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The farmer’s weekly team gives their opinions on all aspects of the farming, sparking conversation and providing insights.

Enhancing women’s agri productivity

Automation and digitalisation present opportunities to enhance women’s agricultural productivity, according to Dr Elizabeth Mkandawire and Dr Selorm Dorvlo, researchers in South Africa and Ghana respectively.

Help the youth to gain from agrifood systems

When they are given the appropriate support and enabling environment, young people in Africa can take advantage of new opportunities, develop innovative solutions, and contribute to building sustainable and resilient agrifood systems, according to a UN report released in 2022.

Study reveals the motives behind stock theft

Cecili Doorewaard-Janse van Vuuren, a lecturer in Unisa’s Department of Criminology and Security Science, explains the results of her research into the motivating factors behind livestock theft in South Africa.

Family farmers: our green-thumbed heroes!

True sustainable development will not be achieved by corporate-wealth-accumulation agendas, but by visionary family farmers, says Prof James Blignaut, an ecological and environmental resource economist.

New solutions needed to mitigate a food crisis

It is time for farmers to adopt regenerative agriculture practices in order to ensure the future of food production, says Mark du Plessis, director of agriculture at frozen food company McCain South Africa.

Four issues that must be resolved now

As we enter the second month of the new year, and South Africa continues to be hit with stages four, five and six of load-shedding, I am reminded that 2024 is now only 11 months away, and there are many things that government must act on to ensure that 2023, 2024 and the years to come are successful ones for the agriculture sector.

The private sector’s key role in land reform

Peter Setou, chief executive of the Vumelana Advisory Fund, argues that all stakeholders in the land reform programme should demonstrate their commitment to the strategy in order to drive its success.

Who is to blame for the increase in crime in SA?

In Parliament recently, DA leader John Steenhuisen asked how bad South Africa’s crime statistics needed to be before President Cyril Ramaphosa replaced Bheki Cele as minister of police.

Cotton production: global and local trends

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’ outlook for cotton production (2022 – 2031) looks at the opportunities and challenges facing the world’s cotton producers.

The true cost of agricultural crime in SA

The South African agriculture sector is heavily burdened with crime. Using the Free State as a case study, Annelie Coleman spoke to industry stakeholders about the true cost of crime to the local farming community, and the threat it poses to the long-term sustainability of food production in the country.

Yes, SA has challenges, but we can fix them! – Dr Imtiaz Sooliman

Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, founder of Gift of the Givers, does not believe that South Africa is collapsing, despite its current political, economic and infrastructural problems. One reason for hope, he argues, lies in the compassion and patience of South Africans. He has seen it first-hand for 30 years.

Why a zebra’s stripes may confuse horseflies

There are many hypotheses on why horseflies may be put off by a zebra’s stripes. In a recent study, researchers concluded that this may be a result of the temperature on darker stripes, rather than the stripes themselves.