This is the official website of The Agri Handbook, biennial publication, South Africa's primary reference book for the agri-food industry which provides points of reference for all sub-sectors which make up the agricultural value chain. Whether you are a new farmer looking at your options or an old hand wanting to diversify your operations but wondering where to start, you will find value here.

The Agri Handbook was pioneered by the RainbowSA publishing team in 2003. Originally only available in A4, full colour, printed format, the publication was made available as an interactive PDF on CD-ROM in 2009. A companion Blog was added to support the publication with articles and news in 2013. The work of porting the 672 page resource to web format began in 2015 and the website went live in July 2016, with updates and additional chapters being added on a weekly basis. When looking at the hits per chapter, bear in mind that some of them have a start of several months on others. So "Rabbits", for example, is heading for 27 000 hits while "Dairy (cattle)" is nearing 2 400.

More work is still to be done before the website is advertised and officially launched.

How did this project begin?

Back in the early 2000s the team ran a skills publication and skills call centre. We received several calls to do with agriculture, something not covered in our book as it was more corporate and government focused. So we set off to research agricultural training in the country. The one chapter became four chapters, became ten and then mushroomed to around the current 180.

The team travelled widely, meeting agri-food industry role players to introduce what we aimed to achieve. We met with over 400 of them - farmer unions, businesses, universities, industry association, government, research and training bodies - and in 2004 the first edition saw the light of day. The rest is history.