News

Read the latest updates from IrriCheck. Including news stories, case studies and press releases.

R100m Covid-19 grant funding set aside for smallholder farmers

The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development has set aside R100m for a Covid-19 grant scheme, which has been made available through Land Bank to smallholder farmers who have loans to pay, and experience financial distress resulting from the impact of Covid-19 and related interventions, such as the effects of the protracted Lockdown regulations, on their businesses.

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Latest research: Macadamias need less water than you think!

With a looming water crisis and an expanding macadamia industry, the obvious question arises: where will the water for the new orchards come from? A recent groundbreaking study shows that farmers have been grossly over-irrigating and that dryland macadamias in high-rainfall areas actually provide better yields. Lindi Botha spoke to Theunis and Armand Smit, specialists in irrigation and optimal water usage.

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COVID-19 ‘perfect storm’ for African food security

COVID-19’s arrival in Africa has exacerbated pre-existing major challenges to the continent’s food production and nutrition security. These include droughts, floods, extreme temperatures, outbreaks of crop and livestock pests and diseases, and generally low economic growth. This was according to the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza, during her presentation to…

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Water rights trading ‘discriminatory’, rules high court

Full bench rules that the sale or trading of water rights discriminates against those who can’t afford it

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Mama Nomonde, the Gugs queen who started 8 veggie gardens

“Agricultural communities and institutions must stop asking us for certificates and degrees,” says Nomonde Kweza (52)

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Agri-worker goes from retrenchment to award-winning entrepreneur

When Eugene Simons was retrenched in 2004, along with her husband who worked at the same organic farm, all she thought about was her next move. Instead of retaliating with anger, she chose to react differently.

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IoT and Irrigation Scheduling

The Internet of Things (IoT) has become a buzzword in agriculture over the past few years, promising to connect all things hardware to all things digital. What really matters however, is to ensure that there is strategic focus on what is being connected and what data is being produced, so that the information has practical…

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Late rainfall sees Free State farmers returning to wheat

When the rains came too late to plant maize at the end of 2018, Bultfontein farmers Anton and Heinrich Botha joined other producers in the region in planting dryland winter wheat instead. Sabrina Dean visited this father-and-son team to find out why they are so enthusiastic about the renewed interest in wheat.

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Africa’s agriculture future beyond COVID-19

E-commerce gives a signal as to how African farmers will access markets in the future. Beyond the COVID-19, the food and agriculture landscape in Africa will change because of the pandemic in terms of processing and value addition, agri-food e-commerce among others according to a report by Selina Wamucii. The report, titled “Impact of COVID–19…

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Coronavirus: Most ‘risk violations’ are in agricultural sector

Most of the Covid-19 virus “risk violations” so far have taken place in the agricultural sector, says David Esau, chief inspector at the Department of Labour in the Western Cape.

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