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Agriculture News

DAFF nears end of drought relief funding programme

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     20th February 2017 The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) on Monday said delivery and distribution of feed, which forms part of its R212-million drought relief programme, is almost complete in the provinces, excluding Gauteng, that were declared as drought disaster regions. The department last... 

Advances in GM crops highlighted at anniversary event

By: Dylan Slater     17th February 2017 Independent, nonprofit biotechnology stakeholders association Africabio celebrated 20 years of genetically modified (GM) crops and other biotechnology at a dinner event in November, 2016, during which various roleplayers from governmental departments and private-sector farmers discussed the... 

Pockets of resilience, but SA’s manufacturing outlook remains fragile

By: David Oliveira     17th February 2017 South Africa’s manufacturing sector is expected to grow by 0.5% this year and by 1.2% in 2018, according to data from economic analysis and forecast provider FocusEconomics. Financial institution Barclays’ latest purchasing managers’ index (PMI) released earlier this month indicates that the... 

Pockets of resilience, but SA’s manufacturing outlook remains fragile

South Africa to be ‘resolute’ in using tariffs to protect domestic industry 

By: Terence Creamer     15th February 2017 South Africa will be “resolute” in using tariffs to defend domestic industry and support industrial development, particularly in light of moves towards greater protectionism in other countries, Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies said in his contribution to the State of the Nation debate on... 

South Africa to be ‘resolute’ in using tariffs to protect domestic industry
Photo by Duane Daws
Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies

Slowdown in global fishing would create better long-term yield – report

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     14th February 2017 Fishing less, and better, could generate an additional $83-billion each year for the fisheries sector, creating a much-needed revenue stream in developing countries and improving global food security, a new report by the World Bank states. The ‘Sunken Billions Revisited’ report, an update of a... 

Slowdown in global fishing would create better long-term yield – report

Zokwana, FAO to visit farms hit by fall armyworm

By: News24Wire      13th February 2017 Agriculture Minister Senzeni Zokwana will visit farms in Limpopo with the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) on Monday in an effort to bring the fall armyworm plague under control. The pest, which causes massive crop loss, has been nibbling through South African crops as producers try... 

South Africa’s macadamia output to grow 10% this year

By: Anine Kilian     10th February 2017 The Southern African Macadamia Growers’ Association expects the South African macadamia crop to increase by 10.5% year-on-year to 42 000 t of nut in shell this year. This is compared with the 38 000 t produced in 2016, which was 17% lower than the 46 000 t produced in 2015, as a result of the... 

Fly farm venture AgriProtein signs deal for 25 fly farms a year

By: Irma Venter     10th February 2017 Austria-based engineering group Christof Industries has partnered with waste-to-nutrient company AgriProtein to build up to 25 fly farms a year. AgriProtein rears fly larvae (on an industrial scale) on organic waste and harvests the larvae to make natural, high-protein animal feed products.  

Fly farm venture AgriProtein signs deal for 25 fly farms a year
AgriProtein's fly farm in Cape Town

Minimum wage results in certainty for agriculture sector – AgriSA

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     10th February 2017 South Africa’s agriculture sector will, as from March this year, start paying its labourers R15.39 an hour, as per the long-anticipated new national minimum wage that was announced by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa this week. “This brings certainty for agriculture regarding the remuneration... 

South Africa confirms presence of invasive pest that infests maize

By: Reuters     6th February 2017 South Africa's department of agriculture said on Friday that scientific tests have confirmed the presence of the invasive fall armyworm in the maize belt, the first time the crop-damaging pest has been detected there. Countries with confirmed outbreaks can face import bans on agricultural... 

Armyworm outbreak damaging crops in southern Africa – FAO

By: Reuters     3rd February 2017 A suspected outbreak of armyworms has spread to Namibia and Mozambique and is causing "considerable crop damage" in southern Africa, the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said on Friday. Suspected outbreaks have already erupted in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and South Africa. 

Concern regarding standard disposable cylinders

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd February 2017 Speciality chemicals and gas supplier A-Gas highlights its concern regarding disposable cylinders being used as packaging to import hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), and in some cases, flammable hydrocarbons (HCs), into South Africa. 

Concern regarding standard disposable cylinders
CYLINDER LEGALITIES Chris Phillips explains that there are currently no legalities around the banning of disposable cylinders, however A-Gas continues to lobby the DEA on this topic

SA fly-farming venture receives funding for global expansion

By: Irma Venter     3rd February 2017 Cape Town-based waste-to-protein producer AgriProtein says it has secured $17.5-million of further capital from its key strategic partners to fund the company’s expansion into Europe, North America and Asia.   The new investment values the fly-farming venture at more than $117-million.   The new... 

South Africa seeks agriculture boost in post-Brexit trade deal

By: Bloomberg     3rd February 2017 South Africa sees opportunities to sell more of its agricultural produce to the UK under a post-Brexit trade agreement, says Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies. 

South Africa registering pesticides for use against maize-attacking armyworms

By: Reuters     2nd February 2017 South Africa's agriculture ministry is registering pesticides for use against the fall armyworm in the event that tests confirm the presence of the Central American pest in the country's maize belt, a spokesperson said on Thursday. "We don't have any registered pesticides for the fall armyworm... 

South Africa registering pesticides for use against maize-attacking armyworms

Mondi appoints new CEO as Hathorn announces retirement

By: Creamer Media Reporter      1st February 2017 David Hathorn will step down as CEO of packaging and paper group Mondi on May 11. He will be succeeded by Peter Oswald, who is currently CEO of Mondi’s Europe & International division. 

Mondi appoints new CEO as Hathorn announces retirement
Outgoing Mondi CEO David Hathorn

Chicken industry challenges weigh on RCL’s interim results 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     31st January 2017 Owing to the significant challenges facing the South African chicken industry, including imports and high feed input costs, food manufacturer RCL Foods expects its headline earnings a share for the six months ended December 31 to be between 40c and 55c, around 30% to 50% lower than the 87.2c it... 

Chicken industry challenges weigh on RCL’s interim results

EU rebuffs South African claim of chicken imports being cause of industry distress 

By: Terence Creamer     31st January 2017 The European Union (EU) is strongly contesting arguments that its chicken exports to South Africa are the main cause of the current distress in the industry, asserting that “structural” problems in the South African industry are the main reason for its lack of competitiveness. Ambassador Marcus... 

EU rebuffs South African claim of chicken imports being cause of industry distress
Photo by Duane Daws
EU Ambassador Marcus Cornaro

From seeds to markets, maize alternatives face challenges in Zimbabwe

By: Reuters     31st January 2017 After years of bad maize harvests as a result of worsening drought, farmer Dorothy Chihota switched a few seasons back to growing sorghum, millet, cowpeas and groundnuts on her 50-acre farm in Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe district. Since then she has had only good harvests, she said – but that doesn’t... 

Poultry task team makes progress in finding solutions to sector challenges

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     27th January 2017 A poultry sector task team established by the South African government to deal with the challenges facing the domestic poultry industry has made “significant progress” across various work streams, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said on Friday. Domestic poultry producers continue to... 

Excessive imports of grain hurting local farmers – Grain SA

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     27th January 2017 Grain farmers association Grain SA has called for greater transparency in the reporting of import and export contracts, as local producers' competitiveness was being hampered by unchecked imports. “Currently there is no mechanism to report import and export contracts. This is totally one-sided... 

Excessive imports of grain hurting local farmers – Grain SA

New sewer pipeline to relieve pressure on existing works

By: Simone Liedtke     27th January 2017 Dube TradePort will construct the 6-km-long Hlawe river sewer pipeline, which will link the Dube TradePort precinct to the existing Tongaat Wastewater Treatment Works, service the northern part of the TradePort precinct and relieve pressure on the wastewater works. 

New sewer pipeline to relieve pressure on existing works
DUBE TRADEPORT The Dube AgriZone is intended to act as a catalyst for high-value agribusiness in Kwa-Zulu Natal

Wine industry under pressure amid subdued economy

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     20th January 2017 While the local wine market has grown more than 14%, or by 50-million litres, over the past two years, to more than 400-million litres at the end of December, continued pressure on the local economy could hamper the industry’s future growth. The wine industry is currently in a slump, with only... 

Wine industry under pressure amid subdued economy

Scientists use high-tech methods to deliver accurate agricultural information

By: Schalk Burger     20th January 2017 Scientists at the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) are using high-technology methods to provide accurate information and research for the agricultural sector, such as the use of genomics to significantly and rapidly improve breeding of animals and plants, and using high precision mapping to... 

Scientists use high-tech methods to deliver accurate  agricultural information
STANDARDISED PRECIPITATION INDEX 2010 – 2014 The gradual shift in dry areas can be observed on the 36-month time scale from June 2010 to June 2014

Consumers will find relief in maize, chicken prices; red meat prices to rise

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     19th January 2017 Maize production in the current season, which ends in April, is estimated to reach more than 12-million tonnes, up from the 7.5-million tonnes in the previous season, which could bring some relief to consumers. “The good rainfalls South Africa has experienced since October last year has restored... 

Consumers will find relief in maize, chicken prices; red meat prices to rise

Astral says Eskom cutting municipal electricity supply would be ‘catastrophic’ for Standerton operations 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     13th January 2017 Eskom’s plan to cut power to the Lekwa local municipality, in Mpumalanga, will interrupt poultry producer Astral’s feed and poultry operations in Standerton with “catastrophic” results, the company has warned. Astral has received notification that Eskom plans to start interruptions of its bulk... 

Astral says Eskom cutting municipal electricity supply would be ‘catastrophic’ for Standerton operations

Tiger Brands appoints new grains business executive

By: Natasha Odendaal     13th January 2017 JSE-listed Tiger Brands has appointed former GWK Group CEO Pieter Spies as its business executive for grains, effective February 1. Spies has worked in sales, logistics, commercial and general management for a number of local and international companies, including Cadbury, Coca-Cola, Diageo and... 

SA fly-farm venture secures funding for global expansion

By: Irma Venter     12th January 2017 Cape Town-based waste-to-protein producer AgriProtein says it has secured $17.5-million of further capital from its key strategic partners to fund the company’s expansion into Europe, North America and Asia.   The new investment values the fly-farming venture at more than $117-million.   The new... 

SA fly-farm venture secures funding for global expansion
The Black Soldier fly

Lobster to disappear from menus in five years – WWF 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd December 2016 Conservation organisation World Wide Fund (WWF) South Africa on Thursday warned that the West Coast rock lobster, commonly known as kreef, could disappear from menus altogether within the next five years unless radical action is taken to save the fishery. For this reason, the organisation... 

Lobster to disappear from menus in five years – WWF

Eskom business competition boosts local agriculture business

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     19th December 2016 A Makhado-based agriculture outfit, the Vhumatshelo Crop Farming Cooperative, has received a R450 000 grant, from the Limpopo Department of Social Development (DSD), to further grow their operations, The cooperative was recognised after performing well in their category in the yearly Eskom... 

Fawu promises protests against poultry imports in 2017

By: African News Agency      17th December 2016 The Food and Allied Workers Union (Fawu) on Friday promised to continue mass protests against poultry imports in 2017, dismissing a recent import tariff hike as being too little, too late. Fawu national secretary Katisha Masemola said in a statement released on Friday that it welcomed a recently... 

Fawu promises protests against poultry imports in 2017

Company completes Wolmerton rail project

By: Sascha Solomons     16th December 2016 Rail track construction, rehabilitation, electrification and maintenance provider Grindrod Rail Construction (GRC), in a joint venture with engineering company Bakara, has completed the rail refurbishment of the Wolmerton Depot. This forms part of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s... 

Company completes Wolmerton rail project
WOLMERTON DEPOT The Wolmerton Depot overhaul falls under PRASA’s Depot Modernisation Programme

Fast-dissolving sugar to help reduce sugar in chocolate by 40%

By: Schalk Burger     16th December 2016 A new fast-dissolving sugar developed by Swiss food multinational Nestlé will help it to reduce the amount of sugar used in its chocolates by 40% by 2018 without reducing the sweetness of the chocolates, says Nestlé chief technology officer Stefan Catsicas. “Using only natural ingredients,... 

Fast-dissolving sugar to help  reduce sugar in chocolate by 40%
Photo by Duane Daws
SWEET CHOCOLATE Even while much less sugar is used in the chocolate, the tongue perceives an almost identical sweetness to before

NWK reports H1 profit contraction, optimistic of H2 recovery

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th December 2016 Agriculture products and services provider NWK’s half-year profit has declined; however, the second half of the 2017 financial year is forecast to be much improved as the group sheds certain lossmaking operations, assisted by a normal production season after four seasons of drought. For the six... 

Lite-C sensors allow for reduction in electricity bills

By: Simone Liedtke     9th December 2016 Energy efficiency solutions provider Magnet Energy has developed, designed and manufactured the Lite-C wireless lighting control system, which allows for a reduction in electricity bills of up to 43%. 

Lite-C sensors allow  for reduction in  electricity bills
AFTER INSTALLATION Lite-C sensors operate using radio frequency technology that allows input devices to communicate with and control output devices without the need for cabling over long distances

No excuses for noninvestment in greener buildings

By: Simone Liedtke     9th December 2016 With such a strong business case for energy efficiency and renewable energy, energy solutions provider Johnson Controls area GM Neil Cameron says South African companies do not have an excuse for not investing in greener buildings. 

No excuses for noninvestment in greener buildings
NEIL CAMERON The design and manufacturing of all the equipment that Johnson Controls provides is based on constant innovation to ensure more efficiency

Research ongoing to further develop biogas in South Africa

     9th December 2016 Despite the biogas sector being a well developed industry globally, ongoing research continues to further develop and strengthen the industry in South Africa, highlights the South African Biogas Industry Association (Sabia). The association notes that a variety of biogas applications have been... 

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