n Farmer’s Weekly - Take good care of your most important asset : global farming

Volume 2016, Issue 16022
  • ISSN : 0041-848X



Modern agricultural equipment provides reliable service as long as it's properly maintained. Crop farmers know that they must take care of the health of their soil, while livestock farmers have to look after their animals. Why is it that farmers molycoddle their crops, animals and machinery, yet neglect to maintain their most important resource: their own physical and mental well-being? A recent New Zealand study cites the following as among the main causes of mental stress in farmers: workload (too much to do in too little time); financial pressure; the weather; and unreasonable personal expectations and goals. These factors are also present in South Africa, where additional stressors include a largely hostile government, the ever present threat of farm attacks, and the drought - the true effects of which will only be visible in coming months. All this is enough to give anyone stress. Now add the fact that farmers are price-takers both on the input and output side, and that they do not get a fair share of the consumer's rand.

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