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Agriculture News

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... 

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... 

Beverage industry cries foul at proposed sugar tax

By: African News Agency      16th August 2016 The beverage industry in the Eastern Cape on Tuesday called on the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and the provincial government to assist it in opposing National Treasury’s proposed tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. Coca-Cola Beverages Africa chairperson, Phil Gutsche, said the proposed tax... 

Beverage industry cries foul at proposed sugar tax

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.  

Sea Harvest gains control of Australian company

By: News24Wire      11th August 2016 Sea Harvest has managed to secure control of Mareterram, a vertically integrated agri-business listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, the company said on Wednesday. Sea Harvest will own an effective 56% of Mareterram, after shareholders accepted a bid from Sea Harvest totalling approximately... 

Algae-free irrigation systems to save money for farmers

By: Simon Sonnekus     5th August 2016 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has estimated the rand value of the impact of algae pollution in the Berg river, near Stellenbosch, in the Western Cape. The calculation enables farmers to compare different ways of managing the problem in the area. A ‘Water SA’ report... 

Blast furnaces set new records

     5th August 2016 Russia-based steel producer and metals company OJSC Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works’ (MMK’s) largest blast furnaces set new records for monthly volumes of pig iron. The company’s blast furnace no. 9 produced 157 490 t of pig iron in April, beating its previous monthly record of 153 526 t, set... 

Blast furnaces set new records
Photo by Bloomberg
BLAST FURNACES A major environmental project was completed to install a dust-collecting system that improves working conditions for the blast furnace workers

From elevated inspections to stock analysis, drones begin making business impact

By: Dylan Slater     5th August 2016 Remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPASs) have the potential to significantly change the way many industrial, engineering and mining operations are conducted, with the ability to reach difficult to access areas and remove people from hazardous situations.  

From elevated inspections to stock analysis,  drones begin making business impact

Partnership expands range for sector

By: Simon Sonnekus     5th August 2016 South Africa-based fertiliser company Advanced Agri has expanded its fertiliser range by introducing two specialised products for various farming disciplines.  According to Advanced Agri director Frank Winder, the EcoCal range for crop farmers and Graze range for livestock farmers are... 

Power supply for furnaces optimised

     5th August 2016 Induction equipment manufacturer Inductotherm successfully commissioned four 22 000 kW power supplies connected to 50 t furnace systems, and a fusion bonded epoxy (FBE) coating plant for rebar, at steel products producer BSRM Group, in Bangladesh. “We work with many steel mills around the world... 

SA farmers hope for enough rain after winter

By: Simon Sonnekus     5th August 2016 The next five months and the following planting season will be critical for farmers who have been affected by the devastating drought which crippled the agriculture sector recently. According to agricultural organisation AgriSA CEO Omri van Zyl, farmers need to see out the winter and hope for... 

Wine farm has its ducks in a row

By: Simon Sonnekus     5th August 2016 About 1 000 Indian runner ducks have been employed by Stellenbosch-based wine farm Vergnoegd Wine Estate to eradicate white dune snails and other insects which inhabit and feed on the vines in the vineyard. According to Vergenoegd winemaker and viticulturist, Marlize Jacobs, the ducks – which... 

Wine farm has its ducks in a row
DUCK ARMY Around 1 000 Indian Runner ducks have been employed to eradicate the white dune snail population at Vergenoegd Wine farm in Stellenbosch

Mondi reports solid H1 earnings, despite difficult trading environment

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     4th August 2016 International packaging and paper group Mondi’s underlying earnings a share improved to 75c apiece for the six months ended June 30, up from 67.8c in the six months to June 2015. Its profit after tax increased from €313-million in the six months to June 2015, to €390-million in the period under... 

Tanzania plans to boost sugar output 31% in four years

By: Reuters     4th August 2016 Tanzania aims to raise sugar production by about 31% over the next four years to meet domestic demand, the prime minister's office said on Wednesday. Local growers produce around 320 000 t of raw sugar per year against demand of 420 000 t, with imports from Brazil and elsewhere filling the deficit. 

Land Bank division unveils South Africa’s first black crop insurance brokers

By: Samantha Herbst     1st August 2016 The Land Bank Insurance Company (LBIC), a division of the Land Bank, which provides financial services to the commercial farming and agribusiness sector, has unveiled the first batch of fully accredited black crop insurance brokers in the country. A programme with the intention of training ten... 

Land Bank division unveils South Africa’s first black crop insurance brokers

Pioneer to shell out £7.5m for Streamfoods

By: Tracy Hancock     1st August 2016 JSE-listed Pioneer Foods has entered into an agreement to acquire the entire issued share capital of UK-based Streamfoods, wholly owned by the Wellness Group of companies, for £7.5-million. The acquisition was in line with the stated strategic intent of acquiring and bolstering Pioneer Foods’... 

Southern Africa in urgent need of food production assistance

By: African News Agency      29th July 2016 Some 23-million people in southern Africa are in need of urgent support to be able to produce enough food to feed themselves and avoid being dependent on humanitarian assistance until mid-2018, the United Nations agricultural agency has warned. According to the Food and Agricultural Organisation... 

France, South Africa to foster pulp, paper industry relationships

By: Mia Breytenbach     29th July 2016 With South Africa and France being “well recognised” as key players in the international paper industry, it is essential to engage in “fruitful exchanges”, including knowledge sharing and stakeholder solutions for the industry. This is according to Ambassador of France Elisabeth Barbier, who... 

France, South Africa to foster pulp, paper industry relationships
Photo by Duane Daws
IMPARTING EXPERIENCE Key industry players shared expertise, case studies and solutions at the French South African Technical Symposium for the pulp and paper industry

Monsanto to extend confined field trial permits

By: Tracy Hancock     29th July 2016 Agriculture company Monsanto has applied to extend the confined field trial (CFT) permits of three genetically improved maize products involved in CFTs in four provinces across South Africa. A decision expected prior to the start of the country’s planting season, which takes place around October. 

Monsanto to extend confined field trial permits
Photo by Duane Daws
PRICEY PRACTICE The US-developed products have been evaluated in South Africa for two growing seasons, with one year of CFTs in South Africa costing about R6.5-million

WTO’s new outlook indicator predicts ‘sluggish’ Q3 trade growth

By: Mia Breytenbach     29th July 2016 The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has launched a new World Trade Outlook Indicator (WTOI), which is designed to provide real-time information on global trade trends. The WTOI was unveiled in Shanghai, China, this month, ahead of the Group of 20 (G20) Trade Ministers meeting.   

WTO’s new outlook indicator predicts ‘sluggish’ Q3 trade growth
Photo by Reuters
TRADE INDICATOR The World Trade Outlook Indicator suggests that world merchandise trade may rebound in the second quarter

South Africa ranks moderately on food security index

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     27th July 2016 South Africa is ranked at 47 out of the 113 countries in this year’s Global Food Security Index (GFSI), reflecting a one-position decline from 2015, but an overall 0.6 point score increase. The country ranked first among its sub-Saharan African peers and landed in the top ten of... 

South Africa ranks moderately on food security index

AB InBev raises offer for SABMiller

By: Tracy Hancock     26th July 2016 Multinational beverage and brewing company Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) has made a revised and final offer for the entire issued and to be issued share capital of JSE-listed SABMiller. This development follows a July 22 conversation between SABMiller’s chairperson and that of AB InBev on the... 

AB InBev raises offer for SABMiller

Cele warns of further food price hikes as drought continues

By: News24Wire      22nd July 2016 Ongoing drought in South Africa has disrupted food production and threatens to push food prices up, agriculture deputy minister Bheki Cele said on Thursday. He said recent rain has not helped improve water levels in the country’s dams and as a result farmers were unable to produce enough food to... 

Why agriculture is vital for South Africa's economic future

By: News24Wire      12th July 2016 Countries that tax agricultural sectors are normally poor. Countries which subsidise the agricultural sector are normally rich. This is according to agricultural economist professor Mohammad Karaan, a speaker at National Treasury’s Public Economics Winter School being held at the University of... 

France, South Africa join hands on development

By: Natasha Odendaal     11th July 2016 There is further room to increase bilateral trade and investment and expand cooperation between South Africa and France, particularly in energy and infrastructure, President Jacob Zuma said on Monday. Zuma, currently on his second State visit to France to meet with French counterpart President... 

France, South Africa join hands on development
Photo by Reuters
South Africa President Jacob Zuma and France President Francois Hollande

Proposed tax on sugar-sweetened beverages published 

By: Tracy Hancock     8th July 2016 National Treasury published a policy paper and proposals on the taxation of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) for public comment on Friday. The problem of obesity had grown over the past 30 years in South Africa, resulting in the country being ranked the most obese country in sub-Saharan Africa. 

Despite El Niño, Omnia maintains agri sales volumes

By: Mia Breytenbach     8th July 2016 Despite the effects of the El-Niño weather phenomenon and the resulting drought this past year, JSE-listed Omnia’s Agriculture division delivered a “surprisingly good” performance, says Omnia CEO Rod Humphris. The Agriculture division maintained sales volumes in the difficult current economic and... 

Despite El Niño, Omnia maintains agri sales volumes
Photo by Duane Daws
POSITIVE FORECAST Once normal rainfall returns to South Africa, Omnia expects be in a good position to record substantial volume increases in its agriculture division

Zambia Sugar commissions $80m capacity expansion project

By: Tracy Hancock     6th July 2016 Zambia’s largest sugar producer, Zambia Sugar, commissioned its more than $80-million Product Alignment and Refinery (PAAR) project at its Mazabuka-based Nakambala factory on Wednesday on time and within budget. The PAAR project spoke to the long-term confidence that Zambia Sugar, supported by... 

Zambia Sugar commissions $80m capacity expansion project
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