Agriculture is currently facing unprecedented challenges. As the country recovers from a devastating drought, the sector has once again been plunged into uncertainty with the advent of the novel coronavirus Covid-19 global pandemic.
Amidst disrupted markets, changes in cash flow and higher compliance costs, farmers have rallied to stay afloat and keep producing food for our nation and export markets. The resilience of South Africa’s farming sector has been consistently proven and now more than ever the industry is showing its mettle.
The crisis has also placed a much-deserved spotlight on farmers and the role they play in ensuring food security. South Africa has realised its fortunate position to be a food secure country, with minimal reliance on imported food. As our farmers continue their operations despite some restrictions as a result of the lockdown, opportunities are presenting themselves in many forms. With a renewed focus on health and strong immune systems, consumers will be more vigilant as to how they are feeding their families. This presents renewed prospects for farmers as consumers seek fresh, healthy alternatives to overly processed foods. A renewed interest in home cooking has also increased the demand for fresh ingredients.
South Africa’s diverse landscape gives rise to a vast variety of different crops and cropping systems. From the subtropical hills of the Lowveld, to large scale grain production in the Free State, deciduous fruit and wine in the Western Cape’s valleys, livestock in lush KwaZulu-Natal and all the niche products in between, the country’s farmers are as uniqueas our vistas. The golden thread running through all these operations is the striving towards greater efficiencies, producing more with less. As research in irrigation systems and precision farming intensifies, farmers are more than ever inundated with information on how to reduce inputs while pushing up yields. Advancements in technology and science have resulted infarming systems that optimally use everydrop of water and granule of fertiliser. Improvements in plant genetics have seen the crop yields double over time while the area
under production shrinks. Taking full advantage of these opportunities will require farmers to remain on the forefront of new technologies and solutions to optimise production to beat the ever-encroaching cost price squeeze. Those who are connected to a diversity of markets and suppliers stand a better chance to thrive. It is especially important to make use of reliable inputs that will contribute to the integrity of the crop and continued market access. The crux for each individual farmer lies in finding the perfect balance between input and output, utilising the solutions that are best suited to his or her farm and budget. Farmers that can achieve the holy grail of producing a crop that optimises resources, lowers input costs, has a minimally invasive effect on the surrounding environment, all the while producing a healthy harvest that is in high demand, will perpetually thrive.
Presented within this directory is a vast variety of input suppliers and potential partners for sustainable, profitable farming.
May it be an invaluable resource for your business and open further opportunities to flourish.
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