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Agriculture Engineering

GM food for Africa

By: lauren rota     5th March 2004 A recent furore has been sparked over the South African government’s consent to allow testing of Monsanto’s genetically-modified (GM) herbicide-resistant wheat. ? 

CSIR is empowering rural communities to sell new grain products

By: lauren rota     5th March 2004 Product development for the southern African food industry is a focus of the food science and technology programme at the food science and technology programme at CSIR Bio/Chemtek. 

Hydroponics is becoming a more frequent practice

By: lauren rota     5th March 2004 Set up through begging, borrowing and stealing in 1996, the Vegetable and Ornamental Plant Institute (Vopi) of the Agricultural Research Council (Arc) in Roodeplaat, north of Pretoria, now serves as a demonstration unit for courses on hydroponic cultivation.? 

Maize contracts lop R211m off Tongaat's earnings

24th February 2004 Kwazulu-Natal-based sugar, starch and aluminium group, Tongaat-Hulett, yesterday announced a sharp fall in earnings for the year ended December 31, 2003, but stated that it could record strong earnings recovery in 2004. 

SA gets sweet on honey

By: Deborah Spicer     28th November 2003 A government-funded honey project may be one way of reducing South Africa’s dependence on imported honey, as well as a way of growing South Africa’s exports. 

Using mushrooms to fight poverty

By: Deborah Spicer     31st October 2003 A section-21 company will be established by the end of the 2003/4 financial year to market oyster mushrooms produced by groups involved in a poverty-reducing mushroom-farming project, aimed primarily at poor, rural women and the youth and disabled. 

Socially Responsible Investment Index to become critical financial indicator

By: candice haase     31st October 2003 Early next year, the JSE Securities Exchange will launch its Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) Index. 

State supports sisal project

By: laurian clemence     28th October 2003 The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), through its community public-private partnership programme (CPPP), has initiated a tender inviting companies or consultants to design a sisal-fibre manufacturing plant in the Madikwe township, about 60 km from Zeerust, in North West province. 

Hoedspruit farmers mull sugar entry

By: Deborah Spicer     12th September 2003 Shareholding in a sugar project in Hoedspruit, Limpopo Province, is being discussed at present, following a successful preliminary feasibility study which found that it was economically viable to grow sugar cane and mill it at a proposed sugar mill in the area. 

Tongatt-Hulett reports successes in Moz and Russia

20th August 2003 South African food and aluminium group Tongaat-Hulett said yesterday its sales in Mozambique have exceeded 10 000 t a month, for the first time in July. 

Integrated farming techniques better than GM technology, says group

By: candice haase     15th August 2003 Despite the success of genetically-modified (GM) cotton production in South Africa, it is believed that the effects of GM crops on tackling hunger among African nations has yet to be realised. 

Cultivation of GMOs is becoming popular

15th August 2003 In 1978 academic and industry biotechnology scientists established a body called Sagene to supervise responsible experimentation with the discovery of genetic modification (GM) by means of modem biotechnology. 

Research project starts into why irrigation schemes fail

By: candice haase     15th August 2003 In June this year, Arcus Gibb, together with the Water Research Commission (WRC) and a number of research and tertiary institutions in the Eastern Cape, began a three-year research project into the use of water for poverty relief and wealth creation. 

New science aims to improve farmers’ bottom-line

By: candice haase     15th August 2003 Ongoing research and development at Johannesburg company Omnia Fertilizer since the mid-1990s has resulted in the creation of a science that has been named nutriology. 

Montagu groundwater scheme completed

15th August 2003 A groundwater scheme to make up a shortfall of irrigation water in the Koo Valley, near Montagu, in the Western Cape, has been completed. 

Irrigation manufacturer grows sales by 70%

15th August 2003 South Africa’s largest manufacturer and supplier of aboveground agricultural sprinkler equipment, The House of Irrigation, has increased production capacity at its Pretoria plant fivefold to meet local and export demand. 

African scientists see no GM food risk

11th August 2003 African scientists sent on a fact-finding mission to the US and Europe found that genetically modified organisms posed no immediate risk to humans and animals, a regional body said on Friday. 

Venture funds for SA biotech sector limited

30th July 2003 Investment capital for biotech companies in South Africa is limited but the situation is improving, a recent debate on the industry concluded. 

IDC studies big citrus project in KZN

By: laurian clemence     29th July 2003 The State-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has issued a tender calling for an environmental specialist to conduct a study into the impact of establishing a 1 000 ha citrus orchard on State-owned land in the Makhatini Flats in KwaZulu-Natal. 

SA’s essential oils industry gains momentum

By: laurian clemence     22nd July 2003 There is significant scope for South Africa to produce a wide range of quality organic and conventional essential oils, the head of a newly privatised company set up to pursue commercial opportunities in this area tells Engineering News Online. 

Low-cost cultivation of micro-algae made possible

By: Karel Smrcka     4th July 2003 Algae are extremely versatile: they produce vitamins, unsaturated fatty acids and pharmaceutical agents. They clean wastewater and supply energy. And algae are easily satisfied: they only require water, carbon dioxide, nutrients and sunlight to grow. 

Sugar industry in black empowerment talks

By: Martin Czernowalow     25th June 2003 The South African Sugar Association (Sasa) has initiated discussions within the local sugar industry on the country’s black economic empowerment (BEE) framework proposal and will support various sections within the industry, while responding to the legislation and ensuring that its own... 

Sugar industry needs level playing field

By: Martin Czernowalow     25th June 2003 A more level playing field would result in higher world sugar prices, fairer trade and greater access to lucrative markets, the South African Sugar Association (Sasa) said yesterday, adding that it was optimistic about an improvement of international competitiveness within the sugar industry in... 

Privatisation, Aids key Growth Summit hurdles

By: nkolola halwindi     6th June 2003 After close consultations among the social partners, investment, employment, skills and equity, and local action will be the key focus areas at the long-awaited Growth and Development Summit (GDS) to be held at the Gallagher Estates in Midrand, Gauteng. 

Changing profile of SA sugar industry

30th May 2003 The opening of the 2003/4 sugar season was celebrated in a cultural ceremony on April 10, on the Kwazulu-Natal north coast. 

Cane growers seek solutions to land claims and community empowerment

By: zeena isaacs     30th May 2003 South Africa has some 50 000 registered cane growers, comprising of large-scale commercial and small-scale farmers, which produce, on average, 23-million t of sugarcane per season. 

Sugar company reports an abundant harvest

By: zeena isaacs     30th May 2003 About 2,3-million tons of refined sugar was produced by Illovo Sugar in the 2002/3 sugar season. 

Sugar industry notches up record harvest

By: zeena isaacs     30th May 2003 The 2002/3 sugar season was the best ever, with a record-breaking 2,763-million t of sugar produced, breaking the previous record of 2,729-million t in the 2000/1 season. 

Bark miller’s move into sugar proves to be a sweet deal

30th May 2003 Two new records were set in boilinghouse recovery, as well as overall recovery, by Union Cooperative at its sugar mill during the 2002/3 sugar season. 

Mpumalanga mills produce half-a-million tons a year

30th May 2003 Two of South Africa’s 15 sugar mills, the Komati mill and the Malelane mill, produce about 495 000 t of raw sugar a year. 

2,7m tons of sugar milled a year

30th May 2003 The South African sugar industry generates, on average, a direct revenue exceeding R5-billion a year, of which R2-billion contributes to the country’s foreign exchange earnings. 

New MD for sugar company

30th May 2003 Local company Tongaat-Hulett Sugar has appointed a new managing director. 

Sugar cane transport empowerment deal signed

30th May 2003 An R4-million empowerment-focused sugar cane transport venture has been established by Cargo Carriers for small and emergent sugar growers in Mpumalanga. 

Providing the sugar industry’s demanding valve needs

By: zeena isaacs     30th May 2003 A range of valves have been supplied by Heaton Valves Africa and its long-standing partner Hattersley, to two of the largest companies in the South African sugar industry, namely Tongaat-Hulett and Illovo Sugar. 

Freight division records solid growth in Africa

30th May 2003 Every sugar mill in Kwazulu-Natal is served with truckloads of cut cane by the depot network of the sugar division of Unitrans Freight. 

EU’s GM labelling law may affect SA exporters

By: Deborah Spicer     16th May 2003 Namibia’s stance on meat which comes from animals which have been fed on genetically-modified (GM) grain may be out of date if the labelling requirements being discussed in the European Union (EU) become law. 

Modern pet-food factory opens

By: Joanne Delaurentis     9th May 2003 International dog- and cat-food manufacturer Royal Canin has opened a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in North Riding, north-west of Johannesburg. 

SA biotech firm sets up venture with German leader

18th April 2003 A local biotechnology firm has set up a joint venture agreement with a German group to manufacture and supply specialty amino acids for pharmaceutical and human nutritional applications. 

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