Although demand for pork in South Africa remains strong, consumer spending is under pressure. On top of that, sporadic African swine fever outbreaks in the informal sector has made matters worse. However, pig farmers remain positive, said Johann Kotzé, CEO of the South Africa Pork Producers’ Organisation (SAPPO) in a recent report to the European Pig Producers board.
Kotzé explained that 2021 had been a difficult year for South Africa, as it was for most countries.
In terms African swine fever (ASF), South Africa still has sporadic outbreaks in the informal sector. However, Kotzé said, “There is a strong focus on South Africa’s compartment system that protects pig herds against diseases. We also focus on contingency plans at farms and at abattoirs.”
The idea is to isolate the spreading of the disease and to limit the movement of pigs. SAPPO has been concentrating on prevention and information programmes about ASF among farmers in the informal and commercial sectors.
Kotzé said the demand remains strong in Mzansi, but consumer spending power is constrained.
“Prices at the farm gate and in retail stores are therefore not that high. South African pork producers’ margins are also under pressure because input prices are relatively high,” he said.
This year alone it is expected that many smaller-scale pig farmers will leave the industry. And farmers operating on a larger scale are likely to consolidate and become more efficient.
However, pork producers are positive about the future. They are extremely resilient and adapt quickly to changing circumstances, Kotzé pointed out.
“We believe that our integrity as producers and our high production, biosecurity and welfare standards will ensure a promising future. Our aim for the future is to grow traceability to assure consumers of the quality and safety of our proud production tradition and our excellent product,” he said.
Tips to harvest 2022 grape crops
With harvest time hot on wine producers’ heels – and in some areas already in full swing – Vinpro’s team of viticulturists shared their tips for managing vineyards during the 2022 harvest season.
It’s all about perfect planning, they advised. Make sure you are prepared by getting harvesting tools ready and familiarising yourself with the cellar grading system and grape analysis standards.
Vinpro viticulturists also advised that farmers plan and schedule actions for the establishment of new vineyards in 2022. This includes soil preparation actions and complete evaluations and planning for vineyard establishment in 2023, as to ensure that planting material is ordered on time.
In the vineyard, farmers are advised to irrigate according to vineyard blocks’ needs, but continuously keep the wine target and expected harvest date in mind when making decisions regarding irrigation.
Vineyards should not experience a lot of water stress and/or too wet conditions before harvesting, as this could impede optimal flavour and colour formation, as well as good grape analyses.
It is advised that farmers pay attention to young vine development, and not apply fertiliser by later than the end of January.
As for harvesting itself, start monitoring ripeness early and make sure that grapes are harvested at the optimal ripeness for the specific wine goal.
Stay in close contact with the winemaker to keep them informed of the expected harvest date for the respective vineyard blocks, as well as to make the necessary arrangements in terms of delivery, Vinpro advised.
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