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Agriculture News

South Africa to export pigeon peas, pork, mango to India

By: SANews, SA government news service     27th September 2016 As part of ongoing efforts by member States to improve intra-Brics trade, South Africa has been granted an opportunity to export pigeon peas also known as cajanus cajan, pork, mango and persimmons to India. India for its part has expressed an interest to import pickled sheep skins from South... 

AfDB aims to lend Nigeria $4.1bn for power and farming

By: Reuters     27th September 2016 The African Development Bank is looking to provide a total of $4.1-billion to Nigeria over 2016 and 2017, its president said on Monday, as Africa's biggest economy seeks to bridge its budget deficit and improve weak infrastructure. Akinwumi Adesina said the funds would be used to develop the... 

Jacobs Capital, partner invest R300m in recapitalising KZN hardboard manufacturer

By: Shirley le Guern     26th September 2016 Durban-based private equity firm Jacobs Capital and its partner Black Bird Capital are confident that investment of around R300-million will place struggling hardboard manufacturer Masonite back on its feet in the short to medium term.   The troubled company was placed in business rescue in... 

Jacobs Capital, partner invest R300m in recapitalising KZN hardboard manufacturer

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... 

Futuregrowth lifts Land Bank lending freeze
Land Bank CEO TP Nchocho

New technology optimises manufacturing process

By: Simone Liedtke     23rd September 2016 Cape Town-based aluminium-frame structure manufacturer Speed Structures is adapting skill sets to enhance adaptability of temporary structures for a variety of applications, such as military, warehousing and agriculture, as well as the traditional event, exhibition and festival industry. 

New technology             optimises manufacturing process
Photo by Speed Structures
CLEAR-SPAN MARQUEE An example of a clear-span marquee, with clear spaces between the vertical columns

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.

Eastern Cape water board warns that restrictions could hit jobs

By: Mia Breytenbach     16th September 2016 At the beginning of this month, the Nelson Mandela Bay metropolitan municipality in the Eastern Cape announced that it would be putting in place minimal water restrictions with residents urged to reduce water use by at least 15%. However, with the level of the Kouga dam in the Eastern Cape... 

Eastern Cape water board warns that restrictions could hit jobs
Photo by Duane Daws
EMPLOYMENT RISK The Gamtoos Irrigation Board warns that with reduction in the water quota, job opportunities could be lost

Farm equipment supplier launches locally manufactured solutions

By: David Oliveira     16th September 2016 Local heavy duty equipment supplier and manufacturer Wuhlf Equipment launched four locally manufactured machines last month, including two front-end loaders, a mulcher and a forklift. Wuhlf Equipment manager Coert Steenberg tells Engineering News that the company originally imported its equipment... 

Farm equipment supplier launches  locally manufactured solutions
LOCAL MANUFACTURING EXCELLENCE Wuhlf Equipment launched four of its locally manufactured farming solution last month

African companies and govts need to work harder to benefit from growth potential – McKinsey 

By: Anine Kilian     15th September 2016 Some of Africa’s economies have been experiencing significantly less accelerated growth than five to fifteen years ago, having started experiencing a marked slowdown as a result of lower resource prices and higher sociopolitical instability. This is despite the bulk of the continent’s countries... 

African companies and govts need to work harder to benefit from growth potential – McKinsey

Bayer clinches Monsanto with improved $66bn bid

By: Reuters     14th September 2016 German drugs and crop chemicals company Bayer has won over US seeds firm Monsanto with an improved takeover offer of $66-billion including debt, ending months of wrangling after increasing its bid for a third time. The $128 a share deal announced on Wednesday, up from Bayer's previous offer of... 

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

Company optimises wired data transfer with new cable solution

     9th September 2016 Technical products and systems developer and producer Leoni has optimised all the components for wired data transfer involving flexible use of Cat 5e cable. Leoni offers a novel and flexible solution for wired, 100 MHz, Cat 5e data transfer. 

Deal to boost access to finance for Côte d’Ivoire smallholder farmers

By: Mia Breytenbach     9th September 2016 The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, chocolate producer Barry Callebaut and the Netherlands Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) have announced a $9-million risk-sharing agreement to help up to 100 000 smallholder cocoa farmers in Côte d’Ivoire to access... 

Deal to boost access to  finance for Côte d’Ivoire smallholder farmers
Photo by Bloomberg
NECESSARY GROWTH The $9-million risk-sharing agreement is aimed at helping smallholder cocoa farmers to access the credit needed to grow production and earnings

Generator manufacturer looks local for prime power applications

By: Dylan Slater     9th September 2016 Alrode-based equipment manufacturer Doosan is aiming its newly launched diesel generators at industrial applications in Africa, primarily for prime power applications requiring 24/7 operation.  

Need for rope condition assessment emphasised  

By: Sascha Solomons     9th September 2016 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) highlights that regular testing of samples from ropes forms a vital part of ongoing monitoring and evaluation. “Testing ropes in service helps the users . . . to understand the condition in which the ropes are in order to make an informed... 

Need for rope condition assessment emphasised
CSIR mining initiatives acting business manager Riaan Bergh discusses the need for rope testing in the engineering industry. Camerawork and Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Old Mutual to increase agriculture, real estate investment through Nigerian partnership

By: Mia Breytenbach     9th September 2016 Asset management group Old Mutual Investment Group (OMIG) plans to expand its commercial real estate and agriculture footprints in Africa through a partnership with wealth fund the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA). The partnership, signed in Abuja, Nigeria, last month, will allow... 

Old Mutual to increase agriculture, real estate investment  through Nigerian partnership
Photo by Bloomberg
GROWING OPPORTUNITY The aim of the agriculture investment agreement is to improve Nigeria’s food security and promote rural economic development

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

South African poultry producers under threat from cheap imports – SAPA

By: Reuters     5th September 2016 South Africa's poultry industry is battling for survival in the face of stiff price competition from producers in Brazil, the European Union (EU) and the United States (US), as well as the worst drought in a century, the industry association said. The June scrapping of 15 years of punitive duties... 

South African poultry producers under threat from cheap imports – SAPA

Focus on innovation provides opportunities for trade

By: Robyn Wilkinson     2nd September 2016 China’s thirteenth five-year plan – from 2016 to 2020 – includes a clear prioritisation of innovation, which is likely to increase the country’s interest in importing technologies from outside, including from South Africa, says advisory services provider KPMG local China practice in South Africa... 

Focus on innovation provides opportunities for trade
NEW TRADE OPPORTUNITIES China’s economy is undergoing a shift that is likely to increase the country’s interest in importing innovative technologies

Agriculture entrepreneurs innovate to take awards

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     1st September 2016 Innovation in the local agriculture sector was highlighted at this year’s Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, with pelleting solutions provider Agricon owner Johan Eksteen named the overall winner. Pelletising is used globally by manufacturers of animal feed or at recycling facilities that... 

Agriculture entrepreneurs innovate to take awards
Agricon owner Johan Eksteen

IDC aims to grow approvals beyond R14.5bn in 2017, despite impairment worry

By: Terence Creamer     31st August 2016 The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has committed to continue increasing its level of finance approvals and disbursements, despite a surge in impairments to over R3-billion. Funding approvals increased to a record R14.5-billion during 2016 from R11.5-billion a year earlier, while... 

IDC aims to grow approvals beyond R14.5bn in 2017, despite impairment worry
Photo by Duane Daws
Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel and IDC CEO Geoffrey Qhena

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... 

Uncertain spring rainfalls not enough to end drought

By: Natasha Odendaal     29th August 2016 In the wake of a strong El Niño phenomenon aggravating South Africa’s already dry conditions, no relief is yet to be seen, as an anticipated counter, La Niña, has been weakened to the point that “neutral conditions may not be completely ruled out”, the South African Weather Service (SAWS) said on... 

Uncertain spring rainfalls not enough to end drought

Brief history of 15th ICG, the first to be hosted in Africa

By: Jade Davenport     19th August 2016 The City of Cape Town is set to host the thirty-fifth International Geological Congress, the most prestigious of geoscientific conferences held every four years, between August 27 and September 4. While it is certainly an exciting occasion for South Africa, it is interesting to note that the... 

Developer emphasises accuracy in measurement instrumentation

By: Sebastian Whyle     19th August 2016 The South African food and beverage, and pharmaceutical sectors require measurement technology that offers precision and reliability while complying with local hygiene regulations. There is, hence, greater demand for accuracy in measurement instrumentation in these sectors, says Germany-based... 

Developer emphasises accuracy in measurement instrumentation
JAN GROBLER South African food and beverage hygiene regulations are as stringent as any other international regulations

Increasing support for Omron robotic solutions

By: Sebastian Whyle     19th August 2016 With robotics becoming a more viable alternative for food and beverage applications, the number of plug-and-play robotic solutions that are supported by industrial automation company Omron’s latest machine automation platform Sysmac is increasing, says Omron GM South Africa Victor Marques. 

Increasing support for Omron robotic solutions
INCREASED ACCURACY FROM MOTION CONTROLLERS Technological advancements in the food and beverage industry have led to greater accuracy and response times from motion controllers

New fire door in high demand

     19th August 2016 Fire and security doors producer Bitcon Industries has been contracted to supply doors to an array of new shopping centres throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Jet Park-based Bitcon director Bill Vollmer comments that the company is supplying its Rubidor fire doors for the upgrading and construction of... 

Risk assessment pivotal in fire prevention  

By: Sascha Solomons     19th August 2016 To achieve its aim of preventing business destruction caused by fire, Gauteng-based fire detection and suppression equipment solutions provider ASP Fire says that thorough analyses of businesses’ fire prevention points are needed. “ . . . to mitigate the risks of fire, it is important to complete... 

Risk assessment pivotal  in fire prevention
ASP Fire’s COO Michael van Niekerk discusses the importance of fire prevention and accurate evacuation plans in businesses. Camerawork and Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

South African wine exports predicted to grow by 13%

By: Anine Kilian     17th August 2016 South African wine exports reached 313-million litres in 2015 and are projected to grow by a further 13% in the next decade. “Wine exports are up from 122-million litres in 2000 to 313-million litres in 2015. We are exporting to markets across the world and the bulk of our exports are destined... 

Company implements new logistics system

By: Sascha Solomons     12th August 2016 Amid the challenges of cost transparency and inefficient vehicle use, food and beverages producer and distributor Pioneer Foods implemented solutions provider Resolve Solution Partners’ in-house transport management system PLATO at its plant. The PLATO system helps generate an optimised... 

Implementation of change in industry increases legitimacy  

By: Sascha Solomons     12th August 2016 Amid the challenges faced by the South African logistics industry, materials management and logistics consultancy Greiner Mendi MD Lars Greiner notes that logistics companies should consider change to mitigate inefficiencies in their operations. He comments that logistics has always been a highly... 

Implementation of change in industry increases legitimacy
Greiner Mendi’s Lars Greiner discusses the challenges and future developments of the logistics industry. Camerawork and Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

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.  

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