A word from… Dr Sandile Ngcamphalala
Most farmers are by now done harvesting and already preparing for the new season. Congratulations for managing to get the crop off the lands. It was particularly tough for soybean and drybean farmers, as many couldn’t get into the field to harvest due to continuously wet conditions.
While it was a great season for many farmers, there were also numerous farmers who experienced an extremely difficult season. The dry spells experienced since last December until the first week of February meant delayed planting for many.
It just never stopped raining until the first week of June. The crop couldn’t thrive in the very wet and mostly cold conditions, especially in the KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Free State regions. Most farmers in the eastern parts of the country watched as their crop was wasted in fields that were inaccessible for harvesting. In many cases, manual labour had to be utilised to try and rescue the crop.
Climate variability is a reality for all grain farmers in South Africa. The weather has become increasingly more unreliable in most areas. Predictions indicate a much drier season, but we can’t control the prospects.
Anything is possible. The least we can do, is to plan properly, prepare and plant in time. As we conclude the harvesting season, I want to convey a word of support and solidarity, as we already plan for the new season.
To our partners, we remain grateful for your collaboration, continued generosity and financial support to the programme. With your support, we continue to stand and farmers are supported. As we conclude the 2022/2023 season and look forward to 2023/2024, let’s continue to collaborate and unite to ensure a profitable and sustainability grain industry. This industry feeds the nation, is one of the biggest employers and is at the core of our country’s stability and future.
– Dr Sandile Ngcamphalala is the Farmer Development lead at Grain SA.
Publication: August 2023