Podcast: Strong GDP growth for agriculture

FNB Agriculture’s head of communication and marketing, Dawie Maree, joins the Farmer’s Inside Track podcast to talk about Mzansi’s latest GDP figures, and the strong growth of the agriculture sector. Other guests include urban rooftop farmer Sibongile Cele; investment banker-turned-farmer Stuart Oda; Khaya Maloney, urban agriculture entrepreneur and founder of Afrileap; Sinelizwi citizen journalist Melanie Baumeister; Cropwatch Africa owner, Roedolf Nieuwenhuis; and home cook Thandi Boshomane.

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The latest GDP numbers released by Stats SA show strong growth in agriculture sector of 5,9% for the 4th quarter of 2020, resulting in a growth performance of 13,1% overall in 2020 for the agricultural sector. Dawie Maree, FNB Agriculture’s head of communication and marketing, joins the Farmer’s Inside Track podcast to interpret these numbers.

“This strong growth underpinned by increased animal production,” says Maree. “Animal products defied seasonal demand pressure during winter, as well as the Covid-19 disruptions.” 

“Favourable production conditions, strong export demand and a favourable rand exchange rate also helped boost overall agri performance in 2020,” Maree adds.  

Dawie Maree, FNB Agriculture’s head of communication and marketing. Picture: FNB

The citrus industry also recorded a fantastic year with better prices and strong volumes as demand spiked in major export destinations, Maree tells Mzansi’s favourite agriculture podcast.

The recent harvest estimates of the country’s biggest staple, maize, point to a potential crop north of 16 million for 2021. Horticulture and livestock conditions are conducive to further stellar growth in agriculture. 

“We expect another good year for the agricultural industry; with product conditions in all industries, horticulture, livestock, and grain, conducive for further growth in 2021,” says Maree about the upcoming year. 

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Also read: Agriculture ‘could pull Mzansi through tough 2021’ 

Listen to the full interview on this week’s Farmer’s Inside Track podcast. Find the links to the podcast below. 

Other podcast highlights: 

Besides the podcast interview with FNB’s Dawie Maree, this week’s Farmer’s Inside Track also has other highlights for the agricultural sector: 

  • In this week’s episode – How to set up a vertical farm! By 2050, the world’s population is expected to grow to a whopping 9.7 billion people. Growing food and feeding everyone will be a huge challenge, but vertical farming could be our saving grace. Journalist Dona van Eeden chats to Khaya Maloney, urban agriculture entrepreneur and founder of Afrileap. 
  • Investment banker-turned-farmer Stuart Oda explains how indoor vertical farms can maintain better safety standards, save money, use less water and help provide for future generations. 
  • Farmer’s tip of the week: Gauteng urban rooftop farmer and owner of Mcebo Wealth Rooftop Farm, Sibongile Cele, highlights some of the advantages and disadvantages of starting up a vertical or hydroponics farming system. 
  • Book of the week: Our book of the week takes a bit of a twist. Food For Mzansi’s Sinelizwi citizen journalist Melanie Baumeister reviews Recipes for Love and Murder by renowned South African author Sally Andrews. It’s not a traditional book for business owners, but there are a few lessons to be learnt from the characters in this story about farmers and urban dwellers thriving in the Little Karoo. 
  • App of the week: Cropwatch Africa, a specialised service provider that focusses on supporting farmers, researchers, industries, and governments across Africa to safeguard their resources, has developed an app that aims to provide detailed information on outbreaks. Cropwatch Africa owner, Roedolf Nieuwenhuis, says the app, which is available for Android and iOS and on the Huawei app store, is free of charge! 
  • Mzansi Flavour: Autumn is here and home cook Thandi Boshomane has the perfect beef and cabbage stew to make for a busy weeknight meal or just anytime you crave a delicious stew! She also shares her secret ingredient to cook the perfect Mzansi meal, so make sure you don’t miss this week’s episode of the Farmer’s Inside Track podcast. 

How to listen to Farmer’s Inside Track 

Option 1: Click here to listen on Spotify (all mobile and other devices). 

Option 2: Click here to listen on any Apple device. 

Option 3: Click here to listen on Google Podcasts. 

Option 4:Click here listen using this player. Just click “play”. 

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