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Agriculture News

Pests, diseases a burden on agriculture – ARC

By: Anine Kilian     25th April 2018 Despite an influx of agricultural imports and an increase in pests and diseases coming into the country over the past 20 years, South Africa has not invested adequately in pest and disease control strategies, says Agricultural Research Council (ARC) president Shadrack Moephuli. “We have not been... 

Africa’s population growth could drive South Africa’s livestock exports

By: Anine Kilian     25th April 2018 Africa’s population is expected to grow by 25% by 2050, creating an expanding middle class population that will require an affluent protein diet, Agricultural Research Council (ARC) research institute manager Dr Misheck Mulumba said on Wednesday. Addressing delegates at a public awareness day... 

Agri SA spent R331m on transformation in 2016/17

By: Anine Kilian     24th April 2018 Members of agricultural industry association Agri SA spent R331-million on transformation during the 2016/17 financial year and reached an estimated 108 307 beneficiaries, including 55 000 farmers. This is according to the 2018 Agri SA transformation report, which was released on Tuesday, and is... 

SAB, AB InBev on track with five-year public interest commitment investments

By: Marleny Arnoldi     23rd April 2018 South African Breweries (SAB), together with its parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), has spent R209-million on Public Interest Commitments (PICs) in 2017, with investments in agriculture, enterprise development and societal benefits programmes in South Africa. With the merger of SAB... 

SAB, AB InBev on track with five-year public interest commitment investments

Call made for ‘broad coalition’ to reverse South Africa’s premature deindustrialisation 

By: Terence Creamer     20th April 2018 A new no-holds-barred study of South Africa’s economic transformation over the past two decades concludes that the country has not only deindustrialised prematurely, but has also failed to materially transform its economic structure to one that encourages inclusive growth and development. Titled... 

Call made for ‘broad coalition’ to reverse South Africa’s premature deindustrialisation

Researchers discover a new coastal current off Madagascar

By: Simone Liedtke     9th April 2018 South African, Malagasy and French researchers have discovered the existence of a coastal current off Madagascar. The newly-described current, the South-West Madagascar Coastal Current, flows poleward off the south-west coast of Madagascar. 

Harbour materials handling company transforms corporate identity

30th March 2018 Durban-based harbour materials handling specialists Big Lift Trucks (BLT) has transformed its corporate identity with the launch of a new company name – BLTWORLD. BLTWORLD MD Ken Mouritzen explains that the company – which has traded locally and internationally as BLT for over 20 years – needed... 

Harbour materials handling company transforms corporate identity
CONTAINER HANDLER BLTWORLD’s portfolio of container and bulk handling equipment now includes straddle carriers

Short retention time silo installed in Thailand

30th March 2018 A recent milestone for project manager and equipment designer Bosch Projects, in conjunction with its technology partners in Thailand, was the development of a new short retention time (SRT) refined sugar conditioning silo, designed to significantly reduce conditioning time and capital investment... 

Short retention time silo installed in Thailand
NEW TECHNOLOGY The newly developed short retention time refined sugar conditioning silo enables reduced residence time of 16 hours, compared with the standard period of between 65 and 72 hours

Renewability driving forest and paper industry

By: Victor Moolman     30th March 2018 Renewable commercial forests that supply the pulp, paper and board industry with wood fibre provide key environmental services and conserve our indigenous forests, says Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa (Pamsa) executive director Jane Molony. “Commercially grown trees have helped to... 

Lack of carton collection reduces recycling processes

By: Victor Moolman     30th March 2018 Although paper and plastics packaging company Mpact has been processing liquid packaging successfully, not enough cartons are being collected to use for recycling. “Consumers don’t realise that liquid packaging, such as juice and milk cartons, are actually recyclable. We need to put in an effort... 

Safety solution provided for contractor at Sappi mill

30th March 2018 Rope-access specialist Skyriders has provided a working at height safety solution for a contractor undertaking maintenance at paper and pulp manufacturer Sappi’s Ngodwana pulp and paper mill, in Mpumalanga. The company explains that this follows an earlier successful project in 2016 where it... 

Paper producer to upgrade Mpumalanga mill 

By: Victor Moolman     30th March 2018 Pulp and paper producer Sappi will shut down its Ngodwana mill, in Mpumalanga, for four weeks in May, to install new equipment that will decrease bottlenecking. The company will install new machines, and upgrade the wood chipper, fibre line and pulp dryer, says Sappi Southern Africa CEO Alex... 

Paper producer  to upgrade Mpumalanga mill
SAPPI southern Africa CEO Alex Thiel explains what the company is doing and how the paper industry has changed. Camerawork: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Christo Greyling.

Polymer offering diversified into US beet sugar industry

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     30th March 2018 Thermoplastic producer Vesconite Bearings is expanding its polymer offering to the US beet sugar market, building on its experiences and success in the local and US sugar cane industries. Vesconite Bearings began supplying its locally-produced polymers to the South African sugar industry in 2009... 

Polymer offering diversified into US  beet sugar industry
PROCESS SWEETENER The HiTemp 150 hanger bearing is an abrasive-resistant material, ideal for applications that are wearing on traditional materials such as bronze

Insufficient tariff requires urgent intervention

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     30th March 2018 The current sugar import tariff of South Africa is insufficient to regulate imports, which makes it imperative that the tariff be increased, says South African Sugar Association (Sasa) executive director Trix Trikam. “There are various systems to implement tariffs, with South Africa employing a... 

Insufficient tariff requires urgent intervention
PROBLEMATIC The Health Promotion Levy currently being pursued will have an adverse effect on the local sugar market

Plug-and-play IoT edge gateway launched for industry, mining

By: Schalk Burger     27th March 2018 Information technology (IT) hardware multinational DellEMC and local Internet of Things (IoT) developer IoT.nxt have launched an edge computing device, called the Raptor, which enables businesses to deploy an IoT network in their operational environments to integrate existing sensors and... 

Governance key to boosting intra-Africa timber trade – AfDB report

By: Simone Liedtke     23rd March 2018 A new report by the African Development Bank’s (AfDB’s) African Natural Resources Centre has stressed the importance of forestry governance to boosting intra-African trade of wood products. The report, titled ‘Assessing forest law enforcement, governance and trade in Africa’, was launched on... 

Cape farmers lose 25% of orchards, vineyards as result of drought – expert 

By: News24Wire      22nd March 2018 Drought-stricken farmers in the Western Cape have had to abandon at least a quarter of their high-value vineyards and deciduous fruit orchards because of a lack of water for irrigation. This has had a knock-on effect on rural employment, with the loss of about 30 000 seasonal farm worker jobs... 

New research facility to unlock economic potential of South Africa’s biomass waste

By: Shirley le Guern     20th March 2018 The Department of Science and Technology and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) on Tuesday launched a R37.5-million Biorefinery Development Facility (BIDF) in Durban that will bridge the gap between research and development and industrialisation, while helping to rejuvenate... 

New research facility to unlock economic potential of South Africa’s biomass waste
Science and Technology Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane and Biorefinery Development Facility group leader Bruce Sithole

Ramaphosa says there will be 'broad discussion' on expropriation without compensation

By: News24Wire      15th March 2018 President Cyril Ramaphosa said the land reform debate should not be reduced to a debate about expropriation without compensation. He was answering questions in the National Assembly, where Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane asked him about the full details of the government's plan to... 

Ramaphosa says there will be 'broad discussion' on expropriation without compensation
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Steinhoff sells part of stake in South Africa's KAP to help cut debt

By: Reuters     14th March 2018 Crisis-hit South African retailer Steinhoff raised R3.66-billion ($311-million) from the sale of a 16.7% stake in KAP Industrial, another step in its efforts to shore up its finances and pay down debt. Steinhoff, which has more than 40 retail brands that include Conforama, Poundland and Mattress... 

Southern Africa likely to see GDP growth above 2% in the next two years

By: Anine Kilian     12th March 2018 The African Development Bank (AfDB) expects real gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the Southern African region to improve to 2% in 2018 and then to 2.4% in 2019. The'Southern Africa Economic Outlook Report 2018', released by the AfDB, in Pretoria, on Monday, states that there is cautious... 

Confidence in agriculture ticks up, but land expropriation yet to weigh in

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     12th March 2018 The Agbiz/IDC Agribusiness Confidence Index for the first quarter painted an encouraging picture of the South African agricultural sector, as it improved by nine points to 58, after declining to levels below the 50-point mark in the last quarter of 2017. The survey, which was conducted between... 

Confidence in agriculture ticks up, but land expropriation yet to weigh in

Energy company launches new product, expands operation

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     9th March 2018 Independent energy company SA Oil made its new brand of fuel, Accelerate Special Gasoline, available to the market last month. This follows the response to a product trial, which ran between 2016 and 2017, where it was made available in limited quantities and “enthusiastically accepted among... 

Energy company  launches new product,  expands operation
GARY PULLEN SA Oil is entering the agricultural market, with a client-centric service offering

Wine industry continuously focuses on transformation, social development, says Vinpro 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     7th March 2018 With every R1-million invested into the South African wine industry, almost five jobs are created, says wine industry representative Vinpro.  

Wine industry continuously focuses on transformation, social development, says Vinpro
Vinpro transformation and development manager Phil Bowes

Land expropriation without compensation key for economic growth – Masondo 

By: Anine Kilian     6th March 2018 Land reform, including the uncompensated expropriation of land, is necessary for economic growth and development and will contribute towards ending unacceptable levels of inequality, poverty and unemployment, African National Congress (ANC) National Executive Committee (NEC) member Dr David... 

Land expropriation without compensation key for economic growth – Masondo

Zambia taps climate fund to battle worsening drought

By: Reuters     5th March 2018 Zambian farmers facing more extreme weather are set to get better early warning and weather information to help them cope, as part of a new grant from the Green Climate Fund. In a funding round announced this week, the international climate fund approved $32 million toward a broader effort by the... 

International community should not panic over land reform – Sisulu 

By: News24Wire      5th March 2018 Government has urged the international community not to panic over South Africa's parliamentary processes with regards to the controversial land expropriation policy. Minister of international relations and co-operation Lindiwe Sisulu said in a statement on Sunday that she "noted a number of... 

International community should not panic over land reform – Sisulu
Minister of international relations and co-operation Lindiwe Sisulu

Rapid adoption of automation critical for local steel industry

By: Paige Müller     2nd March 2018 The rapid rate at which automation technology is progressing globally presents a challenge for South African industry, which needs to keep pace with the latest developments in automated capital equipment, says South African capital equipment and cutting consumables distributor First Cut. The... 

Rapid adoption of  automation critical  for local steel industry
ANDREW POOLE The South African steel industry must keep up with Industry 4.0 automation trends to remain competitive in the global market

New, existing products on display at expo

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     2nd March 2018 Importation and distribution company Smith Power Equipment (smith) regards bauma CONEXPO AFRICA 2018 as a noteworthy platform to launch new products onto the market, as well as showcase its product range offering to clients.  smith GM Tom Bloom enthuses that owing to its global following – in... 

New, existing products on display at expo
LOCAL DEBUT Smith Power Equipment will launch a new Kubota excavator at bauma CONEXPO AFRICA this year

Long-suffering SA manufacturing sector hoping to reap Ramaphosa dividend

By: Dylan Slater     2nd March 2018 Prior to the Valentine’s Day resignation of now former President Jacob Zuma, popular industry sentiment pointed towards a better year in terms of manufacturing and gross domestic product (GDP) on the back of a recovering commodities market.  

Long-suffering SA manufacturing sector  hoping to reap Ramaphosa dividend

Trade agreement with the EU a boost for Western Cape exports

By: Kim Cloete     1st March 2018 The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the European Union and six countries in Southern Africa has been a boost for the Western Cape, with strong gains for the wine and fishing industries since it came into effect in October 2016.  The EPA between the EU and the Southern African Customs... 

Ramaphosa: Land motion 'no reason to panic or beat the war drum'

By: News24Wire      1st March 2018 President Cyril Ramaphosa has said there is no reason to "panic and start beating war drums" over Parliament's decision to look at land expropriation without compensation. Ramaphosa was on Thursday responding to the National House of Traditional Leaders debate on his address to the House this... 

Ramaphosa: Land motion 'no reason to panic or beat the war drum'
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Omnia acquires Oro Agri for $100m

By: Simone Liedtke     1st March 2018 Chemical manufacturing company Omnia Group has agreed to acquire 100% of the ordinary shares of Oro Agri SEZC and 52% of the ordinary shares of Oro Agri South Africa (SA), which is not already owned by Oro Agro SEZC, for $100-million. Omnia will fund the transaction through existing available... 

Losses mount in Western Cape's farm sector

By: Reuters     1st March 2018 The Western Cape province expects its agriculture sector to decline by around 20 percent, as a severe drought hits farmlands surrounding Cape Town as the city braces for "Day Zero", when its taps are expected to run dry. South Africa has declared a national disaster over the drought afflicted... 

Losses mount in Western Cape's farm sector

Ramaphosa aims to resolve land issue "once and for all"

By: Reuters     1st March 2018 President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday he wants talks on the thorny topic of land expropriation to avoid panic but aims to resolve the issue of racial disparities in property ownership "once and for all". South Africa took a step on Tuesday to hasten the transfer of land from white to black... 

Ramaphosa aims to resolve land issue
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Sapoa concerned about land expropriation

By: Thabi Madiba     1st March 2018 The South African Property Owners Association (Sapoa) has raised concerns, particularly in relation to food security, agricultural production and the economy, following the recent motion by the National Assembly to amend the Constitution to allow for land expropriation without compensation. The... 

Sapoa concerned about land expropriation

Consumers urged to buy local as poultry industry remains ‘in distress’

By: Simone Liedtke     27th February 2018 Despite being the highest per capita consumer of poultry products on the African continent, and the ninth-highest consumer in the world, South Africa finds its poultry industry in deep crisis, buy local campaign Proudly South Africa (SA) said at its first yearly poultry forum on Tuesday. Faced... 

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