The stakes are high this Sunday when the Rugby World Cup host nation France and the mighty Springboks go head-to-head in their quarter-final clash at the Stade de France Stadium. South African farmers have joined their hands in support as the final draws closer.
Grain SA senior economist Corne Louw is confident the Boks will take the lead, producing results the nation will be proud of. He believes their biggest advantage is their physicality.
“The Bokke should use their physical dominance to their advantage against the French. And being a home-ground advantage, the French will feed off the crowd,” he said.
It’s all about pure grit for rugby player and Eastern Cape crop farmer Siphosihle Maseko. While the team might have retained injuries in their previous game against Tonga, Maseko knows this is not a major challenge for the Boks.
“The boys are in perfect form, I am impressed. So they should do what they love and smash them hard.
“Igwala emva, Bring it home madoda (Cowards behind, bring it home gents),” he said with excitement.
KwaZulu-Natal crop farmer Donovan Gumede is excited to see the Boks take the lead in the game and showcase their skills.
“Honestly, the Bokke’s performance is world-class, 10/10, So I hope we can bring the cup back home,” he said.
Potato SA communication manager Hanrie Greebe told Food For Mzansi that the Boks will dominate, making the country proud.
“They will be the best ‘spuds’ in the country. We support our team 100%,” he said.
A look at French agriculture
According to research compiled by the European Commission, due to the range of landscapes, climates, and soils present throughout its area, French agriculture is distinguished by its tremendous diversity.
With a total value of EUR 72.9 billion, its agricultural output ranks among the greatest in the European Union (EU).
Some of the country’s best commodities include wine (13.2%), milk (13.1%), grains (13%), and cattle (9.9%) with the highest production values.
The agriculture industry has a long history, and the EU has the most officially recognised producer organisations. According to the report, a producer organisation (recognised or not) covers 80% of the production of milk and 50% of the production of fruits and vegetables.
Approximately 28 million hectares, or almost half of France’s total land area, is used for agriculture. In France, there are roughly 708 170 farmers and about 456 000 farms with an average size of 69 ha.
Meanwhile, the report stated that about 28% of French citizens reside in 329 457 km2 of primarily rural areas.
The Boks rise again
According to research conducted by the International Trade Administration, South Africa’s agriculture is doing well despite the global and local challenges that farmers are faced with.
The report stated that the industry is being impacted by a wide range of variables, such as declining credit ratings, worries about land reform, fluctuating exchange rates, continuous weather concerns, and growing input costs.
About 32 000 commercial farmers operate in South Africa, and between 5 000 and 7 000 of them provide between 80 and 90% of the country’s agricultural output.
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