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Agriculture News

Climate change threatens to make your morning brew more expensive

By: Bloomberg     17th January 2019 Coffee farmer Masumi Kondo wrapped himself in a cosy blanket on cool nights in the 1970s when he began growing the crop in the Franca region of Brazil’s Sao Paulo state. Now, thanks to persistently warmer weather, he needs an air conditioner. It’s not just the sleeping habits of farmers... 

New SAPA division GM to focus on chicken dumping issue in South Africa

By: Marleny Arnoldi     16th January 2019 The South African Poultry Association (SAPA) has appointed businessperson Izaak Breintenbach GM of the association’s Broiler Organisation division. He succeeds Kevin Lovell who headed up the division for several years.  

Don’t hurt farmers with higher electricity tariffs, says Agri Western Cape 

By: Kim Cloete     15th January 2019 Sharp electricity tariff hikes would have a major detrimental effect on the agricultural sector, Agri Western Cape has said during public hearings into electricity tariffs. In its submission to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa), Agri SA said high increases in electricity costs... 

Hudson appointed Tongaat Hulett CEO

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     14th January 2019 Tongaat Hulett has appointed Gavin Hudson CEO and executive director, effective February 1. Hudson was previously Beer Group president and CEO of Anadolu Efes, a company listed on the Turkish stock exchange. 

Agri-hub seen as key post-mining-economy jobs driver in west Gauteng  

By: Terence Creamer     14th January 2019 An ambitious plan to develop Gauteng’s West Rand into an agri-industrial hub, primarily producing high-value crops for domestic and export markets, is starting to take shape and is expected to be officially launched during the first quarter of 2019. The initiative has been branded ‘Bokamoso Ba... 

Agri-hub seen as key post-mining-economy jobs driver in west Gauteng
Photo by Sibanye-Stillwater
The programme is part of bigger plan to build a sustainable post-mining economy in the West Rand

Agbiz appoints GM for Fruit Desk initiative

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th January 2019 Agricultural Business Chamber South Africa (Agbiz) has appointed Stephanie van der Walt Fruit Desk GM. The Fruit Desk is an initiative of Fruit South Africa, specifically the Citrus Growers Association, Hortgro, the South African Table Grape Industry and the Fresh Produce Exporters Forum, in... 

Nkomazi special economic zone to boost industrialisation in Mpumalanga

By: African News Agency      8th January 2019 South Africa's 10th special economic zone (SEZ), recently designated at Nkomazi in Mpumalanga, is expected to boost the industrial development of the province, the department of trade and industry (dti) said on Tuesday. The Nkomazi Special Economic Zone will be developed as an agro-processing... 

Nkomazi special economic zone to boost industrialisation in Mpumalanga

Land Bank appoints acting CFO, chief risk officers

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th January 2019 JSE-listed Land and Agricultural Development Bank of South Africa (Land Bank) has appointed Konehali Gugushe acting CFO. It also appointed Sakhumzi Diza acting credit chief risk officer (CRO) and Nafiza Khan acting CRO.  

South Africa finds foot-and-mouth disease in cattle in Limpopo

By: Bloomberg     8th January 2019 South Africa’s Department of Agriculture has quarantined an area in Vhembe in Limpopo province following positive laboratory results for foot-and-mouth disease in cattle in the district. Samples were collected during a disease investigation after reports of cattle with lameness were received, the... 

Draft land-expropriation Bill released for comment

By: Bloomberg     21st December 2018 South Africa released for public comment a draft Expropriation Bill that outlines the circumstances under which the state can take land without paying for it. It may be just and equitable for no compensation to be paid where land is expropriated in the public interest, the government said in... 

Draft land-expropriation Bill released for comment

Tongaat to make CEO announcement next month

By: Creamer Media Reporter      14th December 2018 JSE-listed agriculture and agroprocessing group Tongaat Hulett is finalising the appointment of a permanent CEO and said on Friday that it would make an announcement before the end of January. Sydney Mtsambiwa is currently interim CEO, following retirement of long-serving CEO Peter Staude on... 

Water monitoring platform one-stop shop for S Africa water intelligence

By: Cameron Mackay     14th December 2018 The website application Mzansi Amanzi (isiZulu translation of Water South Africa), has the capabilities to monitor and provide insight on surface-water resources across South Africa on a monthly basis, says Mark Thompson, the director of the earth observation technology company GeoTerraImage. The... 

Water monitoring platform one-stop shop for S Africa water intelligence
THEEWATERSKLOOF DAM WESTERN CAPE Water is going to be the kingpin in just about every decision-making sector

Dry conditions threaten 2019 maize crop – Grain SA

By: Reuters     12th December 2018 Dry conditions in the main part of South Africa's maize belt have delayed crop plantings, threatening yields for the staple food and sending prices sharply higher, the farmers lobby group Grain South Africa said on Tuesday. With the optimum planting window fast closing in the western part of the... 

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

By: African News Agency      11th December 2018 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
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