by Greg Penfold

Common Ground

Welcome to the final issue of Harvest SA for 2016.

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What a year it has been! Not only is it the hottest year on record world-wide, but rainfall has reached its lowest levels since rainfall first began to be recorded in 1904. Given the terrible impact of the persistent drought, it's no wonder that water is the topic of the moment. As such our lead story, with its insights from the Water Commission, is a must read

Not only has the drought brought many farmers to the verge of financial ruin, it is also likely to have an impact on the very nature of the agriculture business in South Africa. Rain alone will not solve all our problems. On the contrary, it is necessary to look at how farmers can be supported financially in the face of what amounts to a natural disaster. In this light, this issue's article on agricultural economics, contributed by Prof. Willemse of the University of the Free State, offers invaluable insights and recommendations for saving a vital economic sector that is in a dreadful plight.Speaking of the future, it is evident that all stakeholders in agriculture begin to pull together.

A strategy has to be forged if food security and sustainability are to be achieved. This issue features comment from the Transvaal Agricultural Union's Benny van Zyl. We would like to thank TAU distributing Harvest SA to all its members.

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