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Agriculture News

Opinion: Turning the chicken war into a trade war

     18th August 2017 In this opinion article, XA director Donald Mackay questions why legitimate legal processes are being overlooked in the dispute over European Union chicken imports. Mackay acknowledges that his consultancy is not a disinterested party in the matter. I read the recent fiery opinion piece by... 

African conference strives to boost bioenergy industries

     18th August 2017 Global conference organiser Centre for Management Technology (CMT) notes that its Biomass Trade & Bioenergy Africa conference will be held at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Sandton on September 28 and 29. CMT hopes that the conference will further development of the African biomass and bioenergy... 

African conference  strives to boost  bioenergy industries
GORGE FARM The commercial vegetable farm in Naivasha, Kenya, hosts a biogas plant as part of a larger renewable energy project - the Gorge Farm Energy Park

Organisation lobbies government to kick-start biogas market

By: Nadine James     18th August 2017 The Southern African Biogas Industry Association (Sabia) is liaising with national government departments to create an enabling environment for the biogas industry, thereby establishing a viable biogas market. Sabia chairperson Jason Gifford explains that the organisation’s working groups are in... 

Organisation lobbies  government to kick-start  biogas market
AGRICULTURAL BENEFITS A booming biogas industry will create jobs and ensure greater job security within the agricultural sector

Sustainable partnerships needed to ensure Africa’s food security

By: David Oliveira     18th August 2017 New approaches and sustainable partnerships are required to ensure food security for Africa’s rapidly urbanising population, says financial services provider Absa senior agricultural economist Wessel Lemmer. According to a January 2017 report by The Sustainable Development Goals Centre for... 

Sustainable partnerships needed to ensure Africa’s food security
WESSEL LEMMER Achieving sustainable food security for urban and rural citizens remains an important priority for governments across Africa

Lovell steps down as Sapa head

By: Natasha Odendaal     16th August 2017 South African Poultry Association CEO Kevin Lovell is stepping down, effective August 17, after 11 years at the helm. Dr Charlotte Nkuna has been appointed acting CEO. 

Suspected avian flu outbreak in Western Cape

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th August 2017 Two ostrich farms in the Heidelberg area of the Western Cape have been placed under quarantine as authorities work to determine the possibility of an outbreak of the now widely-spread H5N8 avian influenza. The Western Cape Department of Agriculture is leading the investigations to confirm if the... 

Agricultural irrigation efficiency framework improves water use

By: Robyn Wilkinson     11th August 2017 Through intensive research, the Agricultural Research Council’s Institute for Agricultural Engineering has developed a framework to improve water efficiency in agricultural irrigation systems in South Africa, which reassesses the methods traditionally used to measure a system’s efficiency and... 

Agricultural irrigation efficiency framework improves water use
STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT With effective water management and good subsurface drainage, soil health conditions can be created for irrigation farming to assist with food security in South Africa

AgriProtein assessing two new fly-farming sites in South Africa

By: Irma Venter     11th August 2017 Waste-to-nutrient group AgriProtein will expand its presence in South Africa with two new fly-farming sites, while also growing its research and development function in the country, says CEO Jason Drew. AgriProtein started operations in Cape Town in 2015, launching the world’s first... 

Creative farming methods ensure sustainability

By: Robyn Wilkinson     11th August 2017 Amid extreme weather, regulatory barriers and import competition, South African farmers need to think creatively about farming practices – not only to reduce costs but also preserve an environment that is struggling under the pressures of a growing global population, says agriculture... 

Creative farming methods  ensure sustainability
PLANT PROTECTION Haygrove’s multispan polytunnel structure provides a controlled environment for the aquaponic and hydroponic systems

Equipment drives farming sustainability

By: Robyn Wilkinson     11th August 2017 Forward-thinking livestock farmers who are willing to embrace the use of new equipment in their operations will forge a way forward amid the economic and ecological hardships facing South Africa’s agricultural industry, says Johannesburg-based industrial equipment provider Vermeer Equipment... 

Equipment drives  farming sustainability
BETTER FEED The Vermeer R2300 basket rake ensures a cleaner forage, increasing the production value of dairy and beef cattle

Rust-prevention sealing system ideal for corrosive environments

By: Nadine James     11th August 2017 Engineering components manufacturer Bearing Man Group’s (BMG’s) range of sealing products includes the Rust-Anode cold galvanisation system, designed for rust prevention in diverse industries, says BMG seals business unit manager Marc Gravett. He explains that Rust-Anode is the first active cold... 

Rust-prevention  sealing system ideal for corrosive environments
MULTIPURPOSE PRODUCT Rust-Anode is perfect for applications where an anti-corrosion seal would be beneficial

Small farms an economical option in South Africa

By: Robyn Wilkinson     11th August 2017 While many medium-sized farms have been unable to weather the challenges facing the South African agricultural industry and have consequently been absorbed by larger commercial farms, smaller farmers are proving that it is possible to generate a sustainable income from a modest operation through... 

Small farms an economical option in South Africa
MAXIMUM BENEFIT Hinomoto’s small-scale tractors ensure that farmland is used in the most efficient way possible, maximising yield sizes

Stakeholder support integral to urban farming in S Africa

By: Robyn Wilkinson     11th August 2017 While the appetite for urban farming exists in South Africa, more needs to be done to motivate stakeholders from both the private and public sectors to play a role in creating and growing successful projects that can be translated into sustainable investments, say engineering and infrastructure... 

Stakeholder support  integral to urban  farming in S Africa
Photo by Bloomberg
MODERN FARMING Wheat grass and other leafy greens are being grown in vertical farming units in China created out of retrofitted shipping containers

Think-tank hands over title deeds to residents of Western Cape town  

By: Ilan Solomons     11th August 2017 Think tank the Free Market Foundation’s (FMF’s) Khaya Lam land reform project last month handed over the latest batch of title deeds to residents in the town of Grabouw, in the Western Cape, thereby taking the project’s total title deed handover tally to 1 360. Khaya Lam project manager Perry... 

Think-tank hands over title deeds to residents of Western Cape town
Khaya Lam Land Reform project manager Perry Feldman discusses the Free Market Foundation’s project.

Western Cape’s agricultural growth to drive economy

By: Robyn Wilkinson     11th August 2017 Supported by the Western Cape government’s strategic initiatives to help farmers grow their crops – and their market share – the province’s official tourism, trade and investment agency Wesgro has successfully committed investments in the Western Cape agricultural sector of R1.56-billion over the... 

Western Cape’s agricultural growth to drive economy
Photo by Bloomberg
UNIQUE ENVIRONMENT The Western Cape plays a key role in South Africa’s agricultural sector, with a unique rainfall pattern allowing for a mixture of agricultural activities

New iDube Cold Storage facility unveiled at Dube TradePort

By: Creamer Media Reporter      8th August 2017 The new, multipurpose R99-million iDube Cold Storage facility has officially opened in the Dube TradePort Special Economic Zone (SEZ), in KwaZulu-Natal. The 4 500 m2 facility, which has the capacity to handle 8 600 mobile pallet positions and store up to 12 000 t of perishable product, will cater... 

Trump administration's Africa policy in focus at Agoa trade talks

By: Reuters     8th August 2017 With the Trump administration's trade agenda focused on reining in China and renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement, Africa has barely appeared on the radar screen. That could change this week as President Donald Trump's top trade negotiator and other senior US officials head to... 

First delivery of locomotives expected in Q4

By: Simone Liedtke     4th August 2017 Rail technology provider Bombardier Transportation (BT) will hand over the first of 240 Bombardier Traxx Africa locomotives to State-owned freight utility Transnet, during the fourth quarter of this year. 

Station’s strategic location to improve corridor capacity

By: Simone Liedtke     4th August 2017 Rosmead station, in the Eastern Cape, was identified as strategic in improving operational capacity along the export corridor and forms part of Phase 1 of State-owned freight utility Transnet’s Port of Ngqura manganese export expansion project. 

Land Bank hikes FY17 profits to R372m

By: African News Agency      3rd August 2017 The Land and Agricultural Development Bank on Thursday, released a strong set of results for the financial year ending March 31, 2017, as the group and bank generated a profit of R372.2-million and R316.3-million respectively, compared to R181.9-million and R94-million in 2016. The bank said this... 

Astral farm hit by second avian influenza outbreak

By: Natasha Odendaal     2nd August 2017 JSE-listed Astral Foods on Wednesday said a second of its poultry farms has been hit by the H5N8 avian influenza outbreak sweeping across South Africa. In June, the strain had been isolated on one of Astral’s breeding sites in Villiers, costing the company some R25-million. 

Agriculture a significant growth area for Africa

By: Anine Kilian     31st July 2017 Agriculture is the largest economic growth sector for Africa, New Partnership for Africa's Development business foundation CEO Lynette Chen said at the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Industrialisation Week on Monday. She pointed out that less than 10% of arable land in Africa was... 

Tourism to add 300 000 jobs by 2026

By: Anine Kilian     28th July 2017 With South African tourism providing entry into Africa, especially through business tourism opportunities, the sector deserves more support and recognition, says Tourism Minister Tokozile Xasa, who spoke at the second Gauteng Infrastructure Investment Conference on Friday. “The prospects for... 

AfDB in $2bn project finance pact

By: Mia Breytenbach     28th July 2017 The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) have signed a landmark agreement to strengthen their partnership at country level and jointly contribute to $2-billion over the next three years to finance projects in agriculture, food security, renewable energy, small... 

AfDB in $2bn project finance pact
Photo by Duane Daws
JOINT CONTRIBUTION The banks’ contribution will finance projects in areas, such as agriculture, food security, renewable energy, small and medium enterprises and human development

Education institutions struggling with connectivity

By: Simone Liedtke     28th July 2017 Amid water, electricity and basic infrastructure challenges at various education institutions, the lack of Internet connectivity has also been a challenge, states wireless connectivity firm Ruckus sub-Saharan Africa sales director Riaan Graham. 

Education institutions  struggling with connectivity
RIAAN GRAHAM Connectivity to the Internet is essential and if it is available at a school, WiFi can be used to distribute access to the students

First red-seal toolmaker certificates handed over

By: Simone Liedtke     28th July 2017 The National Tooling Initiative Programme (NTIP) celebrated the milestone of handing over the first red-seal toolmaker occupational certificates to twelve graduates last month at the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation, in Pretoria. 

First red-seal toolmaker certificates handed over
SEAL OF APPROVAL The first cohort of graduates received their red-seal toolmaker occupational certificates last month

US farm equipment maker looking to Africa for future growth

By: Dylan Slater     28th July 2017 US-based agricultural equipment manufacturer and supplier Agco is directing a large portion of its future growth potential into Africa, specifically South Africa, as a key market going forward.  

US farm equipment maker looking to Africa for future growth
FUTURE FARM One of Agco’s Future Farm’s responsibilities is to teach aspiring tractor technicians how to service Agco-distributed tractors

South Africa's crop committee raises record maize estimate by 2%

By: Reuters     26th July 2017 South Africa will harvest 15.97-million tonnes of maize this season, the biggest crop on record after improved weather conditions across the maize belt boosted yields, the government's Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) said on Wednesday. The estimate is up 2% compared to the CEC's June forecast of... 

UP researchers join fight against avian flu

By: Natasha Odendaal     25th July 2017 With four South African farms having been hit by the current bird flu outbreak, University of Pretoria (UP) researchers have joined the poultry industry and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) to contain the highly pathogenic avian influenza, or H5N8 variant of bird flu.... 

Tongaat Hulett launches R550m sugar refinery project in Mozambique

By: Anine Kilian     24th July 2017 Sugar producer Tongaat Hulett on Monday launched a R550-million 90 000 t/y refinery to process brown sugar into white sugar at its Mozambique-based Xinavane sugar mill. The refinery will produce its first product in September 2018. 

Macadamia producer to invest millions in new processing facility

By: Anine Kilian     24th July 2017 Macadamia nut processing company Green Farms Nut Company (GFNC) has started construction to expand its macadamia nut processing facility, in White River, Mpumalanga, with Phase 1 set for completion in 2018. According to the Southern African Macadamia Growers Association (Samac), new macadamia... 

With drought threatening food security, farmers turn to drip irrigation 

By: Anine Kilian     21st July 2017 With the recent drought in Southern Africa compounding the unpredictable impact of climate change on food production, local farmers are converting to drip irrigation in an attempt to conserve water, using less to produce more, according to Crookes Brother’s Limited (CBL) MD Guy Clarke. During a... 

With drought threatening food security, farmers turn to drip irrigation

SA committed to increasing trade with Zambia, says DTI minister

By: African News Agency      21st July 2017 South Africa was committed to increasing trade and addressing the trade imbalance with Zambia. This was according to South Africa’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, ahead of a two-day Outward Trade and Investment Mission to Lusaka, Zambia, from 24-25 July. 

SA committed to increasing trade with Zambia, says DTI minister
Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies

Lessons learned underpin multicontinent sugar strategy

By: Robyn Wilkinson     21st July 2017 Specialised polymer manufacturer Vesconite Bearings believes that the experience it has gained from KwaZulu-Natal sugar mills will prove instrumental in ensuring the success of its multi-continent sugar strategy and grow the company’s revenue from new markets. 

Lessons learned underpin multicontinent sugar strategy
EDDIE SWANEPOEL The knowledge gained from hard-wearing African sugar applications has been essential in converting other relatively new markets to using Vesconite Bearings’ products

Nakambala sugar mill expansion project completed

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     21st July 2017 During the third quarter of 2017, project management and equipment design company Bosch Projects completed the implementation of the Nakambala Product Alignment and Refinery project in Mazabuka, Zambia. Bosch Projects sugar sector director Steven Rosettenstein, who was the project manager for the... 

Nakambala sugar mill  expansion project completed
NAKAMBALA SUGAR MILL Illovo Sugar appointed Bosch Projects as engineering, procurement and construction management consultants for the mill’s expansion

Sugar industry to make the most of yield recovery

By: Robyn Wilkinson     21st July 2017 As KwaZulu-Natal’s sugar cane growers start to recover from the effects of the drought, the South African Canegrowers’ Association (SA Canegrowers) is urging the industry to remain resilient and look for opportunities to diversify their operations. 

Sugar industry to make the most of yield recovery
BOUNCING BACK The SA Canegrowers board of directors is optimistic about the 2017/18 season, with improved rainfall set to improve production levels

Farmers still face headwinds despite return to growth

By: David Oliveira     14th July 2017 Despite the recent positive news from Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) indicating that the agriculture sector had increased 22.2% in the first quarter of 2017 and that a record maize harvest is on the horizon for this year, the recent sovereign downgrades by credit agencies and news that the... 

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