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Farmers get together to network and learn

September 2023

Grain SA hosted a farmers’ day celebration on 2 June in Legolaneng in Limpopo for study group members in the region. The purpose of the event was to foster engagement and strengthen relationships among key stakeholders in the agribusiness and services sector. The programme included talks on effective farming practices, fertiliser application and disease surveillance.
Jerry Mthombothi, regional development manager at the Mbombela office, emphasised the significance of essential farming practices, while Thobeka Manyathi from Kynoch discussed the importance of using accurate sampling techniques for precise application of NPK fertilisers before and during planting. 

Lawrence Mataha from the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI), in partnership with the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) and Grain SA, discussed their collaborative effort focussed on a disease surveillance initiative. The objective of this project is to identify and gain a deeper understanding of the occurrence of significant diseases in South Africa. Through this partnership, they combine their resources, expertise and knowledge to conduct extensive surveillance activities.

According to Nolo Bakwa, the communications intern at Grain SA, who attended the event, the day was an opportunity for farmers to network, learn from experts and stay updated on the latest agricultural practices. 

’It also fostered a sense of community among study group members. The farmers’ day celebration concluded on a positive note, inspiring everyone to continue supporting and promoting the growth of developing farmers.

Legolaneng Study Group members with Jerry Mthombothi (in the middle).

These excited study group members enjoyed the farmers’ day immensely.

Study groups report good yields

The month of June is always a busy time for summer cropping farmers – many of whom are still busy harvesting and marketing their crops. 

During the period of 1 to 21 June, the Grain SA team connected with twelve study groups. Here is the feedback from the various chairpersons:

  • Good yields were reported by the Njijini Study Group, with most farmers who have already removed the maize from their fields. 
  • At the Barberton Study Group members discussed the important role of soil – soil health, soil depths and effective depths for cropping.
  • The Amandangane Study Group has harvested much better yields. As their fields are not fenced, the maize had to be removed before it was dry – so they are waiting for it to dry before threshing. 
  • The Salubindza Study Group discussed soil and agriculture, soil types, fertility sources of nutrients and production potential. Farmers were encouraged to start preparing for the next season. 
  • Farmers from the Bizana Study Group were forced to harvest as early as May due to livestock invading the maize fields and damaging their crops. Yields there are not good at all – attributed to late planting because of heavy rains.

The chairperson of Njijini Study Group, Mr Zembe, with some of the harvested crops.

At Sheepmoor Study Group, soil pH was explained, and farmers were taught about the value of liming and why soil samples should be taken.

Publication: September 2023

Section: Pula/Imvula