• The Republic of South Africa (SA) and the European Union (EU) engaged in a dialogue on soil information between 10 February 2018 and 23 October 2018. The dialogue was conducted within the SA-EU Strategic Partnership and supported by the SA-EU Dialogue Facility.

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    The Northern Hemisphere is taking over the orange season from the Southern Hemisphere. While the last oranges from South Africa are sold in Europe, the supply from the Mediterranean countries is getting under way.

  • Yellow and white maize prices and soybean prices have increased significantly in the past two months. This is in line with industry expectations, the Rand drooped tremendously in the past 2 months which supporting maize exports, hence supporting prices. The harvesting pressures that were weighing on prices have subsided as we now in the new planting phase.

  • The South African wine industry expects, at this early stage, that the 2019 wine grape crop will return to normal levels in most regions, thanks to good rainfall hot on the heels of a three-year drought. The Klein Karoo, however, is still experiencing a serious water shortage.

  • A panel of expert judges has put a fleet of 39 vehicles under scrutiny as part of the testing phase for the fourth annual Cars.co.za Consumer Awards powered by WesBank.

  • The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has forecast increases in South African production of apples, pears and table grapes in 2018-19, thanks in part to greater water availability.

  • At a gala event held in Stellenbosch on Friday evening, the Agricultural Writers SA announced the winners of the 2018 National Farmer, New Entrant into Commercial Agriculture and Agriculturist of the Year. The main sponsors of the event are Bayer, Santam Agriculture, Sanlam and Rovic Leers.

  • There is still limited activity in the sunflower fields due to lower soil moisture on the back of drier weather conditions in the past couple of weeks.

  • The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) has released its 2017/2018 integrated report which, for the first time, is supplemented by additional digital content about the organisation’s work. CEO Yolan Friedmann has penned an insightful opener, addressing the issues surrounding illegal wildlife trade.

  • SORGhUM has a lot going for it. It’s climate-smart, highly nutritious and we already know how to grow it.

  • Biltong is a variety of dried, cured meat that originated in Southern Africa. Various types of meat are used to produce it, ranging from beef and game meats to fillets of ostrich from commercial farms.

  • In its latest quarterly report, the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) expects South African new-vehicle sales to reach 558 000 units this year, inching up from last year’s 557 701 units.

  • While land reform has dominated South Africa’s headlines, it has also emerged as a major polarising issue in Namibia ahead of next year’s national election. Populist pressure, fears around the trajectory of the economy and uncertainty about how the process will be administered in Namibia have raised alarm, particularly among investors.

  • According to the latest cotton estimate production should increase 153% over the previous season. Cotton plantings under irrigation increased by 167% compared to last season. There is renewed interest in cotton, combined with favourable prices.

  • The Tshwane fresh produce market was well on its way to meeting the R30 billion (€1.87 bln) turnover target set for 2025 by the metro’s former mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa.

  • In an industry with a history of sustainability and ethics, one thing stands out more than anything else: love.

    Soft, luxurious, warm and timeless. It’s difficult to imagine mohair as anything other than a lovely scarf, but the fact is, the true story behind its production is almost as beautiful - and very important to the South African economy.

    Mohair is a fibre derived from the fleece of Angora goats and the industry supports more than 800 South African farms and an estimated 30,000 dependents. Fifty percent of the world’s mohair is produced in SA, under strict guidelines of sustainability that have been in continual development since 2009.
    Image: Supplied
    It’s all about the goats

    Aside from the numbers, though, it’s all about the goats. These gentle, somewhat charismatic creatures are at the heart of a farming industry that is driven by ethics and expertise. Angora farmers have a deep understanding of their goats that only a farmer who loves his animals can have. They’re a passionate bunch who regard the well-being of their livestock as an abiding commitment that is beyond question.

    Many of South Africa’s Angora farms have been in production for more than a century, with knowledge and skills passed down through generations. As such, mohair production in SA is as much a commercial enterprise as it is a family legacy. Of course, profitability is important, too, and is intrinsically linked to how the goats are treated and cared for.

  • What is the most important ingredient of economic success? You can make an argument that it is the rate of technological progress.

  • Notable success has been achieved in providing all South Africans with access to water and sanitation since the advent of the democratic dispensation in 1994. However, water availability remains a concern.

  • The interest rate policy of the Reserve Bank and all other central banks in the world is the greatest single delusion in the total economic science because nothing else can be further from the truth as the claims that monetary policy can control the inflation rate, can protect the exchange rate and can promote economic growth," says Fanie Brink, an independent agricultural economist.

  • After a successful pilot and implementation by Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), the roll out of a new e-Certification IT platform to the fruit industry in 2019, will save the industry at least R250 million over the next five years.