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Agriculture News

Illovo’s economic value-add in Africa reported at R23.8bn

By: Schalk Burger     21st February 2018 Sugar producer Illovo Sugar Africa has estimated its positive economic impact across the six countries in which it operates at R23.8-billion, which includes a R5-billion direct positive economic impact. This is a 29% increase in the company’s total contribution to the economies over a period of... 

Treasury allocates R6bn for drought relief measures

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     21st February 2018 Citizens of towns in the Western Cape, particularly Cape Town, on Wednesday could give a sigh of relief as Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba outlined that a provisional allocation of R6-billion has been set aside in 2018/19 for drought relief measures and to augment public infrastructure investment.... 

Treasury allocates R6bn for drought relief measures

Coega SEZ receives EIA approval for desalination, aquaculture zones

By: Schalk Burger     19th February 2018 The Coega Special Economic Zone (SEZ), in the Eastern Cape, has received environmental-impact assessment (EIA) approval for a 440 ha land-based aquaculture development zone (ADZ) and a desalination plant in Zone 10 of the Coega SEZ. “The approval of the EIA is a step towards fulfilling the Coega... 

Bags ensure soil retention for projects

By: Marleny Arnoldi     16th February 2018 Using small scale nonwoven geosynthetic sand container (GSC) bags is a user-friendly method for less critical soil-retention applications, says geosynthetic product manufacturer Fibertex South Africa.  

Bags ensure soil retention for projects
FOR SLOPES’ SAKE Fibertex Naue Secugrid 40/40Q6 soil reinforcing biaxial geogrids are used to minimise soil deformation under tensile loads over the lifetime of the structure

Continent has potential to gain the most from Industry 4.0, says Paramount head

By: Dylan Slater     9th February 2018 Africa is not alone in its unpreparedness for shifting into the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0, but it has the potential to gain the most out of such a development by finding new ways of manufacturing, says aerospace and defence company Paramount group executive chairperson Ivor... 

Continent has potential to gain the most from Industry 4.0,  says Paramount head
MADE IN SOUTH AFRICA Paramount Group’s Mwari aircraft is a testament of digital technology at work as it is designed entirely in a digital format, thereby enabling for a jigless construction

SA pulp and paper group moves to consolidate dissolving pulp leadership

By: Anine Kilian     9th February 2018 Pulp and paper producer Sappi plans to significantly expand its operations in South Africa, Europe and the US by 2020, starting with the preparatory work for the potential expansion of its South Africa-based Saiccor dissolving wood pulp (DWP) mill. The South African group supplies about 20% of... 

SA pulp and paper group moves to consolidate dissolving pulp leadership

Water department seeking partnerships to strengthen policy environment

By: Dylan Slater     9th February 2018 The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has reiterated that it is seeking partnerships with the public and private sectors, as well as civil society, to strengthen the current water and sanitation policy environment, said Minister Nomvula Mokonyane, during the Water Infrastructure Investment... 

Land Bank launches climate change adaptation funding facility for farmers

By: Anine Kilian     7th February 2018 The Land and Agricultural Development Bank (Land Bank) on Wednesday announced the start of a new funding facility geared towards the support of climate change adaptation and mitigation projects. The €50-million facility, secured through the European Investment Bank (EIB), is set to strengthen the... 

South African grape variant to be launched at German fruit trade fair

By: Dylan Slater     6th February 2018 South African science institution, the Agricultural Research Council (ARC), in partnership with the South African Table Grape Industry (Sati) and Culdevco, plans to launch a seedless red table grape at the South African National Pavilion during the Fruit Logistica Trade Fair, which takes place in... 

Fruit farmers opening sluices for Cape Town

By: News24Wire      6th February 2018 The fruit growers of the Groenland Water Users Association (GWUA) in the Western Cape will begin the release of between seven-million to ten-million cubic metres of water on Tuesday to help Cape Town avoid Day Zero, GWUA chief executive Johan Groenewald said. "We were blessed [with rain], even... 

South African table grape harvest seen stable despite drought

By: African News Agency      5th February 2018 The South African Table Grape Industry (SATI) said on Monday that the country’s harvest would be stable in the 2017/2018 season despite the drought. “The country’s harvest is resilient with volumes stabilising despite the worst drought in decades,” SATI said in a statement. 

Conference to focus on intra-Africa trade development

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     2nd February 2018 This year, the Manufacturing Indaba’s theme is Industrialising Africa, which Manufacturing Indaba MD Liz Hart believes will support the development of more intra-Africa trade opportunities. “Africa is still relying on agriculture and the export of raw commodities for economic growth. Although... 

Conference to focus  on intra-Africa  trade development
CHALLENGES & OPPORTUNITIES The Manufacturing Indaba will focus on Africa’s manufacturing potential

New tool ensures accuracy for transition flow of gas

2nd February 2018 Industrial automation multinational Endress+Hauser’s new integrated pressure measurement tool, the Prowirl F/R/O 200 (Prowirl) is able to record energy and mass flows with maximum accuracy for transition flow of gases or liquids up to Re ≤ 10 000. The Prowirl is a central measuring point for... 

Showcase of SA's manufacturing prowess to debut in 2019

By: Dylan Slater     2nd February 2018 To showcase the best South Africa has to offer in terms of local manufacturing and South African-produced capital equipment, capital equipment manufactures lobby group the South African Capital Equipment Exporters Council (Saceec) has partnered with exhibition organisers Specialised Exhibitions... 

New models needed to revitalise and modernise SA’s water sector

By: Dylan Slater     2nd February 2018 Sustainable transformation in the South African water sector requires the introduction of new models and mechanisms for working relationships that will enhance the effective and efficient delivery of related water services to consumers, according to Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane.  

IBM open-source food-safety blockchain system launched

By: Schalk Burger     2nd February 2018 Computing multinational IBM in December launched an open-source, blockchain system designed to provide transparency on food safety in China. The Blockchain Food Safety Alliance has as its initial signatories US mass retailer Walmart, Chinese e-commerce firm JD.com, as well as IBM and the Tsinghua... 

KfW Development Bank signs R900m loan facility with Land Bank

By: Anine Kilian     1st February 2018 Germany’s KfW Development Bank on Thursday signed an agreement for a R900-million loan to the Land and Agricultural Development Bank of South Africa (Land Bank). The loan, which will assist the Land Bank with refinancing its loan book and extending longer-term financing to both emerging and... 

KfW Development Bank signs R900m loan facility with Land Bank
Land Bank CEO TP Nchocho

Crop munching pest in Africa raises hunger threat

By: Reuters     29th January 2018 A crop munching worm that can fly up to 100 km (60 miles) at night is spreading rapidly across Africa, threatening food production and the livelihoods of millions of farmers already struggling with conflicts and drought, experts said on Friday. The larvae form of fall armyworm prefers maize, but... 

South African maize planting area seen down 18% from last season

By: Reuters     26th January 2018 South African maize farmers are expected to plant 18% less of the staple crop this season due to dry and hot weather along the western part of the maize belt, a Reuters poll showed on Friday. South Africa's Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) is expected to forecast the planted area at 2.159-million... 

Zambia says miners must move 30% cargo by railway 

By: Reuters     26th January 2018 Mining firms and other bulk cargo firms in Zambia must transport at least 30% of their freight by railway, the government said on Friday, imposing a law to revive the sector. Transport Minister Brian Mushimba told reporters there was evidence of a huge imbalance between use of the road and rail... 

Wine industry sees positives despite expected R700m shortfall

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd January 2018 The smaller wine grape harvest anticipated by industry body Vinpro for this year is expected to result in a R700-million shortfall at farm gate, at a time when production costs have doubled in the past decade and the minimum wage for farm workers is set to increase by 17% in May. However, despite... 

Wine industry sees positives despite expected R700m shortfall

Sawis warns wine grape crop may be smallest since 2005

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     19th January 2018 Continuing drought and low water supplies in the Western Cape may lead to South Africa’s smallest wine grape harvest since 2005, when 1.15-million tonnes were harvested owing to drought and diseases in some production areas. Industry body South African Wine Industry Information and Systems... 

Sawis warns wine grape crop may be smallest since 2005

Cool heads and cooperation needed to address WCape drought crisis – Agri SA

By: African News Agency      19th January 2018 Cool heads and steady leadership are needed to mobile and support farmers and residents as south-western parts of  South Africa grapple with a drought-related water crisis, farm group Agri SA said on Friday. “As the threat of our water sources running dry begins to materialize, panic is beginning... 

Cool heads and cooperation needed to address WCape drought crisis – Agri SA

Former Land Bank CEO convicted of fraud

By: African News Agency      19th January 2018 The specialised commercial crimes court in Pretoria has convicted former Land Bank CEO Philemon Radichaba Mohlahlane and three others of defrauding the bank of at least R6 million in a case dating back to 2012. The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, commonly known as the Hawks, said... 

Industry demand sets high targets for company

By: Simone Liedtke     19th January 2018 Activated carbon manufacturer Rotocarb aims to become the biggest activated carbon producer in Africa by 2019, owing to increasing demand and dependence on activated carbon in the wastewater treatment, purification and desalination industry. 

Industry demand sets  high targets for company
PROUDLY SOUTH AFRICAN The company’s water-intensive processing and wastewater treatment operations use local raw materials, technology and deployment

Investment prioritised in water industry

By: Simone Liedtke     19th January 2018 The recent droughts in South Africa have spurred renewed prioritisation of investments to increase capacity in water supply, treatment infrastructure and management to continuously meet demand for potable and drinkable water, says multidisciplinary engineering consultancy WSP Africa environment... 

Investment prioritised in water industry
GREG MATTHEWS Resources are under pressure as demand increases owing to a growing population, industry and commercial operations

Mindset change required to mitigate water crisis effects

By: Simone Liedtke     19th January 2018 Owing to water currently being a critical global commodity, engineering company Royal HaskoningDHV business development manager Sander Zweers says a societal mindset change regarding the importance of water, as well as its treatment, purification and desalination, is needed. 

Mindset change required to mitigate water crisis effects
SANDER ZWEERS The global water crisis is considered not only an environmental risk but also a social risk

Plant to be completed in March

By: Simone Liedtke     19th January 2018 Integrated solutions provider ImproChem will be completing the construction and commissioning of a desalination plant for a large factory on the West Coast, in South Africa, with the plant expected to supply its first water in the second week of March 2018. 

Plant to be completed in March
REVERSE OSMOSIS Sea water will be pumped through a Suez Reverse Osmosis plant where the salt and mineral particles will be separated

Illovo appoints new South Africa MD

By: Anine Kilian     17th January 2018 Illovo Sugar South Africa has appointed Mamongae Mahlare MD, effective March 1. She will succeed Dave Howells who stepped down to focus on his role as corporate and external affairs executive within the broader Illovo Sugar Africa Group.   Mahlare previously held commercial, operational and... 

Without rain, S Africa's Cape Town may run out of water by April

By: Reuters     16th January 2018 South Africa's Cape Town, one of the world's iconic tourist destinations, could run out of water by April as the city's worst drought in a century risks forcing residents to join queues for emergency rations. "Day Zero" – the date taps are due to run dry – has crept forward to April 22 as city... 

Without rain, S Africa's Cape Town may run out of water by April

Ian Harebottle appointed Kropz CEO

By: Anine Kilian     15th January 2018 South Africa-based plant nutrient company and miner of fertiliser feed materials Kropz has appointed Ian Harebottle as group CEO. Harebottle, who stepped down as CEO of Aim-listed Gemfields in July last year, will join Kropz on March 28, once his contract with the diamond miner has ended.   “I am... 

Ian Harebottle appointed Kropz CEO
Ian Harebottle

South Africa white maize futures scale 11-month peak on hot, dry conditions

By: Reuters     15th January 2018 South African white maize futures prices hit 11-month highs on Monday as a spell of hot, dry weather raised concerns about plantings and yields over a swathe of the maize belt. Maize is South Africa's staple crop and policy makers such as the central bank, which will meet later this week on... 

South Africa white maize futures scale 11-month peak on hot, dry conditions

Ramaphosa to lead South African delegates at World Economic Forum

By: Dylan Slater     10th January 2018 Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is also the recently elected president of the incumbent African National Congress, will lead a South African delegation to the forty-eighth edition of the World Economic Forum’s yearly meeting, which will be held in Davos-Klosters, in Switzerland, from... 

Ramaphosa to lead South African delegates at World Economic Forum
Photo by Duane Daws
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa

Drought conditions hit South African maize belt – industry group

By: Reuters     9th January 2018 The western part of South Africa's maize belt has been hit by drought and farmers there have only planted 70 to 75% of the area they had intended to, industry group Grain SA said on Monday. With the window of planting opportunity fast closing, the unexpected onset of dry conditions in the key... 

Drought conditions hit South African maize belt – industry group

PAC welcomes proposed land expropriation without compensation

By: African News Agency      2nd January 2018 The Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) has welcomed the recent proposal by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) to expropriate land without compensation, saying that it had always held the belief that land reform in South Africa should not involve the exchange of money. At its 54th national... 

PAC welcomes proposed land expropriation without compensation

Agbiz disappointment by ANC resolution on land expropriation 

By: African News Agency      21st December 2017 The Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) on Thursday said it was concerned by the  African National Congress' (ANC's) resolution to start the process of amending the constitution to allow for land expropriation without compensation. The ANC announced the move at the just ended 54th National... 

Agbiz disappointment by ANC resolution on land expropriation

Balancing rules, safety and certification will be key to drone industry success

By: Dylan Slater     15th December 2017 The regulations and laws governing access to South African air space for remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) are sound and among the “best in the world”, according to Edenvale-based commercial drone operator Visual Air Productions director Stephen Verheul.  

Balancing rules, safety and certification will be key to drone industry success

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