This comes after South Africa's agricultural economy performed poor in the first quarter of the year, raising questions whether the contraction was on the back of a decline in investment due to policy uncertainty in the sector.
Racial polarisation, which increases the risk of race-based conflict, remains a huge challenge in South Africa - and, it affects relationships between races including in the farming communities. Marcel Hinze, a young farmer from the Piet Retief area in Mpumalanga, who completed this year's seventh Syngenta Grain Academy, says this reality formed part of a heated discussion during a presentation session to a panel of experts that participants had to complete as part of this leadership programme. Hinze says apartheid was highlighted during their group discussion with some members being of the opinion different races had enough time to get on an equal level with their peers. He says some group members, however still believe Black Economic Empowerment is not enough because of discrimination against some people during the apartheid years.
Members of the Read Meat Producers Organisation (RPO) in the Free State will focus, on among other issues, sustainable succession in the livestock industry and genetic management for the future during its provincial conference this week. Danie Odendaal, director of the Veterinary Network (V-Net), will speak on the lessons learnt after the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in Limpopo earlier this year. Frikkie Maré, academic head of Agricultural Economics at the University of the Free Sate (UFS) will focus on sustainable read meat production in challenging economic times. Tune in to Before Dawn with Gerben van Niekerk on Wednesday between 05:00 and 06:00, when Neville Raath, RPO Free State's vice chairperson, is a studio guest. He will talk more about the conference taking place in Bloemfontein on Thursday.