HomeFood for Thought

Food for Thought

Financial inclusion for women: SA must up its game

The financial gap between men and women is a global problem. It’s a problem because excluding women financially prevents them from participating and contributing to society’s social and economic activities. This is bad for women, and for society.

Civil society can help fix SA’s food system

In South Africa, researchers found that, more than a year into the pandemic, food insecurity was still well above pre-pandemic levels. Simply put, this means more people than before do not have reliable access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food.

The impact of Covid-19 on black farmers in South Africa

The Covid-19 pandemic is continuing to disrupt societies. In South Africa it has caused millions to lose jobs and incomes. At the same time food prices have been going up, leaving more people food insecure. But the agricultural sector has also recorded bumper harvests and increased exports, creating an impression that farmers may be benefiting.

‘Soil health can save us all’ – World Food Prize winner

Prioritising soil health must be profitable and sustainable. This is the plea of soil rock star Rattan Lal, the winner of the 2020 World Food Prize, who shares his insights with Food For Mzansi.

Catch-22: Small-scale farmers vs. commercial banks

Commercial banks play a significant role in enabling growth in the agribusiness sector, argues well-known agricultural economist Hamlet Hlomendlini. Although they must lend money responsibly, it is also critical that they not be perceived as discriminating against small-scale farmers.

Could logistics crisis derail citrus growth trajectory?

Logistics are the life blood of the success of our agricultural export industry and should be a long-term and strategic focus area for South Africa, argues John Hudson, the national head of agriculture at Nedbank. Despite severe challenges, he believes there are many lessons to be learnt from Mzansi’s citrus value chain.

Mzansi’s ‘oldest farmer’ defied immeasurable trials

In this moving piece, Magnificent Mndebele and photographer Funiwe Ngwenya reflect on the life of one of South Africa’s oldest farmers who died at 96. Mahlomelane Mthembu defied all odds to persue his passion for the love of the land.

Robotics offers food industry a taste of the future

Mzansi’s food and beverage industry is lagging the rest of the world in implementing robotics. There are a couple of reasons for this: robotics is seen as an expensive solution, and there’s a lingering perception that robots will take human jobs.

Guarantee mechanisms ‘can give new farmers wings’

Every up-and-coming farmer knows that the absence of collateral can be the difference between growing and stagnating. Jobs Fund boss Najwah Allie-Edries argues that guarantee mechanisms can be a valuable tool to mitigate risks, and enable these farmers to access funding at a reasonable rate.

Informal waste reclaimers get World Wide Fund award

Johannesburg's waste reclaimers were recognised by the WWF as “exceptional South Africans who, through their catalytic actions, inspire people to live in harmony with nature." This at a time when they battle to be recognised by local authorities.

Must Read

Empowering smaller farms with global connections to trade

The opportunity is open for trade partners and platforms to serve as a gateway to export for small to medium farmers. This is why powering globalisation with partnerships remains a key factor to facilitate the enjoyment of a post-pandemic recovery for farmers across the globe.

Red tape is choking biodiversity research in SA

It is no exaggeration to say that science has saved humanity on multiple occasions. The most recent has been through the development of vaccines for the current Covid-19 pandemic.

Agripreneur 101: Meet a chicken liver manufacturer

For Kyle Oelofse, Chief Executive Officer of Goshen Food Solutions, creating a product that was both high in nutrients and delicious was a matter of extreme importance. The product was created in response to a call from the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP), a government-run programme that offers disadvantaged learners one nutritional meal a day.

The hard truth about being a farm manager

From a rural Eastern Cape village to managing one of KwaZulu-Natal’s top farms. This is the story of Mpumezo Ndima, an inspirational leader who has learnt many tough lessons along the way.

Wanted: the plant varieties that changed your life

Whether you're a farmer or a consumer – if a plant has made your business more profitable or your life easier, the Southern African Plant Breeders Association (SAPBA) wants to hear about it.