Rural development

Mining, Biofuels, Require Efficient Farms

Mining and biofuels are competing with agriculture for land in South Africa, putting pressure on farmers to become more efficient, particularly through the use of technology.

Head of agribusiness at Standard Bank, Nico Groenewald, notes that as a result, South Africa’s commercial farmers are consolidating into fewer and larger operations to achieve economies of scale and remain profitable.

Lack of Funding Cripples ARC

The Agricultural Research Council (ARC), which received a grant of R866-million in 2013/14, 16 percent more than the previous year, was established in 1990 to be the country’s primary agricultural scientific research institution, but has suffered from years of neglect and underfunding.

In its annual report, the ARC paints a picture of an organisation suffering from chronic underfunding and trying to do the best with the resources available.

South Africans to Celebrate World Food Day

16 October is World Food Day and as the 20th World Food Day since the inception of democracy in South Africa, a grim shadow of hunger and malnutrition hangs over the gains of the democratic era.

In his article, Daniel Mclaren argues that while Section 27 of the South African Constitution guarantees the right to have access to sufficient food to all people in our country, a growing body of research on access to sufficient and nutritious food shows that this most basic of rights remains far from being fulfilled for millions of South Africans.

ISS: Farm Killings Not Politically Motivated

The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) has refuted some reports which claim that farm attacks are racially motivated.
 
The ISS study has found that most attacks are motivated by greed and not by racial intolerance.
 
ISS senior researcher, Johan Burger, states that the report could not find any evidence showing that violent crimes committed on farms and small holdings were motivated by race or class.
 

NGOs Our Only Hope - Villagers

According to Moses Matenga, one thing Chivi villagers in Zimbabwe’s Masvingo province would want to quickly forget is the ravaging drought that ate away their livestock in 2012.

In his article titled ‘NGOs our only hope – villagers’, Matenga states that from the hunger of 2008 that forced them to compete for chakata (a wild fruit) with donkeys to the menacing dry spell of 2012-13, the villagers and their counterparts from the southern region do not want, never again, to see their livestock dying from hunger.

Small-Scale Farmers Risk Losing Farms

Scores of small scale farmers in Jozini, northern KwaZulu-Natal, are at risk of losing their farms.

According to the South African Broadcasting Corporation’s Ayanda Mhlongo, more than 20 farmers have already lost their farms due to alleged corruption and mismanagement by Mjindi - a government appointed management entity.

Mhlongo says the farmers claim to have lease agreements on the land, adding that other farmers also allege government promised them farming implements, withheld by Mjindi, resulting in dying crops.

Africa Urged to Modernise Farming

At the 23rd African Union (AU) Summit, the chairperson of the AU, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, encouraged the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee (HSGOC) to modernise farming as a means of attracting young women and men into the agricultural sector.

Since its evolution from Organisation for African Unity to AU in 2000, the organisation has been battling with the impact of global financial crises threatening its vision of integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa.

OUTA: E-tolls Have Failed

The Oppostion to Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA) believes the questionable execution of e-tolling in Gauteng had paved its road to failure.

Speaking at an advisory panel on e-tolls which looks at the systems socioeconomic impact, OUTA chairperson Wayne Duvenage was demonstrating reasons for the failure of the system.

Duvenage, states that, “We are wasting everyday peoples’ money… we need to switch the system off.”

South Africa Prioritises Food Security

The South African government is mulling ways to improve access to food and ensure good nutrition, including proposals to increase public spending on social programmes that affect food security and market interventions.
 
Problems listed by the National Policy on Food and Nutrition Security approved by the cabinet include inadequate safety nets and emergency management systems to provide for those who cannot meet their immediate food needs and a lack of knowledge and resources for people to make good choices for nutritious diets, among others.
 

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