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Farming Economics News

Avocado 'green gold' ripe and ready for South Africa's farmers

By: Reuters     21st June 2018 Whether you like to squash it onto your toast in the morning, millennial-style, eat it to cut your cholesterol with healthy unsaturated oil, or moisturise your face with it - if you live in the West, you're probably rarely far from an avocado. And that is very good news for South Africa's... 

DTI, stakeholders establish sugar value-chain task team to address industry challenges

By: Marleny Arnoldi     29th May 2018 The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has established a sugar value-chain task team, comprising representatives from the beverage industry, retailers, the South African Sugar Association (Sasa), smallholder farmers, small manufacturers and the Industrial Development Corporation of South... 

DTI, stakeholders establish sugar value-chain task team to address industry challenges

Avian flu still affecting agricultural cycles – Quantum Foods

By: Simone Liedtke     24th May 2018 The first six months of the current financial year proved how quickly agricultural cycles can change, says diversified feeds and poultry business Quantum Foods. This is evidenced through two main factors influencing the macroenvironment during this period, ended March 31. 

NWK to sell Opti Agri as focus shifts to core business

By: Schalk Burger     7th May 2018 4AX-listed agricultural company NWK will sell its animal feed business Opti Agri to Country Bird Holdings for R290-million. This is in line with NWK’s revised business strategy with an emphasis on greater customer focus around the core business. 

Ramaphosa calls for equal pay for men and women #MayDay

By: African News Agency      1st May 2018 African National Congress President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday called for equal pay for men and women in South Africa. Ramaphosa was speaking at a Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) May Day Rally held at a packed Isaac Wolfson Stadium in Port Elizabeth where he was warmly received... 

Ramaphosa calls for equal pay for men and women #MayDay

Govt committed to accelerating land redistribution - Ramaphosa

By: African News Agency      27th April 2018 President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Friday that government was committed to accelerating land redistribution, adding that economic freedom means that the land that was taken from black South Africans needs to be returned. "We are committed to accelerate the redistribution of land, both in urban... 

Govt committed to accelerating land redistribution - Ramaphosa
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa

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... 

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

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

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... 

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

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

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

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... 

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... 

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.  

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... 

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

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

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

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

Battling threat of sugar tax, excessive imports and low price

By: Victor Moolman     8th December 2017 The large amount of sugar being imported into South Africa has caused the country’s sugar industry, which may soon be further compromised by the introduction of a sugar tax, to start exporting sugar at world market prices to offload excess sugar, which it is unable to sell locally. While opposing... 

Battling threat of sugar tax, excessive imports and low price
Photo by Victor Moolman
DEDICATED TO SUGAR CANE Large parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga, about 360 000 ha, are dedicated to growing sugar cane

Doubt whether desalination plants will be delivered by March  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th December 2017 Valves supplier APVF will supply pipeline products for six desalination plants earmarked for construction in the Western Cape, which are expected to deliver 28 M of water to the province daily.  

Doubt whether desalination plants will be delivered by March
OCEAN ASSISTANCE The City of Cape Town awarded six companies the construction and commissioning of six desalination plants on November 7 as part of the solution to the water crisis

Potential of groundwater in spotlight again amid Western Cape drought

By: Dylan Slater     1st December 2017 Groundwater still holds significant potential to provide water for various uses, especially to augment large-scale supply during drought, notes Geological Society of South Africa: Western Cape ground water division chairperson Dr Roger Parsons.  

Third biennial food and drink exhibition to be held in 2018

By: Simone Liedtke     17th November 2017 Conceptualised as a “for Africa by Africa” event, exhibition company Messe München South Africa (SA) will host the third biennial food and drink technology Africa (fdt Africa) exhibition from September 4 to 6 at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa, next year. 

Third biennial food and drink exhibition to be held in 2018
FDT AFRICA 2018 The aim of fdt Africa 2018 is to consolidate the existing target groups of exhibitors and visitors

SAB entrepreneurship for employment initiative welcomed

17th November 2017 Business Unity South Africa (Busa) has welcomed South African Breweries (SAB’s) entrepreneurship campaign aimed at enabling South African entrepreneurs to create 10 000 jobs by 2021. 

SAB entrepreneurship for employment initiative welcomed
SAB PROGRAMME The SAB entrepreneurial programme, which provides a package of support, was launched in September

Industry still suffers effects of drought

By: Simone Liedtke     17th November 2017 Although innovative production practices and a diversified geographic production area helped to buffer the effect of the drought on the 2017 harvest, wine industry body VinPro explains that insufficient rainfall in the winter months will undoubtedly have an effect on vine functionality and yield... 

Industry still suffers effects of drought
DROUGHT EFFECTS As a result of the drought, the Western Cape has received 30% less rainfall than the amount needed at this stage

DCD success in winemaking opens new markets

17th November 2017 Having proven that its Disruptor technology is more than suitable for the winemaking and beer sectors, South African biotechnology company Green Cell Technologies (GCT), states that it has turned its attention to the lucrative fruit sugar concentrates market. 

DCD success in  winemaking opens new markets
LESS SUGAR Consumers are more informed about the effect of foodstuffs they consume and the growing demand for less sugary products
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