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Rural safety: perception vs reality

Finding effective and lasting solutions to rural crime will require a collective response from individuals, community organisations, government structures and the police, writes Uys van der Westhuijzen, chairperson of the Agri SA Centre of Excellence for Rural Safety. He cautions, however, that no response can ever be truly effective if it is not supported by an effective criminal justice system.

COVID-19 and the rise of organic farming

According to the 2021 statistics yearbook ‘The World of Organic Agriculture’, which presents the latest statistics and emerging trends in organic farming from 187 countries around the world, organic farmland increased by 1,1 million hectares in 2019, and organic retail sales continued to grow.

Tackling climate change and biodiversity loss

Climate change is inextricably linked to the accelerating destruction of nature. This report discusses how natural climate solutions, which include land management programmes that increase carbon dioxide storage and reduce carbon emissions, can help tackle both problems simultaneously.

South Africa’s ‘real tobacco wars’

According to Shadrack Ntando Sibisi, executive chairperson of the South Africa Tobacco Transformation Alliance, the five-month long ban on the sale of tobacco products, which formed part of Government’s COVID-19 lockdown regulations, resulted in a sharp increase in illicit tobacco trade, and this trend was not reversed by the lifting of the ban.

Error 404: the barriers to digital inclusivity

Progress towards digital inclusivity is threatened by growing digital dependency, automation, information suppression, and gaps in regulation and capabilities, notes the World Economic Forum’s latest Global Risks Report.

Agriculture’s language problem

One of the enviable things about South Africans is that just about every one of us speaks at least two languages, while many speak and understand three, four or even more.

How satellite data can boost agriculture

The use of Earth observation has brought about dramatic improvements in agricultural practices and access to water. A new report published by the World Economic Forum details how Earth observations are fundamental to harnessing the innovations of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to support agricultural productivity growth across Africa.

COVID-19 and disillusionment: the impending crisis of unskilled youths

The present generation of youth has endured a number of profoundly disruptive global events during their lifetime, the latest of which is the COVID-19 pandemic. Leaders need to initiate efforts to assist young people to acquire the tools, skills and rights to find work and cope in the post-pandemic world, or else risk having an angry and disillusioned ‘lost generation’, warns the latest Global Risks Report.

What SA’s red meat industry must fix before scaling up exports

Export markets offer potentially lucrative trade opportunities for South Africa’s red meat industry. However, to profit fully from such opportunities, stakeholders in the industry need to take careful note of the demands of consumers in importing countries. Dr Frikkie Maré, an agricultural economist with in-depth knowledge of the red meat value chain, explains what some of these are.

What do we mean when we talk about land?

Property rights or, more specifically, the power of the state to deprive a person of these rights, have been high on Parliament’s agenda these past few weeks as committees heard oral submissions from the public on the Expropriation Bill and also on the Draft Constitution Eighteenth Amendment Bill, which concerns amendments to Section 25 of the Constitution in term of expropriation.

What hampers farm mechanisation in Africa?

Urbanisation, increased food demand, rising rural wages, and seasonal labour bottlenecks have led to the interest in promoting agricultural mechanisation in sub-Saharan Africa. A new report by the International Food Policy Research Institute looks at the lessons that Africa can learn from Asia in this regard.

We know how to fix land reform, so why don’t we?

You might have read, in media reports that have been circulating on social media these past few weeks, about the case of Western Cape farmer Ivan Cloete, a land reform beneficiary who was facing eviction from a farm he was previously granted access to by the state.

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