NewsWhat's new in Farmer’s Weekly?
─── ELSABÉ RICHARD 05:00 Fri, 10 Jun 2022
In our Friday insert, only on OFM News' Agri Hour, Elsabé Richard-May speaks to the editor of Farmer’s Weekly, Janine Ryan, about the latest news in the agricultural industry covered in the magazine and on its website.
See PODCAST below
Stock theft comes into the spotlight this week as Farmer’s Weekly takes a look at farmers not reporting this crime to the police. The chairperson of the Stock Theft Prevention Forum, Willie Clack, says farmers are speaking to politicians about stock theft, rather than reporting it to the police, which is not helping the fight against rural crime.
Ryan adds that one of the concerns in this regard was that the official figures of the South African Police Service (SAPS) were not reflecting the reality of the stock theft problem in South Africa.
According to Agri SA, only 25% of its members admitted to reporting all crimes to SAPS, while only 52% of its members reported some crimes.
Werner Weber, the leader of the Freedomfront Plus (FF+) in Mpumalanga and a farmer near Piet Retief, also told Farmer’s Weekly that stock theft was out of control in the area of Belfast and Carolina. Weber says 66 head of cattle were stolen over the past nine months on his farm.
Another story takes a look at the forecast for macadamia in South Africa. Ryan explains that despite the logistical bottleneck congestion at ports and shipping container shortages, macadamia farmers and processers are expecting the largest crop on record in the 2022 season. South Africa is expected to yield a harvest of almost 61 200 tons of dry nuts and shell products – this is almost 3 600 tons higher than the first quarterly forecast of just over 57 700 tons.
Poor service delivery and how this is impacting South African farmers are also covered in this week’s edition of Farmer’s Weekly. Dr Pieter Oberem, Managing Director of animal health company Afrivet, says during the North West Red Meat Producers Organisation (RPO) congress, farmers were increasingly being left to their own devices and with very little support from government despite the fact that they pay taxes. He says that while farmers were paying taxes for roads, electricity and medical services, they still have to take it upon themselves to fix roads and pay for private services.
Oberem adds that the same applies to animal health - with no government testing being done with regard to fertility and diseases such as brucellosis. He says Onderstepoort Biological Products (OBP) was not performing the way it needed to perform to safeguard livestock production in the country.
Furthermore, the citrus industry also comes into the spotlight. Reports indicate that the citrus industry will possibly become unprofitable in the next three to seven years, unless the current economic situation changes. This is according to a recent study conducted by the Bureau for Food and Agriculture Policy (BFAP).
Justin Chadwick, CEO of the Citrus Growers Association, told Farmer’s Weekly that media reports were creating a misleading picture of a thriving citrus industry which was actually struggling with serious logistical challenges, input issues and a lack of access to market.
Adding to this, Ryan explains that one of the challenges facing the country’s citrus production was an oversupply of produce without first securing market access.