Farmers: Focus on what you can change

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Farmers: Focus on what you can change

Although the macroeconomic environment is likely to remain uncertain in the short to medium term, primary producers can still prosper if they focus on what they, themselves, can change. Your business model, competitive edge, levels of agility, and capital structure can create sustainability regardless of the external environment. This was the view of Nico Groenewald, Head of Agribusiness for Standard Bank, speaking at the second biannual Citrus Growers Association (CGA) Summit, held earlier this month.

Groenewald pointed out that the citrus industry was one of the agricultural sub-sectors over the past six years to have shown double digit growth. This is a reflection of agriculture’s general adaptability, with the industry having evolved over the past decade from an almost exclusive emphasis on field crops and livestock, to much more investment of resources and effort in horticulture.

“Most of our agricultural product, including citrus, is produced under irrigation,” Groenewald explains. “So, we can’t necessarily reduce the percentage of water the industry uses, but it must use water more efficiently. Ideally, we should aim to produce more food with less water.”

In answer to the complexity of the external environment, Groenewald believes that producers should aim for simplification.

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