It is another busy day in South African agriculture. These are the top three happenings to take note of in Mzansi’s dynamic agricultural space today.
1North West DARD officials test positive for covid-19
The North West department of agriculture and rural development has confirmed that two of its officials are currently in self isolation after testing positive for covid-19 in the Matlosana local office and Bojanala district.
Both offices have been closed for decontamination and contact tracing is currently in progress. The department reported that all employees who have been in contact with the employees will also get tested and remain in self-quarantine as they wait for their test results.
MEC Desbo Mohono has called for calm amongst employees of the department as well as the farming community. She last night retweeted a post by the department in which she appeals to South Africans to observe and adhere to all covid-19 health protocols and guidance. She wished the affected staff members a speedy recovery.
MEC Mohono has called for calm amongst employees of the Department as well as the farming community in general. She is equally appealing to all to observe and adhere to all COVID-19 health protocols and guidance. MEC Mohono is wishing the affected staff members a speedy recovery.
— NW Agriculture and Rural Development (@nwpg_dard) July 1, 2020
Sappo rolls our VET app to all veterinarians
A veterinary app rolled out by the South Africa Pork Producers Organisation (Sappo) promises to enhance passive surveillance and disease monitoring. The app aims to enable both private and government veterinarians to capture data of their farm visits.
This can bring reassurance to the industry following outbreaks of animal diseases in the country and vets being restricted from visiting farms due to covid-19 restrictions. The app allows the veterinarians to capture their visits to farms, which can only be logged when the veterinarian is in close proximity to the farm.
Johan Kotzé, Sappo chairman, have emphasised that it is important to protect Mzansi’s pig industry against disease outbreaks.
The organisation encourages all pig farmers to register on the World of Pork platform and indicate who their vet or vet practice is to start logging visits.
World of Pork is a platform that offers stakeholders in the SA pork value chain an environment to share information. The platform aims is to facilitate interactions that create value and drive competitiveness, sustainability and food safety in the pork industry. Call (012) 361 3920 or www.sappo.org for more information
Fruit industry awards 2020 open for nominations
Nominations for the Deciduous Fruit Industry Awards 2020 are now open.
The annual glitzy affair hosted by Hortgro and other fruit bodies had to be cancelled due to the covid-19 pandemic. However, individuals or companies who made a difference to the fruit industry over the past year will still be acknowledged online during the second week of September 2020.
Categories for the awards are
Advanced Agri / Office Manager: Awarded to a manager who had continuously excelled in his or her daily performance during the period 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020.
Specialist Agri Worker: Awarded to a specialist agri worker who had continuously excelled in his or her daily performance in the period from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020 on a deciduous fruit farm. This DFI merit award is an entity on its own and is not part of the Western Cape Province regional agri worker competitions.
General Agri Worker: Award for a general agri worker at the lowest level in an orchard or vineyard. This is awarded to a general agri worker who had continuously excelled in his or her daily performance in the period from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020 on a deciduous fruit farm.
Deciduous Fruit Industry New Entrant Award: Award for a new entrant into the deciduous fruit industry. This is annually awarded to an individual who had entered the deciduous fruit industry over the last seven years and immediately made a difference.
Research and Technology Award: Award for an individual or a team/programme who researched discovered/invented/found/advised a new solution or product into the scientific, technical, marketing or economical fields of the deciduous fruit environment during the period 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020.
Izethelo Media Award: An award for outstanding journalism in the fruit industry. The competition is open to all agricultural journalists or communication departments with published articles or reports with specific reference to the fruit industry, in newspapers or magazines in South Africa or broadcasted over audio and visual media in South Africa.
Finalists will be selected on the basis of a personal interview by the judges to test the motivation received:
If you would like to nominate a worthy individual or company visit the Hortgro website for nomination form and criteria. Click here.