Leonard Venter plant al die afgelope 25 jaar katoen op die Springbokvlakte in Limpopo. Na ’n ernstige insinking van 2004 tot 2010 het die katoenbedryf behoorlik kop opgetel. Hy kon gevolglik vanjaar 4 000 ha katoen op droëland en nog 70 ha onder besproeiing aanplant. Leonard is ook voorsitter van Katoen Suid-Afrika.
Die AL 3 Boerdery lewer jaarliks sowat 38 000 ton aartappels aan die varsproduktemark. Hulle boer ook met uie, botterskorsies en aartappelmoere. CT van der Merwe het sy toekomsplanne vir die boerdery per brief aan sy pa, Carl, oorgedra, waarna Carl die leisels oorgegee het. AL 3 boer saam met die natuur om volhoubaarheid te bevorder.
Vodacom Bulletjie Day is an occasion that has cemented itself on the Pretoria rugby calendar with young rugby players from all corners of the Blue Bulls catchment area coming together to enjoy a fun day out with the family.
This year’s instalment was particularly special as Vodacom Bulletjie Day celebrated 25 years with just over 6000 young and enthusiastic rugby players descending on Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, 2 June.
Marguerite Prinsloo, Blue Bulls Company: Events Co-Ordinator, explained how the day really encapsulates the family atmosphere of rugby.
“Vodacom Bulletjie Rugby is all about fun, family and entertainment and what better place to have this wonderful event, sponsored by Vodacom, than here at Loftus Versfeld, home of the Vodacom Bulls.”
Johan Schoeman, Founder of Vodacom Bulletjie Rugby, noted that Vodacom Bulletjie Day is a great opportunity for young players at the world’s largest mini-rugby day.
“We all know that this Vodacom Bulletjie Day is definitely the largest mini-rugby day in the world. There was approximately 22000 parents coming through the day from 08:00 until 17:00 and the end result you can see. What a wonderful opportunity.”
Steven Mabogwane, Bulletjie Rugby Coach, thanked Vodacom for their efforts in making Vodacom Bulletjie Day a success.
“As a father, as a coach, we are very happy to be here and we would like to thank Vodacom for putting smiles on our kids’ faces and for sponsoring this event. We can’t wait to come back next year.”
Gideon Oosthuizen het binne tien jaar sy beeskudde verdriedubbel, boonop op dieselfde stuk grond! Hy het dit gedoen deur ultrahoëdrukbeweiding toe te pas — iets waaroor ál meer boere by hom kers opsteek.
A new record attendance figure achieved during NAMPO 2018 and the feedback from the exhibitors that they mainly did good business testify to the optimism of the agricultural sector despite all the uncertainties facing South African producers.
This is the view of Jannie de Villiers, CEO of Grain SA, after the organisation’s 52nd NAMPO Harvest Day, which was presented successfully during the past week. According to ticket sales, 82 817 visitors streamed through the gates to visit the 746 exhibitors and to enjoy the family atmosphere and farm hospitality that are so unique to the Harvest Day. The private airstrip at NAMPO Park handled 361 aeroplanes and helicopters, ferrying a variety of visitors there, with ease.
‘The growing interest in the NAMPO Harvest Day is encouraging, and it proves that agriculture is still alive and well. To each exhibitor, visitor and staff member: thank you that you came to enjoy the event with us and helped to write the NAMPO story with us. A personal highlight of each NAMPO is meeting various people, talking and building relationships. Those relationships strengthen the hope on which agriculture is built.
‘It is also noteworthy that the number of non-agriculture visitors and numerous media representatives from outside the agricultural media have increased. From formal and informal discussions it is clear that they come to NAMPO because they like it there. The growing interest from black farmers in the show is also a definite plus to Grain SA,’ De Villiers said.
Foreign exhibitors’ interest in NAMPO as a platform for reaching the rest of Africa continues. Approximately 76 international exhibitors were housed in eight international pavilions – which each involved at least eight exhibitors from their country as part of their exhibitions. Representatives from Israel, Poland, England, America, India, France, Italy, Denmark, China, Turkey and Russia participated in the Harvest Day.
Grain SA continuously seeks to retain NAMPO’s sole focus on agriculture. The selection of exhibitors and the items on the programme are consistently arranged with this in mind. This year the Nation in Conversation forum made a strong contribution to the land debate. Fittingly, in the 30th year in which the Farmer Patent Competition was presented, Grain SA and Omnia welcomed the magazine Landbouweekblad as an additional partner.
The poor condition of various public roads in the area of NAMPO Park is of great concern. This places enormous pressure on certain routes and hampers the steady flow of traffic to and from the showgrounds.
The broad agricultural family of the Western Cape can look forward to NAMPO Cape, which will be presented in collaboration with Grain SA at Bredasdorp in the Western Cape from 12 to 14 September 2018. This trade and stock expo is aimed at creating a base as agricultural information provider, market place, network opportunity and gathering place for everyone with an interest in agriculture in the region. Information on NAMPO Cape is available via the www.nampo.co.za website.
Next year’s NAMPO Harvest Day has already been scheduled for 14 to 17 May.
Source: Grain SA
The Vodacom Bulls returned to Loftus after losing against the Jaguares and they have no choice but to correct their ship in Round 15 of Vodacom Super Rugby.
Cause for concern for the Vodacom Bulls camp would not be so much that they were outplayed by the Jaguares, but more because of the inconsistency in performances. There was a night and day difference between the team that beat the Cell C Sharks and the one that fronted up to the Jaguares. As they like to say in sport, ” the team just didn’t pitch up on the day”. The team seemed to lack urgency and cohesion and the coaches will be hoping to put that down to the long travel time to Argentina, rather than any kind of rugby-related issue.
The men from Pretoria did score two tries towards the end of their Argentinean dogfight that added some gloss to the loss but it goes without saying that they let themselves and the Loftus faithful down.
The Winning Formula
After getting a proverbial hiding from the Emirates Lions last weekend, the Brumbies are also facing a must-win situation in Pretoria.
Head to head, the Brumbies hold a considerable advantage over the Vodacom Bulls as they have only lost seven of the 19 matches played but the home team did record an emphatic 44-23 win against their foes from Down Under when they last met at Loftus Versfeld in 2014. The average score is 30-26 to the visitors with the Brumbies scoring an average of four tries to three per game.
The Brumbies will be without Rory Arnold as he was red carded for his dangerous tackle on Springbok pivot, Elton Jantjies, and was subsequently banned for three weeks.
The visitors will not be too perturbed about him missing out as they have a number of stalwarts in their team including lock Sam Carter, flank David Pocock, flyhalf Christian Lealiifano and wing Henry Speight who have enough experience to know how to win matches.
This is one of those games where if the Vodacom Bulls fire anywhere close to 100%, the Brumbies will stand very little chance of a win.
On the home front, Vodacom Bulls head coach John Mitchell has welcomed back regular captain and inside centre Burger Odendaal. His return sees Handrè Pollard shift back to flyhalf while Manie Libbok moves to the bench.
Amongst the forwards, Nic de Jager starts at blindside as Thembelani Bholi is rested on the bench. On the topic of bench warmers, lock Ruben van Heerden takes over from the injured Hendre Stassen while there is a possible Vodacom Super Rugby debut for prop Mathys Basson who replaces Frans van Wyk.
Vandeesweek besoek Landbouweekliks Eddie Prinsloo op die plaas Heuningkrans in die Suid-Vrystaat. Die Prinsloo-familie boer al langer as ’n eeu. Hulle het ’n Merino-stoetery. Die koning van Lesotho het al Heuningkrans-teelmateriaal vir sy kudde aankoop. In ’n opspraakwekkende transaksie het Eddie ook van sy grond aan werkers oorgedra.
There can be no doubt that youth development and job creation are top of mind in South Africa currently, so this session at Nation in Conversation – taking place during NAMPO from the 14th to 18th May – is sure to attract massive attention as a result.
For the country’s leading agribusiness, AFGRI, one of the first signatories of the Youth Employment Service (YES), commitment to developing South Africa’s youth is non-negotiable. Launched in April this year by President Cyril Ramaphosa, the initiative is aimed at empowering one million unemployed South African youth.
AFGRI was among the first companies to sign-up, along with other leading companies Absa, Discovery, Exxaro, FirstRand, Illovo, Imperial, Investec, MTN, Nedbank, Netcare, Pick n Pay, Sasol, Shoprite, Spar, Step, Uber, Unilever and Woolworths.
Chris Venter, CEO of AFGRI Group Holdings says that from his personal perspective there is a deep commitment to and understanding of the plight of youth in our country – and this view is entrenched at AFGRI. “Government needs the assistance of the private sector to manage the unemployment crises in the country and the least we can do is get involved in the offering of intern programmes and training, and through initiatives such as the YES project.”
Across the group, there are also several youth programmes in place, and AFGRI’s Corporate Social Investment (“CSI”) initiatives, focused on the key areas of food security, education support for schools, water security and poverty alleviation, are aimed at having a positive impact on the youth, emerging and commercial farmers, as well as the communities in which the group operates.
To date, AFGRI has supported 20 education projects, reaching over 7,000 learners; 23 food and water security projects, benefiting almost 9,000 community members and learners; six poverty alleviation projects, benefitting over 1,000 community members; and seven employee community initiatives.
The Emerging Farmer Development Initiative is housed in a standalone company called Harvest Time Investments. The programme aims to develop emerging farmers both in South Africa and on the continent and provide the essentials of farming through a diverse range of practical and theoretical training over a five-year period. The overarching rationale for Harvest Time Investments is to ensure sustainable agriculture.
“As a leader in the field of agriculture we are pleased with the tremendous success that our Emerging Farmer and Abba Training Programmes have achieved. What we have learnt from this is that practical experience and application is key, coupled with the support of mentors, access to finance and guidance from agronomists, for example. The result is a lasting formula which supports sustainable food security and most importantly enables the farmer to be economically successful.”
To encourage youth to attend NAMPO this year and give them a first-hand experience of the event, AFGRI has made free tickets available to 44 University of Pretoria students from the Faculty of Natural & Agricultural Sciences.
The Nation in Conversation topic “Agriculture 2035”, focusing on how new technology will change the face of agriculture as we know it today, is sure to spark debate around how to feed a burgeoning global population with natural resources that are already under pressure, as well as the sustainable development of the sector.
For AFGRI, South Africa’s leading agribusiness, innovation is one of the key aspects of remaining relevant to today’s farmers. “At AFGRI we strive to place innovation at the forefront of solutions to enhance productivity, creativity and ultimate value to customers. It is quite simply a way of doing business today,” says Chris Venter, CEO of AFGRI Group Holdings.
While innovation is encouraged across all of AFGRI’s products and services, including farming equipment and FinTech products such as the group’s eAccounts offering, AFGRI Technology Services (“ATS”) was set up some 18 months ago to focus on introducing innovation and technology across the agricultural value chain and bringing AgTech solutions to customers.
According to MD Niki Neumann, these are solutions ATS believes will help ensure both the future of agriculture and enable food security. “We are bringing together products and solutions that will solve some of agriculture’s biggest challenges. We aim to be the catalyst of innovation and technology-enabled solutions to drive sustainable agricultural growth across the African and global agricultural value chain.”
Neumann lists some of these challenges to be: the limited access to resources, finance, markets and information; increasing demand for farming efficiency – the constant demand to do more with less at a cheaper price; changing consumer demands, particularly towards increased food traceability and alternate protein sources; the demand to produce more to meet the exponential growth in the population; supply chain inefficiency and wasteful value chains; climate change, decreasing availability of land, water scarcity and changing weather patterns.
“Imagine a world where everyone had access to nutritional food. Imagine a world where 40% of the food produced is not wasted. Imagine a world where there is enough, equally dispersed for all. This is all possible through introducing innovative and inclusive business models, new technology and innovation in the sector. There’s both a positive societal impact, as well as a promising commercial opportunity that advanced, technology-driven agriculture can play, that is yet to be unlocked – agriculture can touch many lives positively.”
Neumann adds that a new frontier in agriculture has started and it’s moving faster than we imagined. “Last year alone there was a reported investment in AgTech start-ups of $10.1 billion. We are already on the back foot as a country in this space. It’s time for us to put technology and innovation forward as a key pillar of the future of the industry. It cannot be a ‘nice to have’, it needs to be adopted as a crucial enabler to the industry. We need to rethink the ordinary.”
With services uniquely centred on the concepts of “grow”, “create”, “build”, “leap” and “unite”, ATS provides a host of offerings, including:
- Innovation and technology advisory services for farmers and businesses.
- The design and co-design of new technology-driven business models, digital products and services for the sector.
- The building of new technology through co-creation and outsourcing services for Ag-specific innovation and digital activities.
“We offer start-ups and entrepreneurs the ability to scale their enterprise and technology with us. Innovation and future-proofing your business is best done by working together. Join our innovation ecosystem to connect with like-minded innovators, entrepreneurs and gain first access to game-changing technology solutions, and to talk to us about partnerships and strategic alliances.”
In the FinTech space, AFGRI has for some time led the pack amongst agricultural businesses with its afore-mentioned eAccounts offering. “In this age of technology, where most financial transactions are done through the touch of a button rather than in the presence of a teller or the bank manager, it is essential for financial services companies to offer top-notch electronic platforms from which clients can transact. eAccounts does just this – it’s a ground-breaking electronic account management solution offered to customers through UNIGRO,” explains Tinus Prinsloo, CEO of AFGRI.
Customers can, from a handling and storage perspective, view and receive invoices and statements, as well as draw detailed reports and information of their respective grain delivered for storage at any of AFGRI Grain Management’s 85 locations across the country. An ability exists to calculate storage rates according to grade and grain type. Customers are also able to access and monitor their procurement contracts, which contain detailed information, as well as movement reports. Another feature enables farmers to record rainfall on their lands. Future developments on this platform include an insurance and claims functionality.
Of course, when it comes to agricultural equipment, staying at the forefront of innovation is a must. AFGRI Equipment has ensured that farmers in Africa have had access to the finest agricultural equipment through the largest single John Deere franchise on the continent since 1962. What’s more is that AFGRI Equipment can support farmers with mobile servicing and maintenance workshops, ensuring effortless management of an agricultural fleet. Workshops are manned by highly qualified personnel, accredited by John Deere.
What’s more is that to ensure farmers have ground-breaking technology to hand in order to best manage their equipment, the AFGRI Equipment and John Deere partnership are currently implementing JD Link, a near real-time telematics system connecting all makes and models of agricultural machinery in the field with the farmer’s office and mobile devices.
“The JD Link system, which AFGRI Equipment has already started rolling out to farmers, helps collate telematics and a wide range of data from all machines. Vital information to prevent downtime as an example, is available at any time to the farmer, and this, in our opinion, will improve efficiencies even further,” says Prinsloo, adding that AFGRI Equipment would be making more information available on this system in the next few weeks.
The spectacular John Deere machines, along with specialist potato equipment, will be on display at the AFGRI Equipment John Deere stand as well as the new AFGRI stand, H2 at NAMPO – we urge you to come and take look at our latest range.