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Opinion

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

Living with drought

Roelof Bezuidenhout, a Farmer's Weekly correspondent who farms near Steytlerville, is experiencing drought first-hand. He believes government will have to reconsider their drought aid if they want to keep farmers on the land, ensure food security and prevent permanent damage to natural resources.

Start by supporting commercial farmers

Dr Reuel Khoza is a black farmer and chairperson of Aka Capital and the Nedbank Group. His family trust owns a 200ha export avocado and macadamia farm near Hazyview and is a 50% partner in the export packhouse HL Hall & Sons.

Tide turns for African Farmers

Africa is the only continent which doesn't grow enough food to feed itself. But a revolution is underway that can change that, and it's affecting everyone from smallholer farmers to governments and corporations. So says Kofi Anan, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, former secretary general of the UN from 1977 to 2006 and chairperson of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in AFrica, which is working to improve the continent's agriculture.

Demystifying ‘us’ and ‘them’

In the "us vs them" game no one wins, and the divide between the government and commercial farmers has largely been created by "stone-throwing politicians", says Agri Eastern Cape president Ernest Pringle.

How to speed up African food production

African countries need to implement home-grown policies to accelerate food production that are better suited to their state of economic growth and development, says Akin Adesina, former president of the African Association of Agricultural Economists. He highlights the main challenges of accelerated agricultural growth on the continent and gives some policy suggestions to overcome these obstacles.

Play the game

Like any business, farming is a game. To win, you have to adapt to meet changing circumstances. You also have to help other players - at least those who show promise and a willingness to succeed - or one day there might be no game to play, says strategist, writer and public speaker, Clem Sunter.

Why holistic management needs better PR

Controversial Zimbabwean rancher Johann Zietsman has championed severe grazing and high-animal impact since 1995. He responds to our recent feature on Allan Savory’s revolutionary approach of combining high stocking rates with veld rehabilitation.

Agriculture: not just feeding the nation

'It's time for agriculture to make a concerted effort at unity,' said Prof Mohammed Karaan, dean of the Agri-Sciences faculty at Stellenbosch University, at Kwanalu's 12th Annual Congress in Pietermaritzburg.

Is big business stealing Africa?

A new colonialism is on the rise, as governments and private companies grab land across Africa to feed and fuel demand in their own countries. They say their projects will alleviate poverty, but things aren't so simple, says the NGO coalition Friends of the Earth, which campaigns for sustainable, just societies and environmental protection.

The truth about labour

It's a tall order, but why not take the politics out of farm labour and concentrate on what will actually work, asks journalist and farmer Roelof Bezuidenhout.

Are farmers supporting illegal trade?

Recently there’s been a lot of buzz about the illegal practices of “off-market fresh produce agents”. But they can only function with farmers’ support, and it’s up to farmers to help the Agricultural Produce Agents Council (APAC) stamp out these activities, says the APAC’s Lizel Pretorius.

The good, the bad & the ugly of agriculture

As an ally of the commercial farming sector, Prof Mohammed Karaan’s election to President Zuma’s National Planning Committee gave renewed hope to commercial agriculture in South Africa. Addressing the inaugural congress of the Young Farmer’s Forum in Rawsonville in the Western Cape, Prof Karaan outlined the global issues that will shape the future of farming.

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