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Farming Economics News

Land Bank sets aside R1bn to support black farming investments in 2017  

By: Terence Creamer     20th April 2017 South Africa’s Land Bank has set a target of disbursing “at least” R1-billion in 2017/18 to support investments by black entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector and to begin transforming a loan book that is still overwhelmingly composed of funding to established commercial farmers. Should the... 

Local macadamia association spreads footprint through Chinese MoU

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     18th April 2017 The South African Macadamia Grower’s Association (Samac) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the China National Industry Association’s (CSNC’s) specialised committee for nuts and roasted seeds to enhance cooperation in the nuts and roaster industries of the two countries. Signed... 

Fresh produce markets, agents critical to enabling market access – association

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     12th April 2017 The agency system of sales in the South African fresh product market is “definitely not under siege”, as suggested by the recent Competition Commission raids, say Produce Marketing Association Southern Africa GM Lindie Stroebel and ZZ2 CEO Tommie van Zyl. The commission, last month, held search... 

Fresh produce markets, agents critical to enabling market access – association

Fire damage to Western Cape agri sector nearly R200m

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     12th April 2017 The Western Cape Department of Agriculture says that, based on questionnaires distributed to farmers in the region, around R192.3-million in fire damage has been reported in the Hessequa and George regions. “We received feedback from 79 farms. The data shows that infrastructure, crops, livestock,... 

Fire damage to Western Cape agri sector nearly R200m

South Africa’s credit rating downgrade will also hit SADC region, says AgriSA

By: African News Agency      11th April 2017 AgriSA said on Tuesday that the impact of South Africa’s foreign currency credit rating downgrades was likely to be felt outside of the country’s borders and would have an impact in the Southern African region as a whole. South Africa’s foreign currency credit rating was downgraded to junk status... 

FairPlay appoints Richard Goldstone as patron, sets its sights on ending chicken dumping

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     10th April 2017 Former Constitutional Court judge Justice Richard Goldstone has joined antidumping organisation FairPlay, which was formed to oppose the illegal and job-destroying practice of selling goods below the cost of production, as its patron. FairPlay’s first project will be to focus on stopping the... 

FairPlay appoints Richard Goldstone as patron, sets its sights on ending chicken dumping

Downgrade to junk status will impact on food security – Agbiz

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     7th April 2017 Standard & Poor’s (S&P’s) decision to downgrade South Africa’s sovereign debt to junk status will have a significant impact on the country’s agribusiness sector, with a knock-on effect on consumers, agricultural business chamber Agbiz said on Friday. CEO Dr John Purchase explained that the... 

Competition Commission pursues prosecution of seed potato supplier, agent 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     4th April 2017 The Competition Commission has asked the Competition Tribunal to prosecute Netherlands-based seed potato breeder HZPC Holland and its exclusive South African distributor Wesgro Potatoes for the alleged abuse of dominance in supplying Mondial seed potatoes varietal in the country. Wesgro has an... 

Need for industry growth must be recognised

By: Robyn Wilkinson     31st March 2017 More favourable economic conditions for sugar cane production and processing need to be fostered in South Africa to protect and grow a sector that contributes an average R12-billion to the economy and provides about 350 000 jobs in the country, say industry associations the South African Cane... 

Need for industry growth must be recognised
Photo by Duane Daws
REMAINING GLOBALLY RELEVANT South Africa needs to protect its positon as a globally competitive producer of high-quality sugar

Sugar tax threatens sugar industry survival

By: Robyn Wilkinson     31st March 2017 The South African Treasury’s proposal to introduce a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) later this year threatens the sustainability and survival of a sugar industry already under strain, says South African Sugar Association (Sasa) executive director Trix Trikam. 

Western Cape budgets for drought relief

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     29th March 2017 The Western Cape government has set aside R797-million for its Department of Agriculture in the 2017/18 financial year. Of this, R47-million was allocated towards drought relief, with a special focus on emerging entrepreneurs. “In 2015, South Africa recorded its lowest rainfall in a calendar year... 

Western Cape budgets for drought relief

DAFF to assist agricultural sector increase production  

By: Anine Kilian     17th March 2017 The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) plans to boost agricultural production, which was severely affected by the drought in recent years. Addressing delegates at the Agricultural Research Symposium 2017 in Centurion, Gauteng, on Friday, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries... 

Joburg rooftop gardens bringing agriculture to heart of city living

By: Schalk Burger     17th March 2017 Food shapes the daily patterns of city life, and food production in urban and peri-urban areas is increasingly regarded as integral to resilient and sustainable city region food systems, says United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (UN FAO) director general José Graziano da Silva. “In... 

Joburg rooftop gardens bringing agriculture to heart of city living

Urban agriculture pilot project hints at potential 

     16th March 2017 The vegetable garden on the roof of the Kotze street shelter, in Braamfontein, is part of a pilot project series of urban gardens to improve food security for the more vulnerable people in the city. Schalk Burger has the story. 

Urban agriculture pilot project hints at potential
Urban agriculture pilot project hints at potential

Global agriculture innovators vie for top honours at Future Agro Challenge awards 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     13th March 2017 Two South African innovators in the agriculture industry, Reel Gardening and Meat Naturally, will on Wednesday battle it out against 48 other agripreneurs for the title of Agripreneur of the Year. As part of agriculture innovation hub Future Agro Challenge’s (FAC’s) Global Championships, held in... 

Global agriculture innovators vie for top honours at Future Agro Challenge awards
FAC co-founder Carla Tanas speaks about the background of the awards. Video and editing: Nicholas Boyd 13/03/17

Tongaat’s sugar, maize output to rise on improved rainfall

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     10th March 2017 Tongaat Hulett’s sugar production is expected to increase significantly over the next two years, as the company recovers from the adverse conditions, including drought, in the past two years. Based on good rainfall, the agriculture and agroprocessing business’s South African division is expected... 

Tongaat’s sugar, maize output to rise on improved rainfall

Government won’t allow poultry industry to be ‘decimated’ - Davies 

By: Terence Creamer     2nd March 2017 Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies is adamant that government will not stand by while its poultry industry is “decimated”, but acknowledges that there are also issues of industry competitiveness that should be addressed. Speaking this week during the Economic Sectors, Employment and... 

Government won’t allow poultry industry to be ‘decimated’ - Davies
Poultry workers and management during a recent march to the EU Delegation in Pretoria, to protest the dumping of bone-in chicken

Chicken imports contribute to 21.9% decrease in RCL Foods’ interim Ebitda

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     24th February 2017 The widely reported issues facing the domestic poultry industry have significantly decimated JSE-listed RCL Foods’ profits, with the company reporting a 21.9% decrease in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) to R900.4-million for the six months ended December... 

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... 

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.... 

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