The farmer’s weekly blog is the voice of emerging farming news.

Agri GDP better, but not at its best

There weren’t many surprises, nor much good news, among the second-quarter (Q2) GDP results that were released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) during the second week of September.

A reflection on ‘women’s month’

August has passed and with it we bid goodbye to the month which, every year, is marked by numerous overtures to women, some earnest and some opportunistic, as companies, organisations and government endeavour to celebrate the role of women in society, and to highlight the challenges they still face in their work and personal lives.

Struggle to access water behind many land reform failures

There are a few common threads that run through most stories of those people who have, over the past 25 years, benefitted from one of South Africa’s land reform and agricultural transformation programmes.

Agriculture: shining light or fading star?

For most industries, 2020 will probably be a particularly bad year with an abrupt fall in performance, but this should be followed by some degree of recovery in the near future.

South Africa: Top of the economic misery list

One of the great things about being an agricultural journalist during this time of crisis is that we often still get to report good news, thanks to the victories being achieved in the sector despite the general sense of doom surrounding our country’s economic and political future.

South Africa is getting more violent

Over the past 10 years, more than 6,1 million serious crimes were committed against South Africans. At least 165 837 people were murdered, rape was committed 437 417 times, and over 200 000 violent home robberies occurred.

Africa is falling further behind

Something needs to change, otherwise Africa and the people who live on this continent will experience another decade of poverty, hunger and hardship.

It doesn’t rain grass!

As I write this, it's been about four months since South Africa went into a national lockdown in an attempt to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Sorting fact from fiction

One of the problems that always emerge when we start debating the role and future of smallholder farming is that there is no clear definition put in place to describe what type of farmer we refer to when we talk about small-scale farmers.

When the hungry steal food

About seven or eight years ago, I interviewed a farmer who produced vegetables on a farm in Philippi in Cape Town. The area was and still is one of the main suppliers of fresh vegetables to the Cape Town area.

A zero-based budget for the agri department

The grim realities that were presented by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni when he delivered the Supplementary Budget to Parliament recently did not come as a surprise.

Dear readers,

I love swimming in the ocean and even as a child I would swim out far behind the breaking waves to where the water was calm. Sometimes, though, I misjudge my own ability and the power of the waves, and I have had a few narrow escapes.