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


Forget about the international economic meltdown, the inequalities of the past and or the beautiful pie in the sky dreams of the politicians --- the one thing that is holding South Africa back now is a lack of common sense.

SA port tariffs squeeze exporters

Transnet’s proposed 18,06% increase in port dues will probably be implemented by the middle of the year. Mihalis Chasomeris, economics lecturer at the Graduate School of Business & Leadership, University of KZN, explains how South Africa’s port pricing is impeding trade.

Does SA need regional copyrights?

Dinga Fatman, researcher at Trade & Industrial Policy Strategies, warns that Geographic Indication is not a quick fix to your bottom line.

Agribusiness: the 2012 agenda

Various challenges are expected in agriculture for the year ahead. The local economy is faced with addressing unemployment while also attempting to achieve economic growth. The Agricultural Business Chamber recently released its expectations for 2012.

Can the ANC survive rampant food inflation?

Because food prices are a combination of many factors, they’re a good indicator of a country’s economy. What’s more, food inflation affects different consumers very differently. For the affluent, food accounts for a small part of their salaries, while the poorest can spend over a third of their income to feed their families. An inability to put food on the table will increase social grievances, which will affect the ANC’s popularity, says Saliem Fakir, an independent columnist for the SA Civil Society Information Service.

If we fail to talk, we’ll fail SA

There should be no dispute regarding the ultimate objective of agricultural development. If it's not possible to work together, and if role players have divergent motives and hidden agendas, the country is going to be in big trouble, says Agri SA president Johannes Möller.

Seed industry loses out

The rejection of a merger between Pioneer Hi-Bred and SA's Pannar Seed is based on fallacious assumptions and will deprive South Africa of affordable seed technology, thus affecting food security, contends the former chief executive officer of Grain SA, Dr Kobus Laubscher

SA farmers: An asset to our people, a liability to our leaders

Year after year, commercial farmers prove their worth by feeding the nation. Yet they remain the target of ANC politicians determined to force through unworkable ideologies. This is a grave threat to food security and even political stability. Ben Marais, president of TAU SA, explains.

Fight agricultural stereotyping

Stereotypical ideas about farmers and agriculture have resulted in many unfavourable decisions in parliament regarding the sector. Dr Pieter Mulder, deputy minister of agriculture, explains why these stereotypes must be abolished before commercial agriculture can grow.

Why we need a food revolution

With the planet's human population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, agriculture must rise to the challenge of meeting the massive demand for food. Professor Aidan Connolly, vice-president of corporate accounts at multi-national animal nutrition company, Alltech Inc, shares his thoughts on the subject

How our Constitution ensures land for all

Julius Malema's talk of changing the Constitution to allow for land grabs is merely a case of "opening one's mouth to change feet". A brief perusal of our Constitution shows that it protects landowners' property rights and also requires equitable distribution of property ownership.

The year ahead

Agri SA president Johannes Möller's New Year message to farmers is one of optimism and opportunity.