North West cattle farmer puts his trust in proven stud bulls

Kgomotso Bantsho has been farming Bonsmara cattle and goats full-time in North West since 2017. He says that support from other farmers is critical, and that each farmer needs to learn which management practices will work best for him or her. Kgomotso Bantsho, a cattle farmer in Vorstershoop in North …

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Fish production: simplicity or sophistication

A recirculating system and a pond farm are at opposite ends of the aquaculture spectrum. The sweet spot is somewhere in between. The most complex set-up is the recirculating aquaculture system (RAS), and the simplest is the pond-based system. Each has its advantages. An RAS uses and reuses a limited …

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How to distinguish similar-looking juvenile cichlids

Approximately 15 cichlid species occur in South Africa. To the untrained eye, several appear confusingly alike, especially as juveniles. So make sure you get the right tilapia species for your aquaculture enterprise! The Mozambique tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus). Note the straight forehead and faint vertical barring of the juvenile. Photo: Nicholas James …

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A tilapia model that SA should be emulating

Land ownership of the supply chain has enabled a number of countries to produce thousands of tons of tilapia annually. There is little reason why this cannot take place in South Africa. Land ownership of the supply chain has enabled a number of countries to produce thousands of tons of …

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West Coast abalone farm doubles in size, thanks to demand

oday, there are about a dozen abalone farms along the coastline between Port Nolloth and East London. One of the first to be established was Jacobsbaai Sea Products in the West Coast hamlet of Jacobsbaai. In the 24 years since it started farming abalone, the farm has produced an ever-greater …

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How to safeguard your fish against the cold

A well-sealed tunnel with bricked-up ends to prevent warm air escaping is the first step in retaining heat. Photo: Nicholas James In the past few weeks, I’ve come across several farmers, mainly those with aquaponics systems, who were unprepared for winter and whose water temperatures declined to below 14ºC. This can …

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Southeast Asia’s formula for top ornamental fish

This Lake Malawi cichlid (Copadichromis azureus) will only show and sustain such vivid colour if fed a wide range of natural feeds. Photo: Nicholas James Yet I remember many years back expressing the view that to produce a kilogram of fish worth R4 500 was surely more worthwhile than one fish …

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A word of warning for startup producers

Prospective fish producers should consider all the hurdles that stand in the way of making a profit. Before embarking an any fish farming project, make sure you have a full understanding of all the costs associated with production. The electricity alone needed to keep these systems going can run into …

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