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Agriculture News

South Africa ranks moderately on food security index

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     Updated 4 hours ago 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... 

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

Zuma seeks clarity on land expropriation bill 

By: Reuters     26th July 2016 South African President Jacob Zuma has asked Parliament to explain the process it followed in passing a bill allowing State expropriations of land to redress racial disparities in land ownership. Land is an emotive issue in Africa's most industrialised country more than two decades after the end... 

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... 

Astral weighs job cuts as drought, imports hurt poultry producers

By: Reuters     20th July 2016 South African poultry producer Astral has to cut jobs, it said on Wednesday, under pressure from high feed prices due to drought and from an over-supplied domestic market. Maize prices in South Africa have hit record highs as an El Nino triggers the largest rainfall shortages in over a century,... 

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

Famous Brands looks to capitalise on tomato paste shortage

By: Tracy Hancock     4th July 2016 JSE-listed Famous Brands plans to capitalise on the tomato paste shortage in South Africa through its acquisition of a tomato paste manufacturing plant, Cape Concentrate, in the Coega precinct, in the Eastern Cape, for an undisclosed amount. Funded from cash reserves, the acquisition was in line... 

Famous Brands looks to capitalise on tomato paste shortage
Famous Brands group strategic adviser responsible for merger and acquisition activity Kevin Hedderwick

Botswana markets itself as an attractive business destination

By: Dylan Slater     1st July 2016 Several key factors make doing business in Botswana attractive, according to Botswana high commissioner Zenene Sinombe, who posed several key sentiments of business opportunities during the launch of inter-country relations promotion platform the Africa Matchmaking in May.  

South Africa must find ways to leverage trade policy to support small firms

By: Mia Breytenbach     1st July 2016 South Africa has to find ways of ensuring that small businesses participate actively in the global market, through not only export facilitation, trade exhibitions and market access opportunities obtained through preferential market opportunities but also through joint ventures (JVs), foreign... 

South Africa must find ways to leverage trade policy  to support small firms
Photo by Duane Daws
LINDIWE ZULU South Africa’s trade policy intends to take advantage of Africa’s improved growth prospects by increasing exports of goods and services to the region

South Africa takes steps to nurture nascent biomanufacturing industry

By: David Oliveira     1st July 2016 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s (CSIR’s) Biomanufacturing Industry Development Centre (BIDC), a biomanufacturing innovation hub aimed at supporting small, medium-sized and microenterprises (SMMEs) to enter the local bio-industry, will have provided about R50-million worth of... 

South Africa takes steps to nurture nascent  biomanufacturing industry

S Africa still reliant on coal, struggling to transition to low-carbon economy 

By: Anine Kilian     29th June 2016 South Africa is the twelfth-greatest emitter of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the world, as well as the biggest polluter on the African continent, according to German political foundation Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) South Africa director Renate Tenbusch, speaking at a roundtable event on black... 

S Africa still reliant on coal, struggling to transition to low-carbon economy

Despite El Niño, Omnia maintains agri sales volumes, chemicals division excels

By: Mia Breytenbach     28th June 2016 Despite the effects of the El-Niño weather phenomenon and the resulting drought this past year, JSE-listed Omnia’s Agriculture division maintained sales volumes, with revenue growing 13% to R8.22-billion. This was despite a 4% decrease in total volumes, said group CEO Rod Humphris on Tuesday,... 

Mahindra aims to bring its tractor range to South Africa

By: Irma Venter     24th June 2016 Mahindra & Mahindra, the India-based global conglomerate active in more than 100 countries, aims to bring its tractor range to South Africa, says Mahindra agri, and Africa and South Asia operations president Ashok Sharma. “It will probably be the first of a range of products to come to South... 

Study determines impact of algae on irrigation costs

By: Anine Kilian     23rd June 2016 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has estimated that commercial farmers in the Dwars River area of the Western Cape spend R600 000 a year ridding their irrigation systems of filamentous algae.   The CSIR was in the process of formulating a tradable permit system as a tool... 

Spat over saltwater levels in SA chicken 

By: News24Wire      22nd June 2016 The Association of Meat Importers and Exporters of SA (Amie) said on Tuesday it does not agree with the SA Poultry Association (Sapa) that new regulations limiting the practice of injecting chicken with saltwater (brining) would render chicken unaffordable to the poor and hurt the local industry.... 

Spat over saltwater levels in SA chicken

EU trade agreement to boost Western Cape wine exports

By: Anine Kilian     21st June 2016 Western Cape Economic Opportunities Minister Alan Winde has welcomed the signing of an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the European Union (EU) and six Southern African Development Community countries, which would double the Tariff Rate Quota (TRQ) of South African wine to be imported... 

South Africa, US free-trade agreement discussions on the cards

By: Natasha Odendaal     21st June 2016 The impasse between the US and South Africa over meat exports and imports has highlighted the need for a shift in approach with regards to the negotiations over a free-trade agreement (FTA) when the current African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) expires in 2025. While South Africa gained a... 

South Africa, US free-trade agreement discussions on the cards

South Africa makes most use of Agoa, but still only a fraction of the tariffs

By: Natasha Odendaal     21st June 2016 While South Africa has seemingly made the most use of the duty-free trade benefits with the US under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) since inception, the nonreciprocal deal was, for the most part, heavily underused across the continent. While the 15-year-old Act had surged into the... 

South Africa makes most use of Agoa, but still only a fraction of the tariffs

Davies outlines agricultural benefits from new EU trade deal

By: Terence Creamer     17th June 2016 South Africa is “satisfied” that the recently signed Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union (EU) will lead to improved market access for some additional South African agricultural products, Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies said at the weekend, reporting that Cabinet had,... 

Davies outlines agricultural benefits from new EU trade deal
Photo by Duane Daws
Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies

Agricultural technologies to drive growth and development, survey finds

By: Schalk Burger     17th June 2016 The increasing use of agricultural technologies in Africa, as reported in a survey of 25 large agricultural companies, can dramatically improve yields, food security and product quality, as well as provide raw materials for new products in new markets, says PwC Africa Agribusiness industry leader... 

Exports seen as key to improving prospects for SA capital equipment manufacturers

By: Dylan Slater     17th June 2016 The South African Capital Equipment Export Council (Saceec) says domestic manufacturers of capital equipment stand a better chance of being sustainable in the country’s struggling economy by opening up export channels and liaising with foreign customers to build stronger ties in international... 

Exports seen as key to improving prospects for SA capital equipment manufacturers

South African problems pose difficulties for German companies

By: Simon Sonnekus     17th June 2016 German companies aiming to enter the South African market in the near future will face several adversities, including visa regulations, a weakening currency and stringent regulations, says the Southern African–German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SAGCC). Germany, South Africa’s biggest... 

Water report to assess potential of water, resource recovery in food manufacturing

By: David Oliveira     17th June 2016 Engineering and project management consultancy Royal HaskoningDHV presented an academic paper that highlights the possibilities of water and feedstock recovery for the food and beverage industry at this year’s Water Institute of Southern Africa conference, held last month in Durban. In 2011,... 

Zulu wants small business development integrated into nine-point plan

By: Mia Breytenbach     17th June 2016 While the South African Department of Small Business Development (DSBD) is one of the lead departments for one of the priority interventions of government’s Nine-Point Plan to boost economic growth and create much-needed jobs – unlocking the potential of small, medium-sized and microenterprises... 

Zulu wants small business development integrated into nine-point plan
Photo by Duane Daws
LINDIWE ZULU The Department of Small Business Development has set a target of increasing the . . . jobs created by the small business sector from 7.1-million to 9.2-million by 2019

Sugar cane production declines by more than 16.3% y/y

By: Samantha Herbst     15th June 2016 As a result of the ongoing countrywide drought, South African cane production declined during the 2015/16 season by more than 16.3% to 14.81-million tons, following an 11.4% reduction recorded in the previous season. “The decrease will impact on the sustainability of the rural economy in both... 

Sugar cane production declines by more than 16.3% y/y

Entrepreneurs need greater access to funding – BBC CEO

By: Anine Kilian     15th June 2016 Access to funding and finding equity to progress their ideas from concept to roll-out remained a challenge for South African entrepreneurs, Black Business Council CEO Mohale Ralebitso said on Tuesday. “The ‘own contribution’ component [for entrepreneurs and start-ups] is a major challenge that we... 

Entrepreneurs need greater access to funding – BBC CEO

IAEA helps Mauritius wage war on fruit flies

By: Reuters     14th June 2016 The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is helping Mauritius to assist the island country “step up its fight against fruit flies threatening valuable crops” the IAEA said on Monday. The IAEA has given Mauritius a new irradiator that would help it to accomplish this purpose by using the... 

Another multimillion-rand expansion at Coega IDZ

By: Dylan Slater     10th June 2016 State-owned company for the development of 11 500 ha of industrial land in Port Elizabeth, the Coega Development Corporation (CDC), last month announced a R22-million expansion project by agroprocessing company Dynamic Commodities to be developed in Zone 3 of the Coega industrial development zone... 

Another multimillion-rand expansion  at Coega IDZ
MULTI-USER FACILITY A multi-user facility worth R86-million was recently launched in Zone 3 of the Coega industrial development zone

Five firms get R550m in funding under Black Industrialist programme

By: David Oliveira     10th June 2016 The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has provided R550-million in finance to five companies that have been approved for participation in the department’s Black Industrialists (BI) programme, Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies revealed. Speaking at a media briefing following the... 

New best-in-class industrial robots launched this year

By: Nadine James     10th June 2016 Industrial automation solutions supplier Omron launched 49 new best-in-class Adept Robots in April. The robots – now available in 39 countries; including South Africa –  are integrated with Omron sensors, safety components and machine automation controllers that were all designed to simplify the... 

New best-in-class industrial robots launched this year
RISE OF THE MACHINES The robots' applications are relevant to most packaging lines

Upscaled infrastructure and regional integration needed in Africa

     10th June 2016 Africa is urbanising at a rapid pace, which means infrastructure such as bypasses, bridges, new highways and new technologies needs to be deployed in congested areas where traditional methods cannot work, notes Africa-focused consultancy Africa House director Duncan Bonnett. 

DTI to support agroprocessing infrastructure development

By: Anine Kilian     9th June 2016 To stimulate the growth of the agroprocessing sector, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is focusing on the development and revitalisation of South Africa’s agroprocessing infrastructure. As part of its Critical Agroprocessing Infrastructure Support Programme, the department was engaging... 

Partnerships needed to bring small farmers in from the cold 

By: Natasha Odendaal     9th June 2016 Speakers participating in an agriculture-focused panel at the second yearly Vision 2030 Summit, on Thursday painted an image of smallholder farmers battling out the current slump that threatens their survival. Discussing the challenges facing small-scale farmers in South Africa, Three Star... 

Partnerships needed to bring small farmers in from the cold
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