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A bittersweet childhood memory turned into seven years of an inspiring and challenging journey.

Lack of land

Human settlement and lack of accountability threaten the availability of land in Kgabalatsane.
It took three deaths before a North West municipality prioritised an ongoing issue. It was solved in a day.

Plough for more

The South African agricultural business chamber, Agbiz, recently reported that national food price inflation, excluding non-alcoholic beverages, had increased to 11,6% year-on-year (y/y) for August 2016, from 11,5% y/y for...
Buffalo City’s state veterinarian, Dr Stuart Varrie, appealed to horse owners in the Kei Mouth and Morgan Bay areas of the Eastern Cape not to report cases of African horse...
The situation in the two North West district municipalities, Ngaka Modiri Molema and Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati, has not changed as the municipalities were still experiencing a severe drought.
The ANC has reportedly endorsed the so-called 50/50 land reform plan which proposes that 50% of the ownership of all commercial farms has to be transferred to those workers who...
South Africa’s inability to grow its power supply capacity was placing an enormous amount of strain on the economy as a whole.
Producers have a responsibility to reverse past mistakes made in agriculture, according to Grain SA conservation agriculture (CA) facilitator, Dr Hendrik Smith.
With South Africa’s national power supply becoming increasingly unreliable, fruit farmer Kobus van der Westhuizen decided to install a hydro-electric plant on his Western Cape farm. This has greatly reduced...
American missionaries Ronnie and Janet Vehorn travelled to South Africa to preach to the Xhosa. Now they've fulfilled their dream of establishing the Eastern Cape's first wine estate along the...
Mkululi Pakade, director of East Cape Macadamia, has devised a business model that positions the Eastern Cape’s local communities firmly within the macadamia industry.
Fresh produce markets are available to all producers. Yet using them optimally requires know-how.
Cocoa may be the main ingredient in one of the world’s favourite confectioneries, but its production has, at times, been plagued by scandal. Efforts are underway in Côte d’Ivoire and...
Prof Darrell Abernethy, appointed last year as Onderstepoort’s new dean, is poised to steer his alma mater towards addressing Africa’s desperate need for more vets in rural areas and improved...
Forget the time-consuming ‘roast your coffee beans in a pan over gas’ method. Get hi-tech and use a heat gun! The results are a coffee-holic’s dream come true.

Wrapped around a rock

I received an email from a client in the Waterberg region with pictures of the prospective site and the narrow platform of about 12m in width already excavated on the...
Christine and her husband want to build a three-bedroom home on one level, with open-plan living rooms surrounding an atrium with glass roofs.
We have been looking at various house plans you have featured in Farmer’s Weekly for a few years now and are keen to start building a cottage on my in-laws’...
Udder Delight is a Free State farm-style cheesery, where the passion of partners Yvette and Winett Mackenzie results in delicious hand-crafted cheeses and dairy products.
This delicious dish is melt-in-the-mouth, and is a superb way to mark any occasion.
Steven Watermeyer is breeding micro pigs to meet the local demand for pet porkies.
The Single Step method makes it possible to include genomic information in BLUP breeding values. This has put SA Stud Book at the forefront of genomic methodology, says Dr Japie...
Choosing the right kind of pig for your level of management is very important.
The interrelationship between vegetation, grazing animals, soil and climate is complex and dynamic. Finding and maintaining a balance between these factors for optimum, sustainable economic production has been the quest...
Choosing the correct stocking rate is the most important grazing management decision in sustainable livestock and wildlife production, says Dr Mias van der Westhuizen of the Free State Department of...

Growing fish in salt water

Many argue that tilapia in brackish water taste that little bit better, and it’s difficult to deny this.
Of the pests that damage beans, perhaps the best known is the bollworm.
The Lower Orange River, the country’s second-largest table grape-producing region, is known for its extreme summer temperatures during the peak harvesting season. Farmers have to plan carefully to optimise water...
While some farmers in the Olifants River Valley are switching to organic production to overcome poor wine prices, others are converting to fruit and vegetables.
While working for a large seed company, I once had a chat with one of the directors, a financial fundi who contributed to steering the company in the right direction.

Keep the market free!

I’ve heard rumblings from on high that it should be compulsory for bigger farmers to allocate, say, 20% of their produce to a black-owned market agency.
Since the introduction of industrial agricultural practices in South African sugar cane production, soil compaction has led to a steady decrease in average yield and profitability. Dr Rianto van Antwerpen, a...

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