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Agriculture News

Edible-oil refinery gives grape seed industry a boost

By: Robyn Wilkinson     8th September 2017 Engineering firm First Ocean completed the commissioning of a small-scale edible oil refinery on time and within the budget, adding value to the local grape seed industry in Somerset West, in the Western Cape. 

SA’s export strategy aims to boost capacity for value-added goods, services trade

By: David Oliveira     8th September 2017 South Africa's Department of Trade and Industry's (DTI's) Integrated National Export Strategy (INES) to help improve the global competitiveness of South African exporters and tap the export-led economic growth benefits that have flowed to other developing countries in recent decades. The strategy... 

SA’s export strategy aims to boost capacity for value-added goods, services trade

Low-skilled labour plan could provide solution to unemployment challenge

By: David Oliveira     8th September 2017 Industrial research and development engineering company Greville Wood Developments (GWD) is awaiting funding to recreate a 1986 manufacturing proof study and farming plan, called the Warrenton Plan, which could collectively create about 2 300 jobs in Warrenton, in the Northern Cape, then rolled... 

Clover warns of up to 67% drop in FY17 HEPS

By: Creamer Media Reporter      7th September 2017 Diary products manufacturer Clover has warned that its headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the financial year ended June 30 are likely to decrease by between 65% and 67% year-on-year as a result of the prolonged drought and rand volatility that resulted in above-inflation input costs. The... 

NWK appoints new CEO

     5th September 2017 Agricultural products and services provider NWK has appointed Theo Rabe – the group's FD since 2005 – CEO with effect from September 5. He has already acted as MD for the past nine months. 

NWK appoints new CEO
NWK CEO Theo Rabe

SA out of recession but growth far from NDP ambitions

By: African News Agency      5th September 2017 The South African economy is out of recession at the moment, owing to a gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 2.5% in the second quarter of 2017, StatsSA announced on Tuesday. “Let’s go straight into the numbers … the GDP quarter-on-quarter [growth rate] is 2.5%. I saw that analysts in the media... 

SA out of recession but growth far from NDP ambitions

Agribusiness confidence index declines further in Q3

By: Anine Kilian     4th September 2017 The Agbiz/Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) Agribusiness Confidence Index, declined by a further two index points to 54 in the third quarter. Among the ten subindices making up the index, the quarterly decline was broad based, with the exception of turnover and capital investment. 

Debate on land rehab for future farming comes to the fore as mine closures increase

By: Dylan Slater     1st September 2017 As the mining industry winds down from the supercycle, thereby coming under increasing budget constraints as markets tighten up and commodity prices fall, more mines are closing and the need for their rehabilitation is coming to the fore. There is growing debate regarding the use of rehabilitated... 

Debate on land rehab for future farming comes to the fore as mine closures increase

Poultry industry challenges, drought negatively impact on RCL Foods’ FY17 profit

By: Mia Breytenbach     30th August 2017 The widely reported challenges facing the local poultry industry and the performance of JSE-listed RCL Foods’ chicken business unit decimated the company’s profits in the financial year ended June 30, with the company reporting a 0.8% decrease in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and... 

Poultry industry challenges, drought negatively impact on RCL Foods’ FY17 profit
Bloomberg

Disaster relief money starts flowing into Western Cape

By: News24Wire      29th August 2017 The Western Cape government has received the first tranche of the money it needs to cope with the devastating drought and fires in the province, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des van Rooyen said on Tuesday. The first tranche of R34 866 263 was transferred on August 21... 

Water department proposes up to 14.6% increase in raw water tariffs for 2018/19

By: Mia Breytenbach     25th August 2017 The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has proposed water tariffs for the 2018/19 financial year, with a proposed increase of up to 14.6% throughout the spectrum of raw water users. The DWS proposed the increase at its final national raw water consultation, held in Boksburg, Ekurhuleni, on... 

Water department proposes up to 14.6% increase in raw water tariffs for 2018/19

Infrastructure key to unlocking trade and value chains across SADC region

By: Anine Kilian     25th August 2017 It is common cause that industrialisation across the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region is key to diversifying the regional economy away from its current reliance on the export of raw commodities and to supporting economic growth and employment creation. There is broad... 

Infrastructure key to unlocking trade and value chains across SADC region

Innovative surfactants enhance firefighting

By: Simone Liedtke     25th August 2017 Owing to ongoing drought conditions and a more intense fire season expected in South Africa, environmental solutions company I-CAT has developed innovative surfactants to boost the fire-extinguishing and dust-suppression capability and effectiveness of water. 

Innovative surfactants  enhance firefighting
LOURENS JANSEN VAN RENSBURG iFire is an ideal water-treatment agent to improve the wetting capability of water which, in turn, enhances its firefighting capability

Hotel group moves to integrate bamboo products into facilities

By: Ilan Solomons     25th August 2017 Bamboo producer and products supplier EcoPlanet Bamboo and hotel group Mantis Collection have signed a memorandum of understanding which could have “far-reaching benefits for the environment and the global movement towards sustainable tourism”, says EcoPlanet Bamboo CEO and co-founder Troy... 

Hotel group moves to integrate bamboo products into facilities
Photo by EcoPlanet Bamboo
AIR QUALITY IMPROVER EcoPlanet Bamboo will initially supply Mantis with for use across the group’s hotel rooms to improve the quality of indoor air

Poultry industry and government to set up task team for bird flu – Zokwana

By: African News Agency      23rd August 2017 Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Senzeni Zokwana on Tuesday agreed to set up a task team consisting of representatives from the poultry industry and government to work on scientifically-based considerations regarding vaccination of chickens. Zokwana revealed this in a statement... 

Opinion: Turning the chicken war into a trade war

     18th August 2017 In this opinion article, XA director Donald Mackay questions why legitimate legal processes are being overlooked in the dispute over European Union chicken imports. Mackay acknowledges that his consultancy is not a disinterested party in the matter. I read the recent fiery opinion piece by... 

Opinion: Turning the chicken war into a trade war
Donald Mackay

African conference strives to boost bioenergy industries

     18th August 2017 Global conference organiser Centre for Management Technology (CMT) notes that its Biomass Trade & Bioenergy Africa conference will be held at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Sandton on September 28 and 29. CMT hopes that the conference will further development of the African biomass and bioenergy... 

African conference  strives to boost  bioenergy industries
GORGE FARM The commercial vegetable farm in Naivasha, Kenya, hosts a biogas plant as part of a larger renewable energy project - the Gorge Farm Energy Park

Sustainable partnerships needed to ensure Africa’s food security

By: David Oliveira     18th August 2017 New approaches and sustainable partnerships are required to ensure food security for Africa’s rapidly urbanising population, says financial services provider Absa senior agricultural economist Wessel Lemmer. According to a January 2017 report by The Sustainable Development Goals Centre for... 

Sustainable partnerships needed to ensure Africa’s food security
WESSEL LEMMER Achieving sustainable food security for urban and rural citizens remains an important priority for governments across Africa

Organisation lobbies government to kick-start biogas market

By: Nadine James     18th August 2017 The Southern African Biogas Industry Association (Sabia) is liaising with national government departments to create an enabling environment for the biogas industry, thereby establishing a viable biogas market. Sabia chairperson Jason Gifford explains that the organisation’s working groups are in... 

Organisation lobbies  government to kick-start  biogas market
AGRICULTURAL BENEFITS A booming biogas industry will create jobs and ensure greater job security within the agricultural sector

Lovell steps down as Sapa head

By: Natasha Odendaal     16th August 2017 South African Poultry Association CEO Kevin Lovell is stepping down, effective August 17, after 11 years at the helm. Dr Charlotte Nkuna has been appointed acting CEO. 

Suspected avian flu outbreak in Western Cape

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th August 2017 Two ostrich farms in the Heidelberg area of the Western Cape have been placed under quarantine as authorities work to determine the possibility of an outbreak of the now widely-spread H5N8 avian influenza. The Western Cape Department of Agriculture is leading the investigations to confirm if the... 

Small farms an economical option in South Africa

By: Robyn Wilkinson     11th August 2017 While many medium-sized farms have been unable to weather the challenges facing the South African agricultural industry and have consequently been absorbed by larger commercial farms, smaller farmers are proving that it is possible to generate a sustainable income from a modest operation through... 

Small farms an economical option in South Africa
MAXIMUM BENEFIT Hinomoto’s small-scale tractors ensure that farmland is used in the most efficient way possible, maximising yield sizes

Agricultural irrigation efficiency framework improves water use

By: Robyn Wilkinson     11th August 2017 Through intensive research, the Agricultural Research Council’s Institute for Agricultural Engineering has developed a framework to improve water efficiency in agricultural irrigation systems in South Africa, which reassesses the methods traditionally used to measure a system’s efficiency and... 

Agricultural irrigation efficiency framework improves water use
STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT With effective water management and good subsurface drainage, soil health conditions can be created for irrigation farming to assist with food security in South Africa

Creative farming methods ensure sustainability

By: Robyn Wilkinson     11th August 2017 Amid extreme weather, regulatory barriers and import competition, South African farmers need to think creatively about farming practices – not only to reduce costs but also preserve an environment that is struggling under the pressures of a growing global population, says agriculture... 

Creative farming methods  ensure sustainability
PLANT PROTECTION Haygrove’s multispan polytunnel structure provides a controlled environment for the aquaponic and hydroponic systems

Equipment drives farming sustainability

By: Robyn Wilkinson     11th August 2017 Forward-thinking livestock farmers who are willing to embrace the use of new equipment in their operations will forge a way forward amid the economic and ecological hardships facing South Africa’s agricultural industry, says Johannesburg-based industrial equipment provider Vermeer Equipment... 

Equipment drives  farming sustainability
BETTER FEED The Vermeer R2300 basket rake ensures a cleaner forage, increasing the production value of dairy and beef cattle

Stakeholder support integral to urban farming in S Africa

By: Robyn Wilkinson     11th August 2017 While the appetite for urban farming exists in South Africa, more needs to be done to motivate stakeholders from both the private and public sectors to play a role in creating and growing successful projects that can be translated into sustainable investments, say engineering and infrastructure... 

Stakeholder support  integral to urban  farming in S Africa
Photo by Bloomberg
MODERN FARMING Wheat grass and other leafy greens are being grown in vertical farming units in China created out of retrofitted shipping containers

Think-tank hands over title deeds to residents of Western Cape town  

By: Ilan Solomons     11th August 2017 Think tank the Free Market Foundation’s (FMF’s) Khaya Lam land reform project last month handed over the latest batch of title deeds to residents in the town of Grabouw, in the Western Cape, thereby taking the project’s total title deed handover tally to 1 360. Khaya Lam project manager Perry... 

Think-tank hands over title deeds to residents of Western Cape town
Khaya Lam Land Reform project manager Perry Feldman discusses the Free Market Foundation’s project.

Rust-prevention sealing system ideal for corrosive environments

By: Nadine James     11th August 2017 Engineering components manufacturer Bearing Man Group’s (BMG’s) range of sealing products includes the Rust-Anode cold galvanisation system, designed for rust prevention in diverse industries, says BMG seals business unit manager Marc Gravett. He explains that Rust-Anode is the first active cold... 

Rust-prevention  sealing system ideal for corrosive environments
MULTIPURPOSE PRODUCT Rust-Anode is perfect for applications where an anti-corrosion seal would be beneficial

Western Cape’s agricultural growth to drive economy

By: Robyn Wilkinson     11th August 2017 Supported by the Western Cape government’s strategic initiatives to help farmers grow their crops – and their market share – the province’s official tourism, trade and investment agency Wesgro has successfully committed investments in the Western Cape agricultural sector of R1.56-billion over the... 

Western Cape’s agricultural growth to drive economy
Photo by Bloomberg
UNIQUE ENVIRONMENT The Western Cape plays a key role in South Africa’s agricultural sector, with a unique rainfall pattern allowing for a mixture of agricultural activities

AgriProtein assessing two new fly-farming sites in South Africa

By: Irma Venter     11th August 2017 Waste-to-nutrient group AgriProtein will expand its presence in South Africa with two new fly-farming sites, while also growing its research and development function in the country, says CEO Jason Drew. AgriProtein started operations in Cape Town in 2015, launching the world’s first... 

New iDube Cold Storage facility unveiled at Dube TradePort

By: Creamer Media Reporter      8th August 2017 The new, multipurpose R99-million iDube Cold Storage facility has officially opened in the Dube TradePort Special Economic Zone (SEZ), in KwaZulu-Natal. The 4 500 m2 facility, which has the capacity to handle 8 600 mobile pallet positions and store up to 12 000 t of perishable product, will cater... 

First delivery of locomotives expected in Q4

By: Simone Liedtke     4th August 2017 Rail technology provider Bombardier Transportation (BT) will hand over the first of 240 Bombardier Traxx Africa locomotives to State-owned freight utility Transnet, during the fourth quarter of this year. 

Station’s strategic location to improve corridor capacity

By: Simone Liedtke     4th August 2017 Rosmead station, in the Eastern Cape, was identified as strategic in improving operational capacity along the export corridor and forms part of Phase 1 of State-owned freight utility Transnet’s Port of Ngqura manganese export expansion project. 

Land Bank hikes FY17 profits to R372m

By: African News Agency      3rd August 2017 The Land and Agricultural Development Bank on Thursday, released a strong set of results for the financial year ending March 31, 2017, as the group and bank generated a profit of R372.2-million and R316.3-million respectively, compared to R181.9-million and R94-million in 2016. The bank said this... 

Astral farm hit by second avian influenza outbreak

By: Natasha Odendaal     2nd August 2017 JSE-listed Astral Foods on Wednesday said a second of its poultry farms has been hit by the H5N8 avian influenza outbreak sweeping across South Africa. In June, the strain had been isolated on one of Astral’s breeding sites in Villiers, costing the company some R25-million. 

Agriculture a significant growth area for Africa

By: Anine Kilian     31st July 2017 Agriculture is the largest economic growth sector for Africa, New Partnership for Africa's Development business foundation CEO Lynette Chen said at the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Industrialisation Week on Monday. She pointed out that less than 10% of arable land in Africa was... 

Tourism to add 300 000 jobs by 2026

By: Anine Kilian     28th July 2017 With South African tourism providing entry into Africa, especially through business tourism opportunities, the sector deserves more support and recognition, says Tourism Minister Tokozile Xasa, who spoke at the second Gauteng Infrastructure Investment Conference on Friday. “The prospects for... 

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