Fighting the pest that is ravaging Africa’s agriculture

21 July 2017 – Tackling the menace of the tenacious fall army-worm is a top priority if Africa’s food security is to be safeguarded. Read more…


OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2017-2026

20 July 2017 – The thirteenth joint edition of the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook provides market projections for major agricultural commodities, biofuels and fish. Read more…


Engage Africa’s youth in agriculture and rural development

4 July 2017 – According to the Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, José Graziano da Silva at a joint African Union-European Union meeting, hosted at FAO headquarters in Rome, youth employment should be at the centre of any strategy to face economic and demographic challenges in Africa. Read more…


Demonstration farms can help revolutionise African agriculture

4 July 2017 – Farms that are used to teach agricultural techniques and technologies – known as demonstration farms – are a smart investment that can help accelerate the adoption of game-changing innovations. Farmers can learn new ways of doing things without having to do it on their farms. Read more…


Agriculture the best performer in a struggling economy

With the announcement last Tuesday that South Africa has slipped into a technical recession following two consecutive declines in gross domestic product (GDP) of 0.7percent during the first quarter of 2017 and 0.3percent during the fourth quarter of 2016, it may be difficult for anyone to remain positive about the economy or any prospects for growth in the short to medium term. Read more…

Only 15% of South Africa is suitable for crops

26 May 2017 – South Africa has no more than 15 percent of land that can be used for crop production due to low rainfall and poor soil, agriculture minister Senzeni Zokwana said on Wednesday.
Covering 1.2-million square km of land, South Africa is self-sufficient in virtually all major agricultural products but it uses 50 percent of its water for irrigation.
This problem is worsening however, with the drought in the Western Cape recently being declared a disaster. This follows a trend however. South Africa suffered its driest year on record in 2015 according to the national weather service. The current drought which has damaged crops and hit economic growth shows no sign of abating.

Africa must start by treating agriculture as a business

23 May 2017 – No region of the world has ever moved to industrialised economy status without a transformation of the agricultural sector. Agriculture, which contributes 16.2% of the GDP of Africa, and gives some form of employment to over 60% of the population, holds the key to accelerated growth, diversification and job creation for African economies.

But the performance of the sector has historically been low. Cereal yields are significantly below the global average. Modern farm inputs, including improved seeds, mechanisation, and irrigation, are severely limited. Read more…

SA suffers from fragmented policy making in agriculture and food security

Research shows that South Africa suffers from fragmented and incoherent policy in the areas of agriculture and food security. This is particularly true of the informal food economy, which has been effectively ignored (or alternatively maligned) by policymakers despite playing an important part in ensuring poor South Africans can eat. Read more…

How urbanisation can benefit farmers

The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) has released its 2017 Global Food Policy Report, the latest in an annual analysis of developments in food policy across the developing world based on the most recent available evidence. This report especially focuses on the effect that urbanisation has on food systems. Read more…