- Biosecurity and pricey genetic material make a piggery a difficult start-up for small-scale producers.
- It’s best to first find a market for your product before beginning production. If you cannot sell it, your farming operation will not be viable.
- With layer hens, farmers can start earning a monthly income within a very short time.
Could a recently retrenched individual who has always dreamt of farming take R1 million from his or her pension savings and start a farming operation in South Africa’s current economic climate? The answer is yes, no, and maybe.
In this case, the devil truly lies in the detail. For this hypothetical farm, Farmer’s Weekly limited the scope to pig, poultry (both layers and broilers), vegetables and lucerne. While experts quickly dismissed some of these hypothetical farms, others just might be possible.
A few assumptions are necessary. The first is that the farm is in Gauteng, close to a market. The second is that the potential farmer does not own land and has no political means of obtaining land.
According to Michael Corbett, FNB’s head of agriculture in Gauteng, leasing land would probably be the best bet. After all, there is a difference between being a farmer and being a landowner.
“A quick Internet search indicates that we could possibly find land to lease for between R10 000 and R12 000 a month. Depending on size and infrastructure, this could work for a new farmer.”
Agricultural economist and independent consultant Jan de Jong agrees with Corbett.
“Leasing does make sense, because you’ll be able to free up capital. Unfortunately, it does have the downside of not having security. That’s a risk that the farmer would have to manage.”
Johann Kotzé, agricultural economist and CEO of the South African Pork Producers’ Organisation, says that when leasing land it is important to keep infrastructure to a bare minimum, as it will not necessarily benefit one’s farming operation to build infrastructure on another person’s land.
De Jong stresses that the potential farmer has to understand the crucial importance of profit.
“You are not a developing farmer; you are a small commercial farmer. When looking at these hypothetical farms, keep profit in mind. This should always be your motive. Even if you decide to exchange your cabbages for eggs, or vice versa, a transaction is still taking place.”
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Seclusion. Quiet. Natural beauty. There’s plenty of all three at The Boathouse on Boskop Dam, a delightful spot where you can relax, do a bit of fishing, canoeing, and birding, and watch gorgeous sunsets from the waterside deck. Riaan Hattingh reports.
Putting an end to the problem of food waste
In South Africa, about 30% of local agricultural production is wasted every year, which is equivalent to an estimated R60 billion, or around 2% of GDP. In a country where 30% of households are at risk of hunger, 31% experience hunger and 13 million children live in poverty, this waste is unsustainable and needs to change, says James Brand, a senior associate in ENSafrica’s Natural Resources and Environment department.
The knapsack sprayer is ideal for controlling small outbreaks of pests, as it’s economical, can be applied quickly, and is very accurate, says Bill Kerr.
Worthy winners: a robot harvester and an innovative planter
Of the 16 silver medals awarded by the German Agricultural Society, organiser of the 2022 Agritechnica Innovation Awards, one went to the manufacturers of an autonomous robot for broccoli harvesting, while another recognised an implement that combines sowing and crop residue management.
How intensive sheep farmers can improve traceability and profits
Intensive sheep farming has given eastern Free State farmer Gareth Angus the opportunity to increase his lambs’ survival rate, boost profits and ensure traceability from birth to farm gate, while also decreasing predation and elemental risk. Susan Marais visited Angus’s farm during the 2021 LRF Stockman School.
How to save money in 2022
With the Christmas tinsel tidied away for another year, it’s time to face the economic realities of 2022. For many farmers, this means focusing on how to ensure a profit in the face of soaring input costs. Susan Marais asked industry experts for their suggestions on how to cut expenses without compromising farming operations.
Protecting the rhino through translocation
Due to the demand for rhino horn, populations of this iconic mammal have declined over the years. One solution to this is to introduce rhino species into other environments. Mike Knight, chairperson of the African Rhino Specialist Group at the International Union for Conservation of Nature, describes the process of translocation.
Good weather predicted for summer 2022
Favourable weather patterns have been forecast for the Southern African Development Community countries in 2022. High rainfall, for example, is predicted for South Africa‘s summer grain production region. Annelie Coleman reports.
Balancing risk to build a table grape brand
When the Beukes brothers expanded their table grape farming operation from the Hex River Valley to Brandwacht near Worcester in the Western Cape, they had no idea of the challenges this would bring. Jacques Beukes shared some of the lessons they learnt with Wouter Kriel.
Are you geared towards these developing trends?
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the rate of digital integration and sped up advances crucial to the future success of many industries, including agriculture. Lindi Botha reports on the main trends that will influence farming this year.
Omicron could be fatal for us – or fatal for our faith in authorities
The emergence and rapid spread of the Omicron variant feels like a flashback to last year’s grim festive season when much of the world went into lockdown to avert the worst of the Alpha variant wave. But though the sense of eerie, impending doom feels familiar, the epidemiological and political situations are different from one year ago.
SHE'S TOUGH! SHE'LL GET THROUGH THIS
Princess Charlene’s family rally behind her as speculation about her health and marriage refuse to die down
Share Data, Supply Jabs
Some global lessons from Omicron already clear: quick surveillance and vaccine equity
The winter of our discontent
What is being done to develop opportunities in townships?
“Winters are the worst nightmare for us,” says a homeless man in Springs. Temperatures dropped to minus 7º C recently.
IN THE MIND OF A LOOTER
As SA recovers from the recent unrest, experts unpack the psychology behind riots and looting
LOOTING FOLLOWING ZUMA'S ARREST RAISES SA'S RISK PREMIUM
The violent ransacking of businesses following the incarceration of former president Jacob Zuma hits business confidence.
2 Moms, 1 Dad And A Bitter Legal Battle
A little girl is at the centre of a row between two women and their sperm donor over his continued involvement in his daughter’s life
Activism In The Time Of Covid-19
The Bench Marks Foundation rose to the challenges caused by the pandemic through innovation and creativity with its community activist training programme.
How To Manage Your Greater Tax Risk In 2021
"If you think compliance is expensive, try non-compliance." - Paul McNulty, former US Deputy Attorney General