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Agriculture News

Southern Africa faces worst drought in decades

By: African News Agency      Updated 5 hours ago 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... 

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

Bell Equipment launches tractor-loader-backhoe

By: Dylan Slater     2nd December 2016 South African equipment manufacturer Bell Equipment launched its new L-series tractor-loader-backhoe (TLB) to the domestic market in October.  

Company extends range to meet demand for portable power

     2nd December 2016 Having identified a growing need for dependable portable power, particularly for use in agriculture and mining, for maximum efficiency of power tools in construction and for small-scale commercial and residential applications, custom power solutions provider Vert Energy is extending its range of... 

Company extends range to meet demand for portable power
ENSURING DEPENDABLE POWER NSM’s welder is just one of several new products in Vert Energy’s offering for the mining, commercial and industrial sectors

Plans in place to stimulate industries for further economic growth

By: Simone Liedtke     2nd December 2016 Being the second largest regional economy after Gauteng, the Western Cape is set on creating new industries as well as stimulating labour-intensive industries such as agroprocessing, marine culture, the green economy, tourism, and oil and gas to further grow the economy. 

Plans in place to stimulate industries for further  economic growth
JANINE MYBURGH There has been great cooperation between the private sector, the province and the council to improve, build and promote Cape Town

Proposed standards for vegetable oil for use in transformers problematic – engineer

By: Schalk Burger     2nd December 2016 The standards proposed for the production of vegetable oils to use as electricity transformer oil are unnecessary, and prevent the inclusion of smaller producers who stand to benefit most and provide the greatest number of new employment opportunities, says retired chemical engineer John... 

The worst appears to be over for mining sector – Barloworld

By: Irma Venter     2nd December 2016 For the first time in four years some green shoots are starting to appear in the mining industry, says Barloworld CE Clive Thomson. Discussing the JSE-listed group’s financial results for the year ended September 30, he says he believes the current cycle has reached its bottom. 

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

Drought prevails in South Africa despite increased rainfall

By: Anine Kilian     30th November 2016 Despite the significant increase in rainfall across South Africa in recent weeks, the country is still experiencing a severe drought, noted Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) climate modelling chief researcher Professor Francois Engelbrecht on Wednesday. Speaking at a CSIR... 

Drought prevails in South Africa despite increased rainfall

Omnia H1 profit down 11% y/y amid drought, plant breakdown

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     29th November 2016 South African chemicals producer Omnia on Tuesday reported that negative impacts on its agriculture division, including the drought and a breakdown at its Nitric Acid 2 complex, have seen its gross profit decrease by 11% year-on-year to R1.5-billion for the six months to September 30. The... 

Omnia H1 profit down 11% y/y amid drought, plant breakdown

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.

Ecofriendly innovations in on-site wastewater treatment simplified

By: Sascha Solomons     25th November 2016 Using technology in sustainable wastewater treatment combined with the creation of its own bacterial strains developed in-house, South Africa-based biological wastewater treatment solutions provider SewTreat can respond to the demand for water management across sectors. SewTreat spokesman Theunis... 

Ecofriendly innovations in on-site wastewater treatment simplified
WASTEWATER TREATMENT FACILITIES SewTreat offers a specialised, modular biological wastewater treatment plant tailor-made for the African market

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

Rail freight system will benefit economy, reduce road maintenance

By: Nadine James     25th November 2016 To limit the damage to the national and provincial road networks – primarily caused by heavy-duty freight vehicles – and cut down on resulting maintenance, government should ensure that South Africa has a workable and reliable rail freight service, says auditing and consulting firm KPMG. KPMG... 

Rail freight system will benefit economy, reduce road maintenance
DE BUYS SCOTT The establishment of a workable rail infrastructure would stimulate job creation and economic growth during the construction phase of rail-related projects

Some green shoots visible in mining sector, says Barloworld’s Thomson

By: Irma Venter     21st November 2016 For the first time in four years some green shoots are starting to appear in the mining industry, says Barloworld CE Clive Thomson. Discussing the JSE-listed group’s financial results for the year ended September 30, in Johannesburg, he said he believed the current cycle had reached its bottom. 

Some green shoots visible in mining sector, says Barloworld’s Thomson
Photo by Duane Daws
Clive Thomson

Barloworld, BayWa extend collaboration in Southern Africa

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     18th November 2016 JSE-listed Barloworld and German company BayWa have entered into a joint venture (JV) to further expand their agriculture and materials handling operations in Southern Africa. Subject to approval by competition authorities, the parties will establish a 50:50 JV company, BHBW Holdings, which will... 

Local LSFB market worth R1-billion yearly

By: Simone Liedtke     18th November 2016 The South African light steel frame building (LSFB) market is estimated to be worth about R1-billion a year. This is based on the steel used by LSF manufacturers, as well as volumes of the major materials – including gypsum board, fibre cement board, insulation, vapour permeable membranes and... 

Local LSFB market worth R1-billion yearly
MALL OF AFRICA PROJECT The latest large-scale project completed using LSF was the external walling of the 131 000 m2 floor area of the multibillion-rand Mall of Africa

Tongaat Hulett upbeat about future prospects, despite drought impact

By: Anine Kilian     14th November 2016 The drought in Southern Africa has cut JSE-listed Tongaat Hulett’s sugar production in the current season by about 400 000 t. Speaking to Engineering News Online, CEO Peter Staude pointed out that the company’s sugar production had decreased from 1.4-million tons a few years ago, to an expected... 

Sappi declares first dividend in 8 years

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     10th November 2016 Paper and pulp manufacturer Sappi on Thursday declared a dividend of $0.11 for the year ended September 30, its first since 2008, when it stopped paying dividends as it grappled with losses caused by the economic crisis in Europe and falling demand for paper, as well as crippling debt. However,... 

Sappi declares first dividend in 8 years

Economic diversification critical to growth success – Davies

By: Natasha Odendaal     8th November 2016 As the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) works to develop a dedicated agroprocessing incentive to attract investment, Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies has reiterated the importance of diversifying South Africa’s economy. The development and revitalisation of South Africa’s... 

Sugar expected to yield sweet profit for Tongaat Hulett

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     4th November 2016 Tongaat Hulett expects to report a R1.35-billion operating profit for the six months to September 30, a 5.8% increase on the R1.27-billion recorded in the six months to September 2015, owing to strong performance in its starch operations. Headline earnings for the six months under review are... 

Analogue gauges outweigh benefits of electronic instrumentation

By: Simone Liedtke     4th November 2016 The structure and robustness of analogue pressure-type gauges, coupled with the guaranteed availability of spare parts for locomotives in South Africa, outweigh the benefits of electronic instrumentation that has to be sent away for repair or recalibration, says pressure and temperature... 

Analogue gauges outweigh benefits of electronic  instrumentation
GAUGE PRODUCTION All SA Gauge gauges are sent for quality control before distribution

Custom-made hoses to be used by railway groups

     4th November 2016 Benoni-based automotive tyre and industrial rubber products producer Dunlop Industrial Products has a high penetration in the African continent where it supplies custom-made solutions, such as the design and supply of vacuum and air brake hoses for State-owned utility Transnet, Passenger Rail... 

Custom-made hoses to be used by railway groups
CUSTOM MADE Dunlop Industrial Products supply custom-made solutions for railway groups and companies globally.

Lithuania seeking trade partnership with South Africa

By: Keith Campbell     4th November 2016 The first ever trade mission to South Africa from Lithuania, although small, represented no fewer than six sectors of the latter country’s economy. The just-concluded mission is part of the small European country’s programme of diversifying its trade and investment partners and expanding into the... 

Modified wagon designs to increase volumes per trip

By: Simone Liedtke     4th November 2016 By modifying construction materials and wagon design, original-equipment manufacturer Galison Group believes that the lighter weight of a wagon will significantly reduce transport and production costs, by enabling customers to increase their production volumes per wagon per trip. 

Modified wagon designs to increase volumes per trip
MODIFIED WAGON DESIGN The train system at Pulong copper mine will be a fully automated and driverless system

New technology extended to wagon and passenger bogies

By: Simone Liedtke     4th November 2016 Having become the first rolling stock company in the southern hemisphere to pioneer its own fabricated lightweight, cost-competitive locomotive bogie, South Africa-based locomotives company DCD Rolling Stock is extending its technology to wagon and passenger coach bogies aimed at the global market. 

New technology extended to wagon and passenger bogies
DCD ROLLING STOCK The company has moved away from the traditional casting-based bogie construction and designed its own fabricated bogies using hot rolled steel

Subcontractor working on expansion and skills development programmes

By: Simone Liedtke     4th November 2016 Tier-two subcontract manufacturer to original-equipment manufacturers (OEMs) IEC Holden, which supplies electric motors and generators to the railway, power generation, oil and gas, and mining industries, is currently directly contracted to OEMs that supply the Transnet Freight Rail rail... 

Subcontractor working  on expansion and skills  development programmes
PRODUCT SUPPLY A drive for electric freight locomotive, tested and ready for dispatch

Track system to benefit railway contractors

By: Simone Liedtke     4th November 2016 Railway track manufacturer Tubular Track adviser and business development head of T-Track Global Jaap van der Merwe believes that contractors awarded Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) tenders can use Tubular Track’s tubular modular track (TMT) to build and rebuild track and platforms... 

Track system to benefit  railway contractors
PRASA INTERCHANGE The Tubular Modular Track product allows for rebuilding and rehabilitation of railway tracks

Fruit SA signs MoU to access fruit market in China

By: African News Agency      2nd November 2016 Fruit South Africa has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Peoples Republic of China in a bid to strengthen collaboration and to ensure market access for fruit between the two countries. In a statement on Wednesday, Fruit SA said its vice chairperson, Willem Bestbier signed the... 

Aquaculture holds strong growth potential for South African economy

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     31st October 2016 Since the launch of the oceans economy initiative, under Operation Phakisa, in July 2014, government has invested around R17-billion in the initiative’s various workstreams, including marine transport and manufacturing, offshore oil and gas exploration, aquaculture, and marine protection services... 

Aquaculture holds strong growth potential for South African economy

South Africa, Norway should collaborate to grow oceans economy

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     31st October 2016 With only 17% of the world’s current protein source being ocean-derived, the blue economy not only holds significant potential for food security, but can also unlock further economic growth opportunities for South Africa. According to Norway Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister Tone Skogen, this is... 

South Africa, Norway should collaborate to grow oceans economy
Science & Technology Minister Naledi Pandor

NWK MD to retire

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     28th October 2016 Agriculture products and services provider NWK MD Danie Marais will retire early next year, the company said on Friday. The process of filling the position of CEO started some time ago and the position has already been advertised. An appointment will be made as soon as a suitable candidate is found. 

100 MW power purchase agreement signed in Nairobi

     28th October 2016 In June energy company Kipeto Energy’s (KEL’s) Kipeto wind power project came one step closer to delivering additional clean energy to the people of Kenya following an announcement that it has formally signed a 20-year purchase power agreement with Kenyan power utility Kenya Power. This... 

100 MW power purchase  agreement signed in Nairobi
Photo by Bloomberg
ELECTRICITY CONNECTION DOUBLES The Kipeto project will be a key contributor to the Kenyan government’s initiative to provide 70% of households with electricity by 2017

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

Packaging group sees lifestyle choices driving health-juice growth

By: Schalk Burger     28th October 2016 About 20.2-billion litres of fully natural ingredient fruit and vegetable juices are consumed globally a year, and new mixed fruit, vegetable and health juices are increasingly being demanded by customers willing to pay a premium for them, says food and beverage processing and packaging... 

S Africa shifts towards 100% renewable energy

By: Kimberley Smuts     28th October 2016 This year’s Windaba conference and exhibition, which will take place during Wind Energy Week, aims to discuss ways in which South Africa could work towards achieving 30 000 MW of renewable energy by 2050. The conference – themed Towards 100% Renewables – will be held at the Cape Town Convention... 

S Africa shifts towards 100% renewable energy
100% RENEWABLES This years theme has been informed by developments in the renewable energy industry
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