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Agriculture Engineering

Mushroom industry has the option to stop depleting natural resources

By: Yolandi Booyens     10th August 2012 The University of Pretoria (UP) has developed an environment-friendly substrate, the Mabu casing, which is a suitable alternative to the peat soil used for button mushroom production. Casing soil producer Mabu Casing Soils managing member Dr Linda Meyer says the substrate has the potential to... 

Innovation needed to use water wisely

By: Yolandi Booyens     10th August 2012 An effluent treatment system that eliminates the use of harsh chemicals in water treatment by using only natural resources, has achieved significant results at a water treatment project at the Holden Manz wine farm, in Franschhoek, says stainless steel equipment manufacturer Vinquip Projects. The... 

Institute emphasises role of large-scale, scientific farming in SA

By: Schalk Burger     5th August 2011 Large-scale, scientific farming is the only viable model for South Africa, mostly owing to significant and rising input costs, necessitating a move towards high-value, export products, says industry body the South African Irrigation Institute (Sabi) technical executive officer Isobel van der Stoep. 

Outlook for local fruit industry positive

By: Schalk Burger     5th August 2011 While South Africa has experienced a challenging season, over the medium- to long-term, the fruit industry has a positive outlook, says fruit producer organisation Hortgro Services product manager Jacques du Preez. 

Not ‘either/or’ between small and large farming, both needed

By: Schalk Burger     5th August 2011 It is not a case of South Africa needing to support either small- or large-scale farming, but that both are important for the country’s development, says business organisation Agricultural Business Chamber (ABC) CEO Dr John Purchase. 

Use of extrusion technology can assist in job creation, poverty alleviation

5th August 2011 Extrusion, which is a food and feed processing technology, can be used to support government’s objectives of creating jobs and alleviating poverty.  

Developing innovative solutions a key function of agricultural engineers

By: Schalk Burger     5th August 2011 Agricultural engineers, scientists and experts must apply good ideas and solutions gained through research and development to solve problems facing rural farming in South Africa, leveraging the insights gained to develop farming in these areas, says South African Institute of Agricultural... 

New irrigation technologies catalyst for agricultural growth

By: Henry Lazenby     6th August 2010 The Department of Water Affairs (DWA) and the Water Research Commission (WRC) believe that the use of new irrigation technologies, which improve water conservation in South Africa, will help to develop additional agricultural farmland.  

Scarce peat conserved

By: Henry Lazenby     6th August 2010 South African mushroom producers are aiming to go green in their farming techniques and this has resulted in the local mushroom industry not using locally produced peat, the South African Mushroom Farmers Association (Samfa) reports. 

Water administration system improves agricultural productivity

By: Henry Lazenby     6th August 2010 Market analyst Frost & Sullivan has found that the Water Research Commission’s (WRC’s) water administration system (WAS) helps to improve irrigation efficiency and save water and costs. To assist the agricultural sector to manage its water supply better, the WAS has been in use and further... 

Farmers benefit from 
research innovations

By: Henry Lazenby     6th August 2010 The aquaculture section of the Agricultural Research Council’s (ARC’s) Animal Production Institute (API) has undertaken a pilot study on creating an integrated poultry-aquaculture system at the request of the Gauteng Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Environment. 

Initiative aims to improve Africa’s food security

By: Henry Lazenby     6th August 2010 A new collaboration, known as Improving Maize for African Soils (Imas), aims to improve food security and the livelihoods of people across Africa, by developing better maize varieties that can thrive on the little fertiliser being used on the continent’s farms. 

Indigenous crops can 
enhance food security

By: Petronel Smit     7th August 2009 The Agricultural Research Council of South Africa (ARC) reports that indigenous food crops could play a significant role in contributing to food security. 

Certification critical for plant propagation

By: Petronel Smit     7th August 2009 The South African Plant Improvement Organisation (Sapo) Trust reports that certification is the only guarantee a producer has that the fruit tree he buys is disease and pest free. 

Upgrading of irrigation systems critical in light of water scarcity potential

By: Petronel Smit     7th August 2009 rrigation specialist the South African Irrigation Institute (SABI) says that the upgrading of irrigation systems is important in light of the increasing water scarcity. Efficient systems that make better use of water should be implemented. 

Genetically modified maize raked in R3-billion over the past ten years

By: Petronel Smit     7th August 2009 Biotechnology consultancy group FoodNCropBio reports in its annual project studies that 69% of maize, 92% of cotton and over 80% of soya planted in South Africa at present are genetically modified. 

Good rainfall salvages agribusiness confidence

By: Sylvester Haskins     8th August 2008 The agricultural business confidence index continued its upward curve for the second quarter of 2008 showing a 14,8% increase in business confidence compared to the second quarter of 2007, reports the Agricultural Business Chamber (ABC). 

Gauteng agricultural department ploughs budget into projects

By: Sylvester Haskins     8th August 2008 Owing to soaring food prices the Gauteng Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Environment (GDACE) announced in June that it would invest a sum of R146-million into agricultural projects for the 2008 and 2009 financial year. 

Local company contracts to Mozambican sugar cane project 

By: Sylvester Haskins     8th August 2008 Multidisciplinary consulting engineering company MBB Consulting Engineers is in the process of developing about 2 000 ha of new land under sugarcane for agroprocessing business Tongaat Hulett Sugar. 

Pocket diagnostic system finds agricultural use 

By: Sylvester Haskins     8th August 2008 A diagnostic approach that has commonly been used for human and animal health management namely, Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT), has now been made available in the local agricultural sector, reports diagnostic test developer and supplier Rapid Discovery. 

Pan-African development bank urges small-scale farming revolution

By: Sylvester Haskins     8th August 2008 Regional multilateral development bank African Development Bank (AfDB) Group has acknowledged the urgent need for a smallholder agricultural revolution in Africa as the continent's best option for tackling the escalating global food crisis. 

Farming stakeholders welcome Land Bank transferral

By: Sylvester Haskins     8th August 2008 Commercial farming stakeholders have welcomed the transferral of management of the embattled South African agricultural financing institution, Land Bank, to National Treasury, reports farmer representative organisation Agri SA president Lourie Bosman. 

Farming future for South Africa World Cup prop 

By: Gerrit Bezuidenhout     10th August 2007 When Springbok prop Os du Randt bought his farm near Bloemfontein in 2001, he never thought that he would become a crop farmer. 

'Sweet and sour for SA agriculture' - AgriSA

By: Gerrit Bezuidenhout     10th August 2007 South Africa's agricultural sector is currently experiencing a range of highs and lows off the back of the strong economic environment experienced by the country at present, AgriSA president Lourie Bosman tells Engineering News. 

Essential oil extraction facility reduces rural poverty

By: Gerrit Bezuidenhout     10th August 2007 A new essential oils facility, manufactured by engineering company Joint Advanced Manufacturing (JAM), promises to alleviate rural poverty by providing a sustainable platform for the distillation of various crops for the essential oils market. 

Green rooibos tea gains market popularity

By: Gerrit Bezuidenhout     10th August 2007 Plant extract and natural additive company Afriplex MD Danie Nel tells Engineering News that a 'green' type of rooibos tea is attracting the attention of the health conscious consumer internationally. 

Specialised farming activities needed to feed growing consumer

By: Gerrit Bezuidenhout     10th August 2007 The South African agricultural sector is alive and kicking, Agricultural Business Chamber CEO Tobias Doyer says. 

New cane cutter mows down sugar cane 

10th August 2007 Agricultural equipment suppliers Northmec and New Holland South Africa, the agricultural machinery arms of CSE Equipment Company, have been appointed sole distributors of a new sugar cane cutter designed for the efficient and economic semi mechanisation of consistent cane cutting. 

New tractor series geared for productivity and economy

10th August 2007 International agricultural equipment company Case IH has chosen the SIMA show, the French agricultural show as the platform for the public launch of a special tractor range. 

Sugar liberalisation may not benefit Inkomati basin, reports states 

27th November 2006 A new report commissioned by the World Bank and World Wildlife Fund has found that global sugar trade liberalisation may not benefit rural livelihoods and the environment in the Inkomati River Basin. 

SA's first sugar beet harvest could come in earlier than anticipated 

By: Laura Tyrer     24th November 2006 South Africa’s first commercial plantings of sugar beet are yielding promising results, and the first crops may even be ready for harvest three months earlier than previously anticipated. 

Institute recognises

3rd November 2006 The Ugu district municipality's R32,5-million rural household sanitation project, which was implemented between 2004 and 2006, has received the Ethekweni Water and Sanitation Services Award for achievement in the category of community based projects at the SAICE Durban Branch Regional Awards. 

Siemens turbomachinery factory quadruples turnover in three years

By: Jade Davenport     20th October 2006 Turbo-machinery and spare part manufacturer Siemens Power Generation Mechanical Services (PGMS) has experienced significant growth in the last three years, with the company’s turnover increasing from R80-million to R320-million since 2003. 

TSB installs R130m power facility at Komati mill

By: Laura Tyrer     20th October 2006 Sugar producer TSB Sugar has completed the installation of a R130-million power station project at its Komati mill, in Mpumalanga, that will bring the mill’s crushing capacity to some 2,6-million tons yearly. 

SA, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Swaziland back regional export facility

By: Laura Tyrer     29th September 2006 The new 50 000-t-capacity silo opened at the Maputo harbour sugar terminal this month demonstrates the benefits of regional cooperation within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) towards the goal of developing a competitive regional sugar industry. 

Sugar body, conservation group in biversity pact

By: Laura Tyrer     22nd September 2006 Conservation organisation WWF and the South African Sugar Association (Sasa) have signed a memorandum of under-standing (MoU) that will focus on conserving freshwater and estuarine habitats and promoting biodiversity. 

New Maputo silo raises sugar terminal’s capacity to 175 000 t

By: Laura Tyrer     12th September 2006 A fourth sugar silo was opened at the Maputo sugar terminal on Tuesday, adding an additional 50 000 t of capacity to the terminal and raising overall capacity at the Mozambican facility of 175 000 t. 

Engineering technologies applied to nutrient management

By: Laura Tyrer     8th September 2006 Specialist chemical services company Omnia Fertiliser’s Nutriolog division is applying a combination of engineering technologies to better manage plant nutrient applications. 

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