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Farming Economics News

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... 

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... 

Opinion: Hybrid nuclear-desalination deployment could transform South Africa’s agricultural fortunes

6th September 2016 A recent article in Engineering News argued that wind and solar could provide the bulk of South Africa’s power at the least cost. Dr Tobias Bischof-Niemz argued that building 22 GW of wind and solar capacity and 8 GW of “backup” (in the form of coal and/or gas) was the sensible solution to... 

Opinion: Hybrid nuclear-desalination deployment could transform South Africa’s agricultural fortunes
Tom Blees

RCL Foods' revenue up, chicken and sugar still ‘real’ challenges

By: Tracy Hancock     31st August 2016 JSE-listed RCL Foods' revenue for the 12 months to June 30 increased by 6.8% to R25-billion, up on the R23.4-billion in 2015, the first full year of operating under its new structure and leadership. RCL Foods CFO Rob Fields told Engineering News in a telephone interview on Wednesday that the... 

Nontransparent development plans leave Free State community in lurch

By: Dylan Slater     12th August 2016 Relocated families and local residents of farms bordering State-owned power utility Eskom’s newly constructed Ingula hydroelectric power scheme have been left in the dark about how the power utility plans to develop the area.  

Partnership expands range for sector

By: Simon Sonnekus     5th August 2016 South Africa-based fertiliser company Advanced Agri has expanded its fertiliser range by introducing two specialised products for various farming disciplines.  According to Advanced Agri director Frank Winder, the EcoCal range for crop farmers and Graze range for livestock farmers are... 

SA farmers hope for enough rain after winter

By: Simon Sonnekus     5th August 2016 The next five months and the following planting season will be critical for farmers who have been affected by the devastating drought which crippled the agriculture sector recently. According to agricultural organisation AgriSA CEO Omri van Zyl, farmers need to see out the winter and hope for... 

Algae-free irrigation systems to save money for farmers

By: Simon Sonnekus     5th August 2016 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has estimated the rand value of the impact of algae pollution in the Berg river, near Stellenbosch, in the Western Cape. The calculation enables farmers to compare different ways of managing the problem in the area. A ‘Water SA’ report... 

Land Bank division unveils South Africa’s first black crop insurance brokers

By: Samantha Herbst     1st August 2016 The Land Bank Insurance Company (LBIC), a division of the Land Bank, which provides financial services to the commercial farming and agribusiness sector, has unveiled the first batch of fully accredited black crop insurance brokers in the country. A programme with the intention of training ten... 

Land Bank division unveils South Africa’s first black crop insurance brokers

Southern Africa in urgent need of food production assistance

By: African News Agency      29th July 2016 Some 23-million people in southern Africa are in need of urgent support to be able to produce enough food to feed themselves and avoid being dependent on humanitarian assistance until mid-2018, the United Nations agricultural agency has warned. According to the Food and Agricultural Organisation... 

Monsanto to extend confined field trial permits

By: Tracy Hancock     29th July 2016 Agriculture company Monsanto has applied to extend the confined field trial (CFT) permits of three genetically improved maize products involved in CFTs in four provinces across South Africa. A decision expected prior to the start of the country’s planting season, which takes place around October. 

Monsanto to extend confined field trial permits
Photo by Duane Daws
PRICEY PRACTICE The US-developed products have been evaluated in South Africa for two growing seasons, with one year of CFTs in South Africa costing about R6.5-million

South Africa ranks moderately on food security index

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     27th July 2016 South Africa is ranked at 47 out of the 113 countries in this year’s Global Food Security Index (GFSI), reflecting a one-position decline from 2015, but an overall 0.6 point score increase. The country ranked first among its sub-Saharan African peers and landed in the top ten of... 

South Africa ranks moderately on food security index

Why agriculture is vital for South Africa's economic future

By: News24Wire      12th July 2016 Countries that tax agricultural sectors are normally poor. Countries which subsidise the agricultural sector are normally rich. This is according to agricultural economist professor Mohammad Karaan, a speaker at National Treasury’s Public Economics Winter School being held at the University of... 

Famous Brands looks to capitalise on tomato paste shortage

By: Tracy Hancock     4th July 2016 JSE-listed Famous Brands plans to capitalise on the tomato paste shortage in South Africa through its acquisition of a tomato paste manufacturing plant, Cape Concentrate, in the Coega precinct, in the Eastern Cape, for an undisclosed amount. Funded from cash reserves, the acquisition was in line... 

Famous Brands looks to capitalise on tomato paste shortage
Famous Brands group strategic adviser responsible for merger and acquisition activity Kevin Hedderwick

Mahindra aims to bring its tractor range to South Africa

By: Irma Venter     24th June 2016 Mahindra & Mahindra, the India-based global conglomerate active in more than 100 countries, aims to bring its tractor range to South Africa, says Mahindra agri, and Africa and South Asia operations president Ashok Sharma. “It will probably be the first of a range of products to come to South... 

Agricultural technologies to drive growth and development, survey finds

By: Schalk Burger     17th June 2016 The increasing use of agricultural technologies in Africa, as reported in a survey of 25 large agricultural companies, can dramatically improve yields, food security and product quality, as well as provide raw materials for new products in new markets, says PwC Africa Agribusiness industry leader... 

Sugar cane production declines by more than 16.3% y/y

By: Samantha Herbst     15th June 2016 As a result of the ongoing countrywide drought, South African cane production declined during the 2015/16 season by more than 16.3% to 14.81-million tons, following an 11.4% reduction recorded in the previous season. “The decrease will impact on the sustainability of the rural economy in both... 

Sugar cane production declines by more than 16.3% y/y

EU eases black-spot rules on South African citrus destined for juicing

By: Terence Creamer     19th May 2016 The European Union (EU) has announced plans to partially relax citrus black spot (CBS) regulations on fruit exported from South Africa from June 1. The European Commission decided earlier this month that South African citrus exports destined exclusively for industrial processing into juice would... 

EU eases black-spot rules on South African citrus destined for juicing

Astral Foods’ HEPS falls on lower poultry profits

By: Tracy Hancock     16th May 2016 JSE-listed Astral Foods stated on Monday that the decrease in headline earnings from R387-million for the previous year's first six months to R299-million for the period under review was attributable to lower profits from the poultry division following mainly drought-related increases in feed... 

Astral Foods’ HEPS falls on lower poultry profits

Innovation and research needed to bolster farming productivity

By: Mia Breytenbach     13th May 2016 As South Africa struggles with rising food prices, the effects of the worst drought in 20 years and water shortage, the Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD) highlighted how the country’s agricultural industry could address some of the challenges from an agricultural... 

Innovation and research needed to bolster farming productivity
Photo by Bloomberg
EMPHASISED DELIBERATION Considerations at the Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development included promoting the preference for sustainable, labour-intensive farming systems

Record macadamia nut prices forecast for 2016 season

By: Tracy Hancock     12th May 2016 Hit by tumultuous market conditions in 2015, macadamia nut farmers are expected to see record prices for the 2016 season, owing to a combination of the drought in South Africa and Malawi, consistent production levels elsewhere in the world, increased demand from the US and China, and the weak... 

Record macadamia nut prices forecast for 2016 season

World Bank suggests new measure to address effects of drought in African dry-lands

By: African News Agency      11th May 2016 The World Bank says irrigation, improved crop production technologies, soil fertility management and adding trees to current farming systems could help reduce the impact of drought in Africa’s dry-lands by half and help save an estimated 5.5-million people annually from food insecurity. In a new... 

World Bank suggests new measure to address effects of drought in African dry-lands

IoT could help increase agri productivity by 70%, says Deloitte report

By: Creamer Media Reporter      3rd May 2016 By 2050, agricultural productivity in Africa has the potential to increase by 70%, through technological innovation leveraged by the Internet of Things (IoT). This would meet the continent’s growing food demand which, based on population growth, is set to grow by 70%, according to a Deloitte US... 

IoT could help increase agri productivity by 70%, says Deloitte report

Distell 2016 harvest ‘surprisingly good’ despite drought

By: Creamer Media Reporter      20th April 2016 South African winegrowers need to prepare for the greater likelihood of climatic extremes and become more adaptable to drought conditions, stated multinational brewing and beverage company Distell grape and wine supply GM Erhard Wolf this month. He was commenting on the 2016 wine grape harvest,... 

Distell 2016 harvest ‘surprisingly good’ despite drought

Proposal to boost precision farming in South Africa

By: Kim Cloete     14th April 2016 A satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS) that could help generate more crops and boost sales in South Africa’s agricultural sector has been proposed by the UK Space Agency-funded SBAS-Africa programme. The SBAS-Africa programme, aimed at demonstrating the potential benefits of SBAS... 

Proposal to boost precision farming in South Africa

Sea Harvest looks to acquire 59.6% of Perth’s Mareterram

By: Samantha Herbst     8th April 2016 Sea Harvest Holdings, a subsidiary of the JSE-listed Brimstone Investment Corporation, has entered into a bid implementation agreement with Perth-based agribusiness Mareterram, which could increase Sea Harvest’s already majority share in Mareterram to about 59.6%. Sea Harvest’s offer, announced... 

Sea Harvest looks to acquire 59.6% of Perth’s Mareterram

Zambia Agri Minister emphasises need to diversify beyond copper

By: Tracy Hancock     8th April 2016 Copper, a significant economic driver in Zambia, had taken the country so far but would not be able to take it any further, said Zambian Deputy Agriculture and Livestock Minister Maxas Ng’onga on Thursday at the opening of the AGCO Future Farm training centre, in Lusaka, Zambia. As Africa’s... 

Zambia Agri Minister emphasises need to diversify beyond copper
Photo by Tracy Hancock
Zambia Deputy Agriculture and Livestock Minister Maxas Ng'onga

Afgri eyes agricultural development for food security

By: Natasha Odendaal     7th April 2016 Having looked to quietly expand since delisting from the Johannesburg bourse two years ago, agricultural services and food processing company Afgri will turn its focus to supporting development and transformation in the agricultural sector in South Africa and beyond. The group, aiming to drive... 

Afgri eyes agricultural development for food security

Oliphant warns agri employers against noncompliance with new minimum wage

By: Samantha Herbst     4th April 2016 Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant has cautioned against the “disingenuous practice” of farm and forest employers who are not complying with the recently upwardly adjusted minimum wages. Many employers were reportedly paying workers far less than the current stipulated minimum wages, which they... 

Oliphant warns agri employers against noncompliance with new minimum wage
Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant

Zuma commits to provide extra drought support

By: African News Agency      4th April 2016 President Jacob Zuma has committed all spheres of government to provide extra support to drought-hit areas, the presidency said on Sunday. Zuma was responding to a series of concerns raised by members of the community in the uThungulu district municipality and surrounding areas during an imbizo... 

Zuma commits to provide extra drought support

SA drawing on 150 experts as rigorous Karoo shale-gas enviro assessment advances

By: Dylan Slater     1st April 2016 The development of shale gas projects in South Africa was halted with the 2011 issuing of a moratorium on the issuing of shale gas exploration licences within the central Karoo, which has subsequently been lifted.  

SA drawing on 150 experts as rigorous Karoo shale-gas enviro assessment advances

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