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Farming Economics News

Diverse technologies combine to offer ‘smart’ ways of improving farm yields

By: Dylan Slater     24th February 2017 Consulting firm Frost & Sullivan’s science team finds that factors such as information and communications technology (ICT), chemicals, hydroponics and aquaculture inputs are augmenting profits for farmers.  

Association highlights the negative impact of poultry imports on the feed industry

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     23rd February 2017 Poultry meat imported into South Africa during 2016 displaced around 1.5-million tonnes of broiler feed, worth an estimated R8.2-billion or the equivalent of 15 medium-sized feed mills, which could have been locally manufactured, Animal Feed Manufacturers Association of South Africa (AFMA) said... 

Association highlights the negative impact of poultry imports on the feed industry

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... 

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 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

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

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

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

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

Southern Africa faces worst drought in decades

By: African News Agency      8th December 2016 Nearly 14-million people in southern Africa are in need of emergency humanitarian assistance as the region faces the worst El Nino induced drought in decades. United Nations (UN humanitarian agencies and partners launched a revised action plan to outlining their response to the needs of an... 

Southern Africa faces worst drought in decades

RCL Foods, union protest against rising chicken imports

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     7th December 2016 RCL Foods on Wednesday joined the Food and Allied Workers Union in a march in Pietermartizburg to protest against the ongoing threats to job security as a result of what it says is the increased dumping of imported chicken on the South African market. Some 350 protesters marched from the Mayors... 

RCL Foods, union protest against rising chicken imports

Project Solaris starts first local seed selection 

     1st December 2016 South African seed selection for research and development company Sunchem’s solaris crop – a nicotine-free tobacco variety that yields significant amounts of sustainable oil for biojet fuel feedstock – has started taking place locally for the first time since the launch of Project Solaris in 2014. 

Project Solaris starts first local seed selection
Project Solaris starts first local seed selection

Agribusiness to face several challenges in the new year – Agbiz

By: Anine Kilian     25th November 2016 The South African agribusiness environment will be faced with various challenges in 2017, especially in terms of engaging with key land reform legislation, according to Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) CEO Dr John Purchase, who delivered an agricultural industry forecast for 2017 on Friday.... 

Signs of hope in South Africa’s struggling agriculture sector  

By: Anine Kilian     25th November 2016 The agriculture sector contributes about 1.6% to South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP), below the 2.2% contribution that is needed for the sector to remain sustainable, Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) CEO Dr John Purchase said on Friday. Addressing delegates at a conference focused on... 

Signs of hope in South Africa’s struggling agriculture sector
AGbiz CEO John Purchase talks to Engineering New Online about land reform and the redistribution of land. Camerawork and Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Inside the South Africa leg of Unilever’s globally recognised push for sustainability

By: Dylan Slater     25th November 2016 For the third consecutive year, consumer goods manufacturer Unilever has been rated as the Number 1 Top Employer in the manufacturing sector as well as the Number 1 Top Employer in the fast moving consumer goods sector in Africa by the Top Employers Institute. 

Inside the South Africa leg of Unilever’s globally recognised push for sustainability

Investing in climate resilience will be key to improving prospects for drought-prone farming sector

By: Mia Breytenbach     28th October 2016 With several weather institutions expressing cautious optimism that South Africa could receive normal, or even above-normal, rainfall towards mid-summer – that is between December and January – there is a degree of optimism that the embattled local agriculture sector could rebound in 2017. In... 

Investing in climate resilience will be key to improving prospects for drought-prone farming sector

‘Devastating’ black frost hits Cape vineyards

By: African News Agency      20th October 2016 Farmers in the Breedekloof Wine Valley in South Africa were still assessing the damage on Thursday following a night of widespread black frost, described as “the most devastating frost the valley has seen in 21 years”, a week before. Black frost occurs when the temperature falls below zero but... 

Farm safety under the spotlight at AgriSA Congress

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     13th October 2016 To further bolster agricultural industry association Agri SA’s efforts to protect farmers and prevent farm attacks, financial services group Santam has donated R250 000 to Agri SA’s Securitas Trust Fund. The fund supports farming communities financially to combat crime, while raising awareness in... 

Land reform ignites debate at Agri SA congress

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     13th October 2016 If government wants to successfully proceed with its land reform programme, while enjoying the support of the wider agricultural community, a number of steps need to be taken, Agri SA's agricultural development policy committee chairperson Ernest Pringle put forth at the 2016 Agri SA Congress on... 

Govt needs to take agriculture seriously, urges Agri SA’s Moller

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     13th October 2016 Agriculture and food security need to become priorities on government’s agenda, as it has a significant impact on the economy, says Agri SA president Johannes Moller. “We view food security as one of the State’s primary responsibilities, and we would expect policy and economic application to be... 

Rooibos, Honeybush among South Africa’s most widely commercially cultivated plant products

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     4th October 2016 Rooibos and Honeybush, which are both endemic to South Africa, are among the most widely commercially cultivated botanical species originating in the country, with more than 300 trademarks and 20 patents to their names, which is why they have been singled out as local treasures, according to... 

Rooibos, Honeybush among South Africa’s most widely commercially cultivated plant products

Monsanto opens revamped plant breeding centre  

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     30th September 2016 Sustainable agriculture company Monsanto on Friday opened its R15-million renovated breeding centre, in Petit, near Benoni. The breeding centre is located on a 300 ha maize farm and hosts new offices, which are more than double the size of the original office, and an audiovisual boardroom that... 

Monsanto opens revamped plant breeding centre
Monsanto South Africa breeding leader Kiru Pillay speaks about the new centre

Futuregrowth lifts Land Bank lending freeze

By: Terence Creamer     26th September 2016 The Land Bank announced on Monday that Futuregrowth Asset Management had, with immediate effect, lifted a lending suspension controversially imposed on the bank, as well as five other State-owned companies (SoCs), on August 31. Besides the Land Bank, Futuregrowth also froze any new lending to the... 

Futuregrowth lifts Land Bank lending freeze
Land Bank CEO TP Nchocho

Sugar tax to leave secondary industries desolate – association

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     20th September 2016 The South African Sugar Association (Sasa) has called on the National Treasury to reconsider its intention to introduce a tax on sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs) by April next year, saying that, not only will it have an adverse effect on the beverages industry, but also widespread ramifications... 

Sugar tax to leave secondary industries desolate – association

Agribusiness confidence index experiences uptick in Q3

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     19th September 2016 After remaining below 50 index points for five consecutive quarters, the Agbiz/Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) Agribusiness Confidence Index recovered significantly by 13 index points to 60 in the third quarter of this year. This is the highest reading since the third quarter of 2014. An... 

Agribusiness confidence index experiences uptick in Q3

Commercial bamboo production may have biofuel potential  

By: Dylan Slater     16th September 2016 According to Africa-focused bamboo technology company Afribam, growing bamboo commercially could create biofuel possibilities for commercial power generation and serve to sequestrate a percentage of carbon emitted by the same power generation facilities.  

Commercial bamboo production may have  biofuel potential
Bamboo specialist Adrian Sutton tells Engineering News about the opportunities of commercially growing bamboo. Camerawork and Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Clover increases revenue to R9.8bn, cost efficiency drive pays off

By: Tracy Hancock     13th September 2016 JSE-listed dairy products manufacturer Clover has improved its revenue for the year ended June 30 by 6%, to R9.8-billion, despite having faced numerous economic headwinds in the year under review. “We had a tough year, no doubt. We had a deflationary year in dairy,” Clover CEO Johann Vorster told... 

Clover increases revenue to R9.8bn, cost efficiency drive pays off

Aussie drought aid for Southern Africa

By: African News Agency      8th September 2016 The Australian Government will provide further support to southern Africa in response to the acute food shortages caused by severe El Niño conditions in the region. Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop has announced that Australia will give another 10-million Australian dollars to the World... 

Aussie drought aid for Southern Africa

$35bn in pledges to Africa’s green revolution

By: African News Agency      8th September 2016 Heads of State and leaders of global organisations and companies dug deep on Wednesday to support the transformation of agriculture in Africa with pledges of more than $35-billion in additional funding. Strive Masiyiwa, chairman of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, told a gala dinner... 

Big bet on agriculture pays off for African nations

By: African News Agency      6th September 2016 A decade of paying intense attention to farming has generated “the most successful development effort” in African history, according to a report released by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) at the UN’s African headquarters on Tuesday. Analysis of AGRA’s 2016 African... 

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