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Fresh Produce Markets

Introduction Markets selling agricultural products have been with humankind for many thousands of years. They have adapted and changed over time but the fundamental reason for their existence has never changed i.e. where supply and demand meet to establish a value for a product so that a sale can be made. There are different types […]

Supply Chain Management

Introduction Farming is only one part of the process which gets food onto people’s plates. Agricultural production leads on to packaging, transporting and marketing/selling. There are many places for inefficiencies and wastage. Supply chain management takes a look at all the links in this process. Dr Tobias Doyer makes the case for co-operation and co-ordination […]

Risk management and insurance

Introduction Agriculture today, and specifically farming, is a business faced with many risks. Issues such as climate change, skills shortage and the growth in the financial markets in terms of commodity products have increased the risks these businesses face. Even though agricultural businesses have more tools available to manage and mitigate risks, this has increased […]


Agricultural marketing

Introduction In a market-orientated system the price of a product is determined by supply and demand. A balance is achieved between what people are prepared to supply at a price and what people are willing to pay for the product. The essence of sound marketing is: find out what the consumer wants supply it at a […]

Livestock auctions

Introduction A calendar auction auction is held on the same place /auction pens on a weekly, monthly, quarterly or even yearly basis by an agent who advertises the auction in a calendar. The venue for the auction would have been selected and developed over years and its mere survival shows that there is a need for such […]


South Africa agricultural exports

Introduction Farmers in the 21st Century are greatly influenced by international commodity markets, the exchange rates, and the flow of produce between countries. The domestic price of commodities in most countries is very close to import parity (the landed price of an imported product) as farmers compete with each other for markets. A growth in exports will […]

Commodity trading

Introduction Although the South African Futures Exchange (SAFEX) was bought out by the then JSE Securities Exchange in 2001, it is not uncommon to find the trading of commodities still referred to as “SAFEX” in agricultural circles. Agricultural Derivatives from the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) provide a platform for price discovery and efficient price risk management for the grains market in […]

Agricultural shows and events

Agricultural shows and events South Africa

Introduction Agricultural shows and events are a time to celebrate the harvest and the achievements in different sectors which make up agriculture. They are a time when people involved in the agricultural value chain meet up again,  network and review the latest technologies and trends. A number of these events occur in South Africa, and […]

Providers of financial services

Introduction “Money makes the world go round”, a quotation from the musical Cabaret, is a saying with which most of us are familiar. It is not literally true, of course, but does point to our heavy reliance on money and financial services. While there may be very little that you can personally do about it, remember […]

Finance for new farmers and SMMEs

Introduction For small farmers and other small entrepreneurs, access to finance is a crucial part of being in the game. Farmers all over the world borrow money for seed, fertiliser and other technologies or inputs. These are investments into the business so that it is able to generate products to sell. Finance is also necessary […]