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Agriculture News

Crop-eating armyworm marches on, UN says Angola now hit

By: Reuters     28th April 2017 The fall armyworm, which decimates fields as it marches ever forward - has spread to Angola as the caterpillar eats its way through Southern Africa, UN officials said on Thursday. With Angola the latest country affected, only Lesotho and island nations in the region have escaped the pest, which... 

AfDB approves $253m for Uganda–Kenya connecting road upgrades

By: Mia Breytenbach     28th April 2017 The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has approved $253-million in loans to the governments of Kenya and Uganda for the upgrading of a 118 km road section connecting the two countries and construction of the 32km Eldoret town bypass, in Kenya. Kenya will receive $147.3-million and Uganda... 

AfDB approves $253m for Uganda–Kenya connecting road upgrades
Photo by Bloomberg
SPEEDY ACCESS Upgrading of the road will reduce the travel time from Kapchorwa to Suam, in Uganda, from 4 hrs to 1.5 hrs and from Suam to Kitale, in Kenya, from 1.5 hrs to 45 min

Control and instrumentation play rugged role in industry

By: Simone Liedtke     28th April 2017 The uptake of new information technology (IT) in industrial automation has traditionally been at a slower rate compared with that of the broader information, communications and technology (ICT) sector, says the Society for Automation Instrumentation, Measurements and Control (SAIMC) professional... 

Control and instrumentation play rugged role in industry
TRIED AND TESTED Companies still use more traditional tried and tested architectures for projects locally

Expo to showcase latest developments in machine tools industry

By: Simone Liedtke     28th April 2017 This year’s Machine Tools Africa (MTA) is set to showcase the latest technology developments, machinery, products, services and solutions, says event management company Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery portfolio director Charlene Hefer. 

Expo to showcase latest developments in machine tools industry
MACHINE TOOLS AFRICA 2017 Interactive displays at the MTA will include live demonstrations and technical presentations

Machines produce components for isotope facility

By: Simone Liedtke     28th April 2017 Machine component manufacturer Precision Separators bought six computer numerical control (CNC) machines from machine industry company Hurco to manufacture and produce components for private company Klydon’s medical isotope facility MoF6. 

New tandem horizontal boring to be fully operational in July

By: Simone Liedtke     28th April 2017 Installation of the new tandem horizontal boring mill – which can perform multiple tasks simultaneously – will be complete and fully operational by July, enthuses project services corporation Hydra Arc. 

New tandem horizontal boring to be fully operational in July
Photo by Petrus Saayman
FULLY AUTOMATED The tandem horizontal boring mill is fully automated and programmable

Robotic solution for machine tools industry

     28th April 2017 When it comes to the automated feeding of machine tools, the choice of the right robot set-up and manipulator is a key element in the planning process, says Japanese robotics company Yaskawa. 

Robotic solution for  machine tools industry
CONTROL CONCEPT Finding the right software structure is just as important as the hardware

DAFF pledges support for a game changing NWU food and energy security project

By: Mia Breytenbach     26th April 2017 The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) has pledged its support for the SUNfarming Food & Energy project at the North-West University (NWU), in Potchefstroom, in the North West province, which promotes the growing of and provides an opportunity to grow affordable and... 

DAFF pledges support for a game changing NWU food and energy security project
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Senzeni Zokwana and Faculty of Engineering Dean Prof LJ Grobler at the SUNfarming Food & Energy project

South Africa considers strategic grain reserve as possible El Nino looms – Zokwana

By: Reuters     26th April 2017 South Africa, the continent's biggest maize producer, hard hit by an El Nino-triggered drought last year, is considering a strategic reserve as a buffer against future shortages, its agriculture minister told Reuters. Neighbouring countries such as Zimbabwe and Zambia have such reserves, but it... 

Western Cape to grow business ties with incoming French government

By: African News Agency      25th April 2017 The Western Cape Investment and Trade and Promotion Agency (Wesgro) said on Monday it was closely monitoring the remaining leg of the first round of France’s most contested and controversial election with the aim of growing business ties with France and the European Union (EU). Widely considered... 

ANC to introduce amended land claims bill in May

By: Reuters     25th April 2017 The African National Congress (ANC) will introduce an amended land rights bill in parliament in May after the top court declared invalid a law that re-opened a process for blacks to make claims on land taken from them during white-minority rule. The Restitution of Land Rights Bill, allowing state... 

ANC to introduce amended land claims bill in May

Fabrication facility to expand to accommodate heavy lifting fleet

By: Simone Liedtke     21st April 2017 Manufacturing company Sky Hill Heavy Engineering - a part of project services corporation Hydra-Arc in Secunda, Mpumalanga - has already commenced with the 100 m expansion of three of its four fabrication bays, to accommodate its heavy lifting fleet, says Hydra-Arc. 

Fabrication facility to expand to accommodate heavy lifting fleet
Photo by Petrus Saayman
IN-HOUSE PROJECTS Fabrication and refurbishment projects are executed from the engineering to transportation stages

Local equipment supplier upgrades product offering

By: Simone Liedtke     21st April 2017 Machine manufacturer Meclift has added the ML1812R variable reach truck series to its heavy-lifting equipment range, which has a lifting capacity of 18 t and operates swiftly in confined spaces, including warehouses and cargo vessels. 

Local equipment supplier upgrades product offering
ML1812R MECLIFT The variable-reach truck is designed for swift, efficient and safe handling of heavy loads in diverse industries

New concept crane being developed

By: Simone Liedtke     21st April 2017 Global engineered heavy lifting and transportation specialist Mammoet and engineering specialist Stoof Engineering and Innovation (E&I) are joining forces to develop a containerised heavy lifter named Focus.  

New concept crane being developed
FULLY ASSEMBLED Mammoet uses a jacking system to lift the dragline and place it on a specialised transport system to move it to its new location

Temperature transmitter ideal for numerous industries

By: Nadine James     21st April 2017 The DT722 relative humidity and temperature transmitter is ideal for the chemicals, food and beverage, as well as heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) industries because it offers accurate, stable measurement and control of humidity and temperature, says instrumentation and... 

Temperature transmitter ideal for numerous industries
VERSATILITY PERSONIFIED DT722 is suitable for measuring temperature and humidity in any controlled environment

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... 

Land Bank sets aside R1bn to support black farming investments in 2017
Land Bank CEO TP Nchocho on plans to increase the pace and scale of support for black farmers. Camera Work: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Lionel da Silva. Recorded: 20.04.2014

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... 

HFO plant’s commissioning process under way

By: Nadine James     14th April 2017 Specialised oil and gas equipment supplier Energas Technologies started the commissioning process last month for the heavy fuel oil (HFO) storage facility it specifically designed for multidisciplinary engineering firm DRA Global. Energas’s scope for the project included the fabrication,... 

HFO plant’s commissioning process under way
HIGH FUEL OIL FACILITY he contract for the HFO storage facility design was was awarded to Energas in June 2016

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

Strand jacks an effective option for sugar mills

By: Robyn Wilkinson     12th April 2017 Machine moving and rigging specialist Lovemore Bros is adding four 70 t strand jacks to its service offering, providing an effective heavy-lifting alternative to conventional cranes for many industries, including the sugar industry. 

Strand jacks an effective option for sugar mills
EFFECTIVE USE OF SPACE Strand jacks are particularly useful in operations with limited space available, such as in sugar mills, which are generally very congested

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... 

Company expands woodworks series

     7th April 2017 Power tool company Hitachi announced the launch of its 254 mm portable jobsite table saw C10RJ model. It features a 15 A motor with soft start and electric break that produces 4 500 rpm to rip through tough hardwoods. 

Company expands woodworks series
FOLD & ROLL STAND MODEL C10RJ TABLE SAW Designed with sturdy legs that fold for easy setup and breakdown

Cordless die grinder introduced onto market

     7th April 2017 Tools and dies manufacturing company Milwaukee introduced its new M18 Fuel Die Grinder in January. “When faced with a situation that requires grinding in tight spaces or irregular surfaces, mechanical and metal fabrication professionals will most often turn to a die grinder to get the job done,... 

Cordless die grinder introduced onto market
MILWAUKEE’S M18 FUEL DIE GRINDER The grinder has been engineered for the most demanding tradesmen globally

Development projects a core part of business

By: Simone Liedtke     7th April 2017 Owing to the role of groundwater resource development projects in communities’ wider socioeconomic wellbeing, consulting engineering company JG Afrika’s geohydrology technical director Mark Schapers says these projects are fast becoming a core part of the team’s business. 

Development projects a core part of business
SUSTAINABLE IMPLEMENTATION Rural areas are being targeted for the project as they have been poorly serviced in the past

Innovative solution to cable theft in South Africa

By: Johane Turkstra     7th April 2017 Amid concern over cable theft in various South African industries, clamping and fastening company Band-It’s Ultra-Lok tool has been improved to assist in mitigating cable theft.  

Innovative solution to cable theft  in South Africa
ULTRA-LOK Ultra-Lok streamlines the process of cable bundling

Long-running oscilloscope provider upgrades tools

     7th April 2017 After 17 years of leading the 20 MHz and 40 MHz hand-held industrial oscilloscope category, electronic test tool company Fluke’s 123, 124 and 125 models of ScopeMeter test tools are being replaced by the 120B series which includes new models namely the 123B, 124B and the 125B. 

New fastening solution introduced onto market

By: Johane Turkstra     7th April 2017 To mitigate welding, bolting and clamping, construction company Hilti introduced to the South African market its Threaded Stud S-BT technology for multipurpose fastenings, including grating, onto coated structural steel in mildly and highly corrosive environments. “Welding channel mounts or... 

New fastening solution  introduced onto market
THE HILTI THREADED STUD S-BT A cost-effective solution for fastening onto steel in mildly and highly corrosive environments

Nonhedging farmers to lose thousands of rands per maize ton, says Standard Bank

By: Creamer Media Reporter      6th April 2017 Maize producers are likely to lose up to R1 860/t , offsetting the third-largest production season on record, as 60% of producers chose not to hedge their prices and lost gains when grain prices reversed, says Standard Bank. It is expected maize production will rise to 14.32 million tons this year. 

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... 

Demand grows as centrifugal screen proves its worth

By: Robyn Wilkinson     31st March 2017 Market demand is growing for Johnson Screens’ all welded, one-piece wedge wire centrifuge screens after the completion of a three-year trial at sugar producer Illovo Sugar subsidiary Ubombo Sugar’s mill, in Swaziland, which started in 2014, says filtration specialist Filteg Solutions. 

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

New agroprocessing-, metals-focused Ipap to be released in April

By: Schalk Burger     31st March 2017 A new Industrial Policy Action Plan (Ipap) focused on supporting the agroprocessing and metals industries, including foundries and the casting sector, will be released in April, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) director-general Lionel October says. “We are aiming to strategically support... 

New agroprocessing-, metals-focused Ipap to be released in April
Photo by Duane Daws
LIONEL OCTOBER The DTI is emphasising the importance of the fourth industrial revolution and modernising and upgrading the metals and casting industries

Online platform advances sustainability in global sugar supply chain

By: Robyn Wilkinson     31st March 2017 Sugar cane organisation Bonsucro launched Bonsucro Connect in January – a new cloud-based technology platform that will enable its global web of members to connect with one another to verify the sustainability standard of their sugar cane and streamline the global sugar supply chain. 

Online platform advances sustainability in global sugar supply chain
Photo by Joe Woodruff/Bonsucro
RESPONSIBLE SOURCING Bonsucro Connect will enable buyers to trace their supply and develop robust sourcing strategies to support producers of sustainable sugar cane-derived products

Success abounds in paper recycling and recovery

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     31st March 2017 Despite South Africa having less easily accessible recycling initiatives in place than in developed countries, such as recycling bins in every park or street, or systematic waste recovery at household level, the Paper Recycling Association of South Africa (Prasa) says the country’s paper... 

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