Feeding the World Along the New Silk Roads

14 June 2019. The expanding agricultural commodity complex promises to include more buyers and sellers and with new trade routes re-opened that have long been dormant. While this is fertile ground for emerging market opportunities, there are also risks — both acute and subtle — to this expanding agriculture trade. Here we examine some of those risks in greater detail. Read more…


Weekly State of the Reservoirs on 2019-05-20

23 May 2019. Read more…


Agri SA survey confirms structural shift in research spend

25 April 2019 – The survey indicates that the spend is moved away from the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) and towards a variety of private institutions, universities and other government agencies to an estimated 75% of agricultural research spend. This is in drastic contrast to the traditional position of the ARC serving as the nexus of South African agricultural research and presents a set of urgent policy questions. Read more…


High-tech agriculture: Farmers risk being ‘locked in’ to unsustainable practices

12 March 2019 – Since World War II, Europe’s agricultural sector has been very receptive to new technology, and the result has been staggering productivity gains – for four generations, farmers have produced more than their parents did. At the same time, however, agricultural prices have fallen around the world and price subsidies have been cut. This has led to a cruel paradox: while farmers have never produced so much, many can no longer make a living from farming. Read more…


Is South African agriculture really dominated by big commercial farms? Evidence suggests not.

1 March 2019 – Behind some of the policy proposals and discussions on land redistribution in South Africa is a persistent notion that the country should establish ‘small-scale farms’ so that there could be more participants, and increase in productivity. This view was further shared by some participants at a conference organised by the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (Plaas) at the University of the Western Cape on 4-5 February 2019. Read more…


Bitter aftertaste? Food companies could face costly disputes over land in Africa

1 March 2019 – Food companies doing business in Africa risk becoming bogged down in decades-long legal disputes over land that could cost tens of millions of dollars. Read more…


New FAO publication highlights why sustainable agriculture policies are key

12 February 2019 – During a recent Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) panel discussion, director general, José Graziano da Silva emphasised the need to achieve sustainable agriculture practices, with reference to a newly launched publication, Sustainable Food and Agriculture: An Integrated Approach which aims to present state-of-the-art evidence on how sustainable agriculture can be continuously improved at different scales. Read more…


Global action required for sustainable agriculture

21 December 2018 – The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is the fundamental tool for joint action to achieve global goals such as eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, and assuring a viable environment. Read more…