Saturday, April 8, 2017

South Africa: Agric, Culture, People and the Sky

South Africa is a water scarce country where only 12 per cent of land can be used for crop production, but it is Africa’s largest producer and the only net exporter of food on the continent, says Nico van Burick, chairperson of the Local Organising Committee for the 2017 IFAJ World Congress. In this photo, Vito Rugani (center) displays carrots to a visiting team of IFAJ delegates at his carrot packaging and juice factory in the Gauteng region. He moved from rags to riches in 20 years and used to sleep on the floor at an apartment in Johannesburg in the early 1990s. Today, Rugani and his partner, Vincent Sequeira, produces 40% of South Africa's carrots (Photo Credit: M.S.Joof/TNBES/April 4)

This South African boer goat (top-right) weighing 142kgs is bred for meat.
The indigenous Veld Goats of SA are of three types: Nguni type - small framed, multicoloured, semi pendulous ears; the Eastern Cape Xhosa - large framed, multicoloured, lob years; and the Northern Cape Speckled (top-left) - large framed, speckled (skidler) coloured, lob years are also breed for meat. Bottom: Journalist Amadou Jallow reading a front cover of a book about the Nguni cattle. The breed, usually a small to medium framed animal, has a wide range of colours and colour patterns. "It is a highly fertile breed and has a long productive life," says Jeremy Holott, a small-holder farmer from Walkerville, 40km from Pretoria. "It is also the most resistant of all breeds to ticks and tick-borne diseases." According to the Nguni Cattle Breeders Association, the breed was recognised as a "developing breed" in 1983 under the Livestock Improvement Act (of 1977). "It is currently numerically the  second largest seed stock beef breed in South Africa," it says (Photo Credit: M/S/Joof/TNBES/April 2)

Dutoit Agri has been in the agricultural business for more than 120 years. "Dutoit Agri produces, distributes and markets 250 000 tons of fresh produce a year and employs 7500 workers in season," it's managing director Pieter Dutoit says. "That is one portion of fresh fruit and vegetables to 1.7 million people daily." (Photo Credit: M.S.Joof/TNBES/April 4).

"All of our produce harvested is packed, cooled, stored and marketed to our clients in more than fifty countries all over the world. In South Africa, Dutoit Agri supplies fruit and vegetables to all the major retail outlets across the country," Pieter Dutoit says. Commercial farming is a successful venture in South Africa, but farmers say they receive little or no support from the government. According to AgriSA, a South African agricultural industry association, the government invest a meager 3% per cent of its national budget in agriculture. Priority is given to extractive industries like coal mining in the mineral-rich nation (Photo Credit: M.S.Joof/TNBES/April 4)

Setswana or Tswana people of South Africa (Photo Credit: M.S.Joof/TNBES/April 4)
Like other African countries, South Africa has a rich and diverse people and culture. "There are 11 official languages [and] a few other minor languages and dialects. English is widely used and understood," says Liza Bohlmann, Head of Special Projects at Landbouweekblad, an Agriculture Weekly Magazine published in Afrikaans language. Among the tribes in South Africa are the Tswana People (pictured) entertaining IFAJ delegates during an evening at the Intundla Game Lodge and Bush Park in in the Gauteng region, 30 minutes east of Pretoria. The Setswana or Tswana people (language: Tswana) are found in Botswana and Lesotho but the largest group of this tribe is found in South Africa, according to Buzz South Africa.

South Africa has a population of about 56 million people. Five million of these are unemployed and up to 26 million people would be looking for jobs in the next fifteen years, according to Andre Du Randt, a sales manager of Pannar Seed. “Job creation is vital for success of all challenges like poverty and inequality, education and socio-economic conditions,” he said on Friday when the 2017 International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ)/DuPont Pioneer Master Class and the IFAJ/Alltech Young Leaders visited Pannar (Photo Credit: M.S.Joof/TNBES/April 4).

Similar to what obtains in Sub-Saharan Africa, a good number of South Africans live in extreme poverty. Twelve million, according to the World Bank in 2014. "Because of grants, free basic services and taxes favouring the poor, the poverty rate dropped from 46.2% to 39%," the Daily Maverick reports. A study by the Universitry of Cape Town found that about 63% of young South African children live in poverty. Photos taken from behind a windscreen shows poverty and affluence (side-by-side) in South Africa (Photo Credit: M.S.Joof/TNBES/April 4)

South Africa is the largest economy in Africa and the most developed country in Sub-Saharan Africa. "The need to move goods to inland centres of commerce have created a transport-intensive domestic economy,” according to the PWC Global.  “The air and rail networks are the largest on the continent, and the major roads are in good condition." Photos taken from the 11th floor of the Cape Sun hotel in Cape Town shows a section of the country's infrastructure (Photo Credit: M.S.Joof/TNBES/April 7).

The Cradle of Humankind at Maropeng is a world heritage site. It's scientific exhibition showcases cave formations and geology, early life forms, mamals and hominin fossils. The site also offers a deep insight in to the origins of humankind based on the scientific "big bang theory" in the depth of the Sterkfontein Cave. It also offers edutainment, conferences and social events like weddings among others (Photo Credit: M.S.Joof/TNBES/April 4)

South Africa has a beautiful landscape brought to life by mountains and the vegetation around it, but the sun, is a beautiful sight from when it rises in the morning and when it sets in the evening. Photos taken  from around Johannesburg and Pretoria. (Photo Credit: M.S.Joof/TNBES/March/April 2017)

Aerial photos are stunning, so are these pictures of Johannesburg and Cape Town taken from behind a windscreen of a South African Airline (Photo Credit: M.S.Joof/TNBES/April 5)

By Modou S. Joof, Cape Town, South Africa

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