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Agriculture News

KZN’s 'agricultural master plan' is key to transformation, says MEC

By: African News Agency      Updated 4 hours ago KwaZulu-Natal’s MEC for agriculture and rural development, Themba Mthembu, on Tuesday reiterated that an “agricultural master plan” being developed would drive transformation and act as a foundation for development.   Mthembu made the remarks at an Agribusiness breakfast dialogue hosted by the... 

Rooibos tea enjoys a rosy outlook from international markets

By: African News Agency      10th December 2018 Rooibos, which is exclusively farmed in the Cederberg and Sandveld areas of the Western Cape, is fast becoming one of the most attractive agricultural products to invest in, the South African Rooibos Council (SARC) said on Monday. The SARC said that South Africa holds a competitive advantage in a... 

Measures in place to boost the Western Cape economy

By: Thabi Madiba     7th December 2018 The Western Cape economy remains relatively stable despite challenges affecting consumer spending, says Western Cape Economic Opportunities Minister Beverley Schäfer. “The province has recorded good gains in employment, and continues to record the lowest expanded unemployment rate in the country.” 

Measures in place to boost the Western Cape economy
Beverley Schäfer Growth in the Western Cape economy slowed down over the past years because of the drought that impacted on some of the province’s key sectors such as agriculture and tourism

Local sugar industry struggles to stay afloat

By: Paige Müller     7th December 2018 The survival and sustainability of the labour intensive sugar industry is under severe threat owing to the flood of sugar imports and the resultant inability by industry bodies to recover costs, according to South African Sugar Association executive director Trix Trikam. “The local sugar industry... 

Local sugar industry  struggles to stay afloat
UNBALANCED TRADE The world sugar market is distorted by producer country incentives, resulting in production that is surplus to demand

Partnership for land tenure rights mutually beneficial

By: Paige Müller     7th December 2018 Sugar producer Illovo Sugar Africa has been partnering nongovernmental organizations, governments and global donors to transform the landscape of tenure rights in its operating countries, says Illovo Sugar Africa Group MD Gavin Dalgleish. “Africa has the highest proportion of agricultural land... 

Partnership for land tenure rights mutually beneficial
Photo by Bloomberg
WOMEN IN SUGAR More than 65% of those who have benefited from the Illovo Maragra plantation partnership to date have been women

Sugar dumping remains a crisis for industry  

By: Paige Müller     7th December 2018 While national government has shown a willingness to protect the sugar industry against corrosive trade-dumping practices, nonprofit anti-dumping organisation FairPlay founder Francois Baird emphasises that government’s ineffective administrative processes have made its previous attempts at... 

Sugar dumping remains a crisis  for industry
Anti-dumping organisation FairPlay’s Lebogang Chaka discusses the impact of sugar dumping on the local industry. Camerawork and Editing: Nicholas Boyd

Progress made with establishing Nkomazi SEZ

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th December 2018 Cabinet earlier this week ratified a decision by Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies to designate the Nkomazi Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and to grant an SEZ licence to the Mpumalanga provincial government’s Department of Economic Development and Tourism. The Nkomazi SEZ will be positioned... 

Agribusiness outlook remains cautious as lack of rainfall issue looms

By: Simone Liedtke     5th December 2018 The agriculture sector’s optimistic outlook at the start of the 2018/19 production season has changed, says Agbiz agribusiness research head Wandile Sihlobo. Despite the season having started with farmers aiming to lift the summer grain and oilseed planting activity by 5% from the previous season... 

Agribusiness outlook remains cautious as lack of rainfall issue looms
Photo by Simone Liedtke
Agbiz agribusiness research head Wandile Sihlobo

Agbiz, IDC Agribusiness Confidence Index falls to lowest level in nearly a decade

By: Simone Liedtke     4th December 2018 While some subindices showed an increase from the third quarter, the Agbiz and Industrial Development Corporation’s Agribusiness Confidence Index weakened to 42 in the last quarter of the year, reflecting despondency in the sector. Subsequent to a decline from 54 to 48 points in the third quarter... 

The final frontier: who owns the oceans and their hidden treasures?

By: Reuters     4th December 2018 Ransom-hungry pirates, polar explorers, offshore oil giants - the race for the riches of the world's final frontier is on. From Thailand to Alaska, the battle to tap ever-dwindling resources from minerals to fish is spurring new conflicts over who has the right to the treasures of the deep seas. 

Cape Town households shoulder a bigger share of water restrictions so economy and business can recover

By: News24Wire      30th November 2018 Cape Town households will shoulder a bigger share of the new water restrictions to make more water available for the region’s economic drivers of agriculture, industry and tourism. This reflects a major shift in the way the region’s water is allocated, with agriculture getting a bigger share than... 

First institutional anaerobic digester launched at NPO’s Johannesburg premises

By: Simone Liedtke     28th November 2018 To promote renewable energy as a cost-effective technology in a world facing the impact of climate change and global warming, the University of South Africa, diversified miner Exxaro Resources and the South African National Energy Development Institution on Wednesday launched its first... 

First institutional anaerobic digester launched at NPO’s Johannesburg premises
Photo by Simone Liedtke
The University of South Africa, Exxaro Resources and the South African National Energy Development Institution on Wednesday launched its first institutional anaerobic digester at nonprofit organisation EARTH Centre’s premises, in Johannesburg

World’s largest feedlot leads South African beef export push

By: Bloomberg     28th November 2018 The world’s largest cattle feedlot is expanding South African beef exports beyond the Middle East to take advantage of surging demand in China and other Asian markets. Karan Beef's feedlot south of Johannesburg is emblematic of a push by South African agriculture to boost exports of more niche... 

Omnia sees R695m nitrophosphate investment as fertiliser ‘game changer’ 

By: Terence Creamer     27th November 2018 Diversified chemicals group Omnia says its innovative nitrophosphate plant under construction in Sasolburg will materially improve the company’s overall competitiveness in the production of fertilisers, despite an upward revision to the project’s capital cost. Omnia reported on Tuesday that the... 

Omnia sees R695m nitrophosphate investment as fertiliser ‘game changer’
Omnia's nitrophosphate plant under construction

Treasury loses out on more than R1bn in VAT from drought-stricken farmers

By: News24Wire      27th November 2018 The government has lost out on more than R1-billion in VAT from drought-stricken farmers who were forced to cut production after their irrigation water from the Cape supply dams was radically reduced a year ago. Agri Western Cape CEO Carl Opperman said on Monday this was one of the facts he... 

Treasury loses out on more than R1bn in VAT from drought-stricken farmers

UCT growing bricks of any shape from urine

By: Schalk Burger     23rd November 2018 The University of Cape Town (UCT) Civil Engineering Department has developed a process to grow bricks that can be any shape using sand, bacteria and human urine. The bricks are made of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) – the same substance as limestone, coral reefs, egg- and seashells – and sand cemented... 

UCT growing bricks of any shape from urine
GROWING BRICKS Sand, bacteria, fertiliser and urine produce calcium carbonate bricks in any shape

TPT, AFGRI to enter concessions for port terminals

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     21st November 2018 Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) will enter into a 15-year concession agreement with AFGRI Operations for the operation and maintenance of landside operations. The agreement will focus on two strategic agri-ports in the country – the East London Grain Elevator in the Port of East London and the... 

Barloworld mulls adding another Cat business; cuts 1 000 auto jobs 

By: Irma Venter     19th November 2018 Barloworld is mulling the acquisition of another distribution deal with US equipment manufacturer Caterpillar, says Barloworld CEO Dominic Sewela. This follows the sale of the Iberia Equipment business in Spain for R2.5-billion. 

Barloworld mulls adding another Cat business; cuts 1 000 auto jobs
Dominic Sewela

Astral commits to R1.1bn in expansion projects 

By: Simone Liedtke     19th November 2018 On the back of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s recent investment drive and stimulus plan, integrated poultry producer Astral Foods has committed R1.1-billion to expansion projects over the next three years. This is the JSE-listed company’s first major expansion in its poultry division in a decade and... 

Astral commits to R1.1bn in expansion projects

Wine looking positive in the face of poor economy

16th November 2018 Despite the poor performance of the economy, industrial research company BMi Research says the wine industry yielded a positive volume growth relative to the previous year. The company notes that the growth in production may be attributed to farmers investing in improved irrigation systems as... 

Wine looking  positive in the face  of poor economy
MALTITUDE OF BEERS With lower incomes households are opting for cheaper beers at home instead of at restaurants

Big five to save water for wine producers

By: Halima Frost     16th November 2018 Owing to the prolonged drought that has caused severe challenges, the local wine industry is researching more efficient ways of monitoring and managing water use through five projects, says representative body of the South African wine industry Vinpro. This comes after what has been recorded as... 

Big five to save water for wine producers
RIPE FOR THE PICKING The harvest done at exactly the right time makes for a good wine

Connectivity seen as key to leveraging digital spinoffs in farming

By: Natasha Odendaal     16th November 2018 Disruptive technologies will impact Africa the most, with innovation greatly transforming the continent’s economic potential and delivering the greatest amount of change – and industry can assist farming communities to embrace this digital future. “Agriculture plays a critical role in meeting... 

Aerospace technology could help uplift Africa in many sectors, Airbus claims

By: Rebecca Campbell     16th November 2018 Giant Europe-based aerospace group Airbus has affirmed that aerospace technologies can play a key role in dealing with many of the socioeconomic challenges confronting Africa. It did so in a report, which it called a White Paper, that was released at the end of last month. at a special event in... 

Cane valuations, land negotiations dent Tongaat Hulett’s H1 headline earnings

By: Marleny Arnoldi     12th November 2018 JSE-listed agriculture and agroprocessing group Tongaat Hulett suffered a 64% year-on-year decrease in operating profit for the six months ended September 30 to R530-million, compared with the R1.4-billion profit reported for the six months ended September 30, 2017. Tongaat said on Monday that... 

Cane valuations, land negotiations dent Tongaat Hulett’s H1 headline earnings

Sugar maker Tongaat flags H1 loss

By: Reuters     9th November 2018 Tongaat Hulett said on Friday it expects to fall to a half-year loss as market conditions in its South African and Mozambique sugar operations weigh on revenue and operating profit. The firm said it expects a headline loss per share, which strips out certain once off items and is the main profit... 

Demand increases for thermoplastic valves

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     9th November 2018 Demand for thermoplastic materials over conventional alloy metals has increased since engineering consumables and components distributor BMG was appointed exclusive distributor of UK-based manufacturer SAFi Thermoplastic Valve Solutions’ (SAFi’s) products, says BMG industrial valves national... 

Demand increases for thermoplastic valves
PROCESSING PLANT BMG’s SAFi range of valves can be used in mining, energy, environmental, process plant, agriculture, and food and beverage applications

Bearings mitigate health concerns in F&B industry

By: Paige Müller     9th November 2018 Amid stringent health and hygiene standards in South Africa’s food and beverage industry, bearings and power transmission products distributor, Bearings International (BI), offers the industry a bearing solution that will ensure the highest health and hygiene standards in food processing plants.... 

Bearings mitigate health concerns in  F&B industry
HIGH-PRESSURE READY All KML bearings housing units have smooth surfaces that can be cleaned easily with high-pressure washing equipment

Supplier expands into agriculture sector

By: Paige Müller     9th November 2018 Amid increased demand for wholesale bearing solutions in the agriculture sector, Boksburg-based wholesale bearing supplier ISO Bearings is actively looking to increase its supply into the sector. “ISO Bearings has noted potential for growth in the agriculture sector. As a result, the company has... 

Supplier expands into  agriculture sector
INVESTING IN AGRICULTURE ISO Bearings has been investing in the supply of internationally sourced price-competitive bearing solutions for agriculture since 2016

Lessons on transforming manufacturing in India

By: Kim Cloete     31st October 2018 Transformational changes in manufacturing in India have been unpacked at the Lean Summit Africa 2018, in Cape Town, holding important lessons for ramping up efficiency and boosting competitiveness in South Africa. Takayuki Furuhashi, who is considered an international guru in the field of... 

Skyscraper farms are about to go global

By: Bloomberg     31st October 2018 High-rise indoor farms for vegetables are spreading across the world. In a suburb of Kyoto in Japan, surrounded by technology companies and startups, Spread is preparing to open the world’s largest automated leaf-vegetable factory. It’s the company’s second vertical farm and could mark a turning... 

Skyscraper farms are about to go global

AfDB to institute climate risk management programme for African countries

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     30th October 2018 The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved the Africa Disaster Risks Financing (ADRiFi) programme – the institution’s first climate risk management programme aimed at boosting resilience and responding to climate shocks in regional member countries. The initial phase is expected to run from... 

Prototype soil sampling device being tested for use in agriculture

By: Schalk Burger     26th October 2018 A cost-effective, handheld soil and water chemical testing device for use in agriculture is being developed and tested by information technology research subsidiary IBM Research, says IBM Research Brazil Industrial Technology & Science manager Dr Mathias Steiner. The AgroPad is a business... 

Prototype soil sampling device being tested for use in agriculture
AGROPAD SCAN Farmers can gain meaningful information to optimise conditions to grow a specific crop

Govt commits support for clothing, textiles sector and emerging farmers  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     24th October 2018 The National Treasury has, over the medium term, placed incentives for agriculture, land reform, manufacturing and research and development among its priorities for expenditure reprioritisation. The Clothing and Textile Competitiveness Programme has helped sector exports grow from R7.1-billion in... 

Govt commits support for clothing, textiles sector and emerging farmers

Simple farm implement can increase crop yield, reduce soil erosion

By: Creamer Media Reporter      19th October 2018 Ethiopia-based farm implement manufacturer Aybar Engineering exhibited its Broad Bed Maker (BBM) farm implement at this year’s Maker Faire Rome exhibition, which took place from October 12 to 14 in Rome, Italy. The company was established in 2014 to develop improved agricultural implements for... 

Simple farm implement can increase crop yield, reduce soil erosion
Photo by Aybar Engineering
The Aybar BBM is a land management system that assists farmers to construct broad bed furrows to drain excess water in vertisols

Hyflo enables efficient manufacture of hose assemblies

19th October 2018 Hydraulics and pneumatics supplier Hyflo’s extensive range of fluid power products include hydraulic crimping equipment and tooling, designed for the efficient manufacture of factory-quality hose assemblies. “Hyflo’s Parker Parkrimp and Karrykrimp hydraulic crimping equipment enables customers... 

Hyflo enables efficient manufacture of  hose assemblies
CRIMPING MACHINE Karrykrimp 2 models are portable or bench mount crimpers

Opportunities abound for Italian entrepreneurs expanding into Africa

By: Shannon de Ryhove     12th October 2018 The Italian-South African Chamber of Trade and Industries says Italian companies are becoming increasingly positive about the opportunities offered by South Africa, which is being acknowledged as a hub from which to expand and invest into surrounding African countries, says Italian-South African... 

Stats SA to conduct commercial agriculture census

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th October 2018 Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) will, on October 15, embark on a countrywide Census of Commercial Agriculture. About 600 field staff will visit commercial farms across the country to establish the number of commercial farmers, farm size, crop type being farmed in different geographic areas,... 

Stats SA to conduct commercial agriculture census
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