Home News 4 things happening in SA agri today, 29 July 2020

4 things happening in SA agri today, 29 July 2020

A seat at the table for foodie dialogues, citizen journalism project kicks off, smart farming webinar shares agri-tech insights, and bio-scientist cautions farmers to remain vigilant


Another busy day awaits the agricultural sector, but at least we can all raise our glasses at 13:00 for the winners of the 2020 Shiraz Challenge. Perhaps this is the perfect excuse to try out a brand-new vegan recipe shared by a Cape Town food blogger.

On a more serious note, high on the agri news agenda is the court appearance of five suspects arrested after the murder of three Northern Cape family members. Agri SA and TLU SA also believe a new twist in lockdown regulations could bring the game industry to its knees. Also, be sure not to miss a Food For Mzansi feature on the stigmas and rejection faced by covid-19 infectees, especially in rural communities.


Shiraz Challenge winners announced

The winners of the 2020 Shiraz Challenge will be announced virtually at 13:00 today. The competition is in its eight year, and Mzansi producers of this noble grape variety, once again, entered their wines for this popular competition. The competition categories include those for shiraz and shiraz blends and, for the first time, also for shiraz rosé.

Stellenbosch University assisted with the development of a special judging system used for the Shiraz Challenge. It is a tasting format which eliminates any inter-session discussion of wines and presents each judge with their unique tasting order to combat palate fatigue and to ensure that each wine was judged fairly and without bias.

In its continued commitment to industry skills development, a protégée under mentorship of the esteemed Cape Winemakers Guild is invited every year to join the panel.


Big blow for game industry

Agri SA and TLU say will continue to engage government on the controversial revised regulations which prohibits interprovincial travel and staying over on game farms for hunting. The organisations say this move will bring the game industry to its knees.

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Hunting is a seasonal activity ending in August – and is key to the financial survival of many farmers, says Omri van Zyl, executive director of Agri SA. “The wildlife industry sustains the livelihood of thousands of people in rural areas. This will compound losses suffered by the prohibition of tourism and exacerbate existing liquidity challenges in the value chain.”

TLU SA also demands an explanation. “It is utterly reckless and irrational to publish these types of regulations,” says its president, Louis Meintjes. “This is another economic blow for game farmers who’ve had massive losses because of the regulations during the first week of the lockdown.”


Triple farm murder suspects due in court

The five alleged murderers of a Northern Cape family will appear in the Hartswater Magistrate’s Court today. Food For Mzansi journalist Noluthando Ngcakani reports that the suspects face three charges of murder, kidnapping and robbery each.

This as the agricultural sector struggles to come to terms with the brutal attack on Breggie (73), Danie (83) and Elzabie (54) Brand, reportedly as they were about to have their Sunday lunch. Their bodies were found 30km from their farm home.

“Government will have to exercise its basic responsibility with regard to security and maintenance of law and order with firm action,” says Agri Northern Cape president Nicol Jansen in a Food For Mzansi interview.

READ MORE: Farm attacks are ‘barbaric and unscrupulous


A life of shame and stigma in Mzansi

At 10:00 today, Food For Mzansi publishes a heart-wrenching feature, revealing how farming communities label, stereotype and ostracise those with covid-19. “People act like you’re dirty,” a survivor tells Food For Mzansi journalist Noluthando Ngcakani while psychiatrist Dr Arnold Lawrence warns to some it’s like being HIV positive.

As the country descends into the eye of the covid-19 storm recent reports have revealed disturbing accounts from covid-19 victims who have been ostracised in their own communities forcing them to live in shame and fear of judgement.


Food blogger dispels veganism myths

Thursdays also mean it’s Mzansi Flavour time. For some, the thought of going vegan or vegetarian would leave them in an utter frenzy. But Food For Mzansi journalist Kyran Blaauw speaks to a Cape Town-based food blogger, Anda Mtshemla (24), who dispels some of the myths associated with the widely revered dietary option.

Mtshemla is the visionary behind 24 Karrots, a blog that assists those curious about veganism with meal options and gives much needed education about the increasingly popular lifestyle. This article will be live on Food For Mzansi at 11:00.

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Noluthando Ngcakani
Noluthando Ngcakani
With roots in the Northern Cape, this Kimberley Diamond has had a passion for telling human interest stories since she could speak her first words. A foodie by heart, she began her journalistic career as an intern at the SABC where she discovered her love for telling agricultural, community and nature related stories. Not a stranger to a challenge Ngcakani will go above and beyond to tell your truth.


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