Sweet potatoes are easy to plant, need little looking after and deliver high yields. They are usually grown in sandy soil, which makes them easier to dig up. But they also do well in most soils, even heavy clay.
Currently, sweet potato is cultivated in more than 100 countries, mostly throughout tropical and subtropical Asia. In South Africa Limpopo, Mpumalanga, KZN and Western Cape provinces are the major production areas.
There are two broad categories of sweet potato:
1. The staple type with white flesh and white or purple skin has a high starch and dry-maltier content.
2. The desert type with orange flesh and orange skin with a high sugar and beta-carotene content.
A well-drained sandy loam is preferred and heavy clay soils should be avoided as they can retard root development, resulting in growth cracks and poor root shape. Lighter soils are more easily washed from the roots at harvest time. Wet season green manure cropping with sterile forage sorghum is recommended and should be thoroughly incorporated and decomposed by planting time.
Planting time of sweet potatoes is mainly determined by the climate of a location. Sweet potato plants are damaged by light frost and the plants required high temperatures for a period of 4 to 5 months to yield well. In areas with mild frost , mid-November to mid – December is the best time to plant, and usually the crops get ready for harvest from April to May. Cold spells during winter can be a risk, depending on the climate of the specific area. In very hot areas, planting should be avoided from November to middle February as storage root formation is reduced by high temperatures.
Optimum plant density depends on the cultivar, but is usually around 40 000 plants per hectare. Rows may vary from 1 to 1,25m apart; in-row spacing it is usually 25 to 30cm.
Requirements for water vary with soil type but can be generally estimated as 18 to 20mm per week early in the season, 40 to 45mm per week during the middle part of the season when storage roots are enlarging rapidly and a reduction to about 20mm late in the season. Excessive moisture early in the season delays storage root development and enlargement; late in the season, it induces cracking and for rotting of roots.
* Rich in complex carbohydrates, fibre, Vitamins A,C, and B6.
* Pink yellow and green varieties are high in carotene, the precursor of vitamin A.
* Dark orange flesh have more beta carotene than those with light colored flesh.
* Beneficial food for diabetes because it stabilize blood sugar levels.
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Cassava is grown as a secondary crop in South Africa by farmers and small holders and is utilized for the production of starch (commercial and food grade starch) as well as various other products.
In South Africa the crop is cultivated in Limpopo, Mpumalanga, and Northern KZN.It is produced on a large scale in Limpopo, mainly for industrial purposes.
“Bitter” and “Sweet” are the two general types of cassava. The sweet type is more commonly grown because of its greater yields.. The color and texture of the root peel are often the only factors used in separating clones in the market.
The cassava plant produces best when rainfall is fairly abundant, but it can be grown where the annual rainfall is as low as 500mm but well-distributed and where it is as high as 5000mm. The cassava plant can stand prolonged periods of drought in which most other food crops would perish. This makes it valuable in regions where the annual rainfall is low or where seasonal distribution is irregular.
Cassava grows best on light, sandy loam’s or on loamy sands which are moist, fertile and deep, but also does well on soils ranging in texture from sands to clay and on soils of relatively low fertility. In practice, it is grown on a wide range of soils, provided the soil texture is friable enough to allow the development of the tubers.
In regions with seasonal rains, cassava can be harvested throughout the year when the tubers reach maturity. Harvesting usually takes place in the dry season, during the dormant period of the plant. In areas where rain prevails all year round, the crop can be harvested throughout the year. Maturity differs from one variety to the next. The tubers can be harvested between 6 months and 3 years after planting, but for food purposes harvesting can take place at almost any age below 12 months. Harvesting may be delayed until market, processing, or other conditions become favorable.
Cassava spoils easily and it is costly to transport in its raw form as it consists mainly of water. Therefore, most of the processing takes place on the farm. Processing results in products such as gari (a type of pickled vegetable), lafun (a fibrous powdery form of cassava) and fufu (a thick paste made by boiling) which all have a longer self life than cassava tubers do.. These products are consumed in the household or sold in the local market. They are sold in South Africa or traders in Swaziland and Mozambique.
Cassava has a high content of fermentable substances. This makes it appropriate for the production of alcohol. the fresh tubers contain about 30% starch and 5% sugars, and the dried tubers contain approximately 80% fermentable substances.
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Sales Forecasting is much easier than you think, and more useful than you imagine. It’s not about guessing but about assumptions, expectations, tracking and management. You also need to review and revise your forecast regularly because they relate to costs and expenses. The sales forecast will help you to do budgets and manage them.
Step 1: Plan your income streams
Plan how many income/revenue streams your business have. Look for the right level of detail. Always try to set your income streams to match your accounting, so that you can look at the difference between the forecast and actual sales later.
Step 2: Forecast row by row
Among the main methods are:
* Unit Sales – Sales= units x price. You set an average price and forecast the number of units.
* Service Units – Although services don’t sell physical units, most sell billable units, such as billable hours for doctors, lawyers and accountants, or engagements for consultants.
* Recurring Charges – Subscriptions –For each month it has to forecast new signups, existing charges and cancellations.
* Revenue Only – For those who prefer to forecast revenue by the streams (item) do it without the extra information of breaking it into units and prices.
What numbers to put into your forecast?
Predicting he future humans don’t do well. Therefore, don’t try to guess the future accurately for months in advance. Instead, aim for making clear assumptions and understanding what drives sales, such as web traffic and conversions or direct sales pipeline and leads. Review results every month, and revise your forecast. Your educated guesses become more accurate over time.
Using past results
Use results from the recent past if your business has them. Start your forecast by putting last year’s numbers into next year’s forecast, and then focus on what might be different this year from next year. Think about opportunities that will make sales grow, new marketing activities, promotions etc. Then increase the forecast. To forecast sales for new mobile app, you might get data from the Apple and Android mobile app stores about average downloads for different apps.
Estimate direct costs – C.O.G.S – cost of goods sold.
Direct Costs are important because they help calculate gross profits, which is used as a basis for comparison in financial benchmarks, and are an instant measure (sales less direct costs) for your underlying profitability. Not all businesses have direct costs. Service businesses supposedly don’t have direct costs, so they have a gross margin of 100%. This is true for some professionals but some services do have direct costs like taxis have gasoline and maintenance.
Live with your assumptions
Sales Forecasting is not about accurately guessing the future. It’s about laying out your assumptions so that you can manage changes effectively as sales and direct costs come out different from what you expected. Use this to adjust your sales forecast and improve your business by making course corrections.
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Farming with banana is an easy and simple process and you can earn good profits. However, to achieve the desired amount of banana production requires:
* dedication to your banana farm;
* good yard management skills; and
* some basic knowledge about banana farming like sit selection, irrigation, care and management.
A banana tree produces at least 20kg banana fruit minimum per each blossom of banana, in a very short time period (approximately 150 days).
Health benefits of bananas:
1. Good for weight loss.
2. Banana fruits is good for the health of heart.
3. Bananas are excellent source of energy.
4. Excellent source of fiber.
5. Bananas are good for eye health and bones.
6. Long time consumption of banana fruit helps in stopping kidney cancer.
7. Banana fruit is also an excellent source of minerals and vitamins.
8. Bananas are rich in vitamin B6 and potassium.
Apart from this, banana tree raw materials are also in high demand and have plenty of application in our day to day life – banana leaves are used in preparing plates, seat pads for benches, umbrellas, clothing fabric, fishing lines and as cooking material in the kitchen.
The main feature of the banana fruit plant is that it can be cultivated throughout the year. The high technology methods for banana farming can improve both the yield and profit. The price of bananas does not fluctuate much in the market , but they tend to increase during important festivals and programs. Due attention and encouragement can help banana farming produce great wealth.
Factors Limiting Production:
There are a few factors that limit production of bananas in most countries. Some include inadequate farm lands and poor maintenance. Others are:
* low rainfall;
* low access to organic fertilizers; and
* poor farming techniques.
There is a huge market for banana produce locally and internationally. The fruit is used in manufacturing companies, restaurants, fruit markets and stalls. It has both domestic and international demands. The amount of money you make depends on the size of your harvest, quality of produce, price and location.
Land development for banana plantation is followed by land preparation. This includes: ploughing, disking, harrowing, and planting. Bananas are susceptible to wind damage. Hence, it is highly desirable to plant wind breaks surrounding the plantation blocks. The tall ducasse banana variety is excellent wind breakers for commercial banana farms.
Weeding and Pest Control
Generally, weeds suppress the growth and reduce the total production by competing for water and nutrient. Hence, banana plants should be protected from weeds. Shallow cultivation in young plantation is advisable to control weeds. Pesticides spraying to minimize crop damage by various pests need to be carried out by daily laborers.
Irrigation is compulsory during dry months. Severe water stress limits the production and quality of fingers. In a hot low land area, irrigating the field in 8 – 10 days interval is accepted by growers.
Heavy applications of organic manures or fertilizers are considered necessary in order to get high yields and to extend the life of the banana plantation. DAP and Urea are the two most important in organic fertilizers which are commonly used in banana production.
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Some renewable’s already supply cheaper and sustainable electricity than the newest coal power plants. Renewable’s will get cheaper and coal and nuclear likely more expensive. Investment in renewable energy in South Africa can provide decent jobs and increase skills. South Africa is a solar rich country with one of the highest solar resources in the world.
South Africa’s program to introduce green renewable energy into its energy mix has been hailed globally as one of the most advanced and successfully renewable energy programs.Despite the success of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Program (REIPPPP). Eskom refused to sign the full amount of contracts which were awarded as part of the program in 2016. This effectively put the brakes on renewable energy potential and its many benefits for South Africans.
South Africa is falling behind on renewable energy project implementation, even as other countries accelerate their plans for green energy. According to data from “Greenbyte”, a renewable energy management system manufacturer, SA lags far behind fellow BRICS country China which has 188 232 MW (megawatts) of wind power capacity and 106 921 MW of solar energy capacity.
Solar energy systems have a high initial cost, but typically return the investment within 5-8 years. The use of solar energy in South Africa is driving the use of other renewable energy sources including: wind, hydroelectric and biomass.
Some known renewable energy sources are:
1. Solar Energy (both heating and electricity generating).
2. Wind Energy.
3. Geothermal Energy Sources.
4. Hydro Power.
5. Bio-gas or Bio-fuel.
ADVANTAGES OF RENEWABLE ENERGY
(a) Potentially unlimited supplies.
(b) Clean energy without production of greenhouse gasses.
(c) Cost of creating energy besides of initial investment is low.
(d) Renewable energy projects can also bring economic benefits to many regional areas.
(e) Renewable energy can bring power to remote areas due to smaller scale of operations.
Renewable Energy will become an economic driver and generator of employment for future generations as well. Currently demand is still low due to cost factors, but rising energy cost, improved technology and lower cost will see demand for renewable energy improving.
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