry Association Congress, spoke to Glenneis Kriel about this trend and its effect on the local poultry industry.