As farmers, you have further battled increasing input costs, which thankfully have subsided year-on-year, as well as challenges getting your produce to ports as infrastructure fails.
You have also faced droughts and floods, and disease outbreaks. As such, all in all, 2023 has been a challenging year, and as 2024 dawns, most of the same challenges will remain.
While we can spend a lot of time meditating on the negative, 2023 has also brought some positives. In the farming sector, these have mostly been underlined by your dedication to producing affordable food for South Africans and people abroad.
There are export opportunities on the horizon that will strengthen the local agriculture sector. We can also be thankful for the rain that we have received across most parts of the country, and the replenishment of soil moisture and dam levels.
On behalf of everyone here at Farmer’s Weekly, and all those who benefit from your hard work, I want to extend our heartfelt gratitude to all the farmers, agriculturalists and other agriculture role players who have played an essential role in shaping the landscape of our lives in 2023.
Despite the numerous challenges facing you, the unwavering commitment of our farmers has been a beacon of hope and a source of inspiration throughout 2023.
Your tireless efforts, day in and day out, have ensured the abundance of fresh produce on our tables, the availability of essential resources, and the vitality of our local economies.
Your commitment to sustainability, innovation, and the well-being of your communities has not gone unnoticed, and we are deeply appreciative of the impact you have made.
As I have said before, farming is a thankless profession. But it is not just an occupation; it is a way of life that requires passion, dedication, and a profound connection to the land.
Your ability to navigate challenges, adapt to changing circumstances, and continue to provide for us all is a testament to your resilience and the essential role you play in the fabric of our society.
As we express our gratitude, we also want to acknowledge the sacrifices and hard work that often go unseen. The early mornings, late nights, and the countless hours spent tending to crops and livestock do not go unnoticed.
Each seed sown, each harvest gathered, and every animal cared for contributes to the prosperity of our communities.
It never ceases to amaze me how committed you are to the sector, and your commitment to the agriculture sector is the foundation upon which the well-being of our society is built.
All of us here at Farmer’s Weekly wish you a blessed Christmas and holiday season, and a happy new year filled with prosperity, good health, and the bountiful harvests that your hard work so richly deserves!