Small efforts can protect farmers from pesticides. Insights from Zambia

Vegetable production, tomato production in particular, is an important source of income for many smallholder farmers in Zambia. It can provide them with gross margins that are much higher than maize, the dominant field crop. But these higher returns come with nearly ubiquitous crop loss risks from pests. An insecticide being mixed. Photo by Ann Johansson/Corbis via Getty Images Two commonly reported pests are bollworms and nematodes. These can dramatically reduce the amount of tomatoes that meet quality standards. To address this, farmers in Zambia are starting to use more pesticides. A trend that can be seen in many African countries, such…

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Stepping up on maximising women’s potential in agri

A webinar that aimed to assist female producers in developing their own voice in a sustainable and profitable farming business was held on 28 October. The virtual roundtable discussion, hosted by Corteva Agriscience in partnership with the Entrepreneurship Development Agency (EDA) at the Gordon Institute of Business School (GIBS), focused on innovative solutions to maximise the potential of women in agricultural development. The partnership is a strategy to work together on an immersive tailor-made programme that will kick-off in January 2021 to assist female producers in developing their entrepreneurial, business…

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GREEN AND INTEGRATED APPROACHES COULD ADDRESS FOOD SECURITY CHALLENGES

  Marking World Food Day, fdt Africa says stakeholders must collaborate across a broader value chain Agriculture and food production does not happen in isolation, and to maximise food production and address world hunger, stakeholders across a broad value chain have to start working more collaboratively and sustainably. This is according to advisors at Africa’s largest industry specific co-location, food & drink technology Africa (fdt Africa) the premier trade fair of food and beverage processing and packaging technologies, IFAT Africa the leading trade fair for water, sewage, refuse and recycling…

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Renewable energy and agricultural processing project boost employment in oil conflict-ridden Niger Delta region of Southern Nigeria

  The Niger Delta, an area with a chequered past of exploitation, is set to benefit from a renewable energy plant and an agriculture processing project providing electricity, jobs and economic empowerment Asanita Agricultural Processing Company has secured funding to build a renewable energy power plant and a cassava processing to ethanol plant in Southern Nigeria. The project located on a 40-hectare estate in Edo State in the Niger Delta region, will produce 50,000 litres per day of ethanol and deliver electricity for up to 300 homes. By creating hundreds…

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Omnia mulls over future of its portfolio star

    As the world moves towards sustainable farming methods, chemicals company Omnia is sitting on a gem – which it plans to sell. The question is, at what price? The management of JSE-listed chemicals company Omnia is in negotiations to sell the company’s crown jewel, US-based Oro Agri, at a presumed significant premium to the R1.2-billion it paid for the firm in March 2018. Omnia, which manufactures and supplies chemicals and specialised services for the agriculture, mining and chemicals application industries, alerted the market in June that it had received and…

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How the Green Revolution is in fact giving Africa the blues

  Well-intentioned efforts to improve food security in Africa and elsewhere are instead increasing small farmers’ dependence on global agribusinesses without raising their incomes, and making farming systems more fragile and less resilient. The Norwegian Nobel Committee has awarded this year’s Nobel Peace Prize to the United Nations World Food Programme, declaring that it wanted “to turn the eyes of the world toward the millions of people who suffer from or face the threat of hunger.” Those numbers are now greater than ever – and the dysfunctional global food system is largely to blame.…

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Small growers reach out to consumers to close a big gap

 Rooftop farmer Frolinah Malazah and her daughter in Joburg’s Berea. (Photo: Marie-Lais Emond) The abundantly productive small farmer and the hungrily keen consumer. How come they don’t meet? While we’ve been convinced that small businesses can play giant roles in our economy, in this agri sector, they can’t. Not as things stand. I’m vaguely reminded of that old economics “on the one hand” thing when I hold out one hand and say, “So here are the small farmers, growing crops against all the odds, producing munificently, maybe a bit too…

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Enhancing agricultural development and technology transfer through a revitalised extension system

  By Thulasizwe Mkhabela JOHANNESBURG – Governments have scaled down their direct involvement in agricultural extension. In developed countries, extension services – often dubbed advisory services – have largely been privatised and farmers have to pay to access it. In South Africa, there is a general consensus that the system has declined or at worst collapsed. Researchers have also noticed the declining value that publicly provided agricultural extension services have contributed to the sector and this has manifested itself in the burgeoning literature on farmers’ willingness to pay for extension…

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A landmark Premier Fishing empowerment deal

  CAPE TOWN – Premier Fishing SA (PFSA), a division of JSE listed Group Premier Fishing and Brands Limited, one of the largest black-owned, managed and fully transformed fishing companies in South Africa is issuing shares to its 900 employees. In one of the largest transactions of its kind in the country and the fishing sector, PFSA will be transferring 30percent of the company shares in a vendor financed transaction of which 20percent would be attributed to an employee share trust and 10percent to a BEE consortium through a special…

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Agriculture the main pillar of Limpopo’s economy

  Tourism, mining and agriculture have proven to be Limpopo’s three main pillars that support the province’s economy, with the province now boasting the second most agricultural jobs in the country. The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Limpopo claims urgent government intervention is needed to prevent massive job losses, unemployment and the escalating skill shortages that continue to hamper the ailing Limpopo economy. Tourism, mining, and agriculture have proven to be Limpopo’s three main pillars that support the province’s economy. The party said in a media statement on Tuesday that although…

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