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Agriculture News

Drone industry to expand in 2018

By: Erin Steenhoff-Snethlage     11th May 2018 Any sector has the potential to adapt drones to its purposes, owing to drones being versatile, relatively low cost and on an upward trajectory in terms of technological development, says United Drone Holdings CEO Sean Reitz. “Mines have adopted drones for aerial surveys, which is a cheaper,... 

Backlog in application process stifling drone industry in South Africa

By: Erin Steenhoff-Snethlage     11th May 2018 The lack of urgency in processing commercial drone operating licences and the registering of drones is stifling the drone industry in South Africa, says Cape Town-based drone pilot training school UAV Industries director Ken Venn, who is also a board member of Commercial Unmanned Aircraft... 

Internal candidate appointed by NWK as transformation director

By: Marleny Arnoldi     10th May 2018 Agriculture business NWK has appointed Tebogo Modise as transformation director, effective from June.  

Wine prices to rise as global shortage looms

By: Simone Liedtke     8th May 2018 The South African wine industry needs an upward price adjustment to ensure a sustainable supply going forward, amidst a looming wine shortage, says industry body Vinpro. Vinpro’s ‘Wine Harvest Report 2018’ shows that wine grape production is at 1.2-million tonnes – an almost 15% decrease compared... 

Wine prices to rise as global shortage looms
Consumers can expect to pay between 8% and 11% more for their favourite wine

South African farmers take AB InBev to competition watchdog

By: Reuters     7th May 2018 Farmers in South Africa have filed a complaint with the country's competition watchdog about Anheuser-Busch InBev's decision to change its pricing formula for buying malt barley, a key ingredient in beer making. The farmers lobby group Grain South Africa believes AB InBev, the world's biggest... 

Kaap Agri sees positive H1 results despite drought

By: Anine Kilian     7th May 2018 JSE-listed Kaap Agri has reported improved interim financial results as its ongoing retail and fuel diversification strategy has helped to lessen the impact of the Western Cape’s drought on the agricultural sector. The company increased revenue by 5.4% to R3.4-billion in the six months ended... 

NWK to sell Opti Agri as focus shifts to core business

By: Schalk Burger     7th May 2018 4AX-listed agricultural company NWK will sell its animal feed business Opti Agri to Country Bird Holdings for R290-million. This is in line with NWK’s revised business strategy with an emphasis on greater customer focus around the core business. 

Agri SA launches water desk to ensure farmers get fair share of precious resource

By: News24Wire      4th May 2018 Agricultural industry association Agri SA has launched a water desk that will be dedicated to helping farmers across the country get equitable access to water, it said on Friday. Several policy proposals could increase the cost of water and reduce the amounts available to agricultural users, Agri... 

Agri SA launches water desk to ensure farmers get fair share of precious resource

South African wine-maker Distell sees lower crop amid drought

By: Reuters     2nd May 2018 South African alcohol beverages maker Distell Group's 2018 wine grape harvest was 30 percent down on the previous year due to drought in the Western Cape but grape quality was promising, its head winemaker said on Wednesday. South Africa has declared Western Cape and other regions as disaster... 

Ramaphosa calls for equal pay for men and women #MayDay

By: African News Agency      1st May 2018 African National Congress President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday called for equal pay for men and women in South Africa. Ramaphosa was speaking at a Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) May Day Rally held at a packed Isaac Wolfson Stadium in Port Elizabeth where he was warmly received... 

Ramaphosa calls for equal pay for men and women #MayDay

Govt committed to accelerating land redistribution - Ramaphosa

By: African News Agency      27th April 2018 President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Friday that government was committed to accelerating land redistribution, adding that economic freedom means that the land that was taken from black South Africans needs to be returned. "We are committed to accelerate the redistribution of land, both in urban... 

Govt committed to accelerating land redistribution - Ramaphosa
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa

Local company invests in significant rental fleet expansion

By: Victor Moolman     27th April 2018 Compressor and generator rental company Rand-Air has introduced 52 new generators, ranging between 60 kVa and 500 kVa, to its rental fleet. The generators arrived earlier this year from the original-equipment manufacturer and supplier Atlas Copco; and have subsequently been fitted with trailers... 

Pests, diseases a burden on agriculture – ARC

By: Anine Kilian     25th April 2018 Despite an influx of agricultural imports and an increase in pests and diseases coming into the country over the past 20 years, South Africa has not invested adequately in pest and disease control strategies, says Agricultural Research Council (ARC) president Shadrack Moephuli. “We have not been... 

Africa’s population growth could drive South Africa’s livestock exports

By: Anine Kilian     25th April 2018 Africa’s population is expected to grow by 25% by 2050, creating an expanding middle class population that will require an affluent protein diet, Agricultural Research Council (ARC) research institute manager Dr Misheck Mulumba said on Wednesday. Addressing delegates at a public awareness day... 

Agri SA spent R331m on transformation in 2016/17

By: Anine Kilian     24th April 2018 Members of agricultural industry association Agri SA spent R331-million on transformation during the 2016/17 financial year and reached an estimated 108 307 beneficiaries, including 55 000 farmers. This is according to the 2018 Agri SA transformation report, which was released on Tuesday, and is... 

SAB, AB InBev on track with five-year public interest commitment investments

By: Marleny Arnoldi     23rd April 2018 South African Breweries (SAB), together with its parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), has spent R209-million on Public Interest Commitments (PICs) in 2017, with investments in agriculture, enterprise development and societal benefits programmes in South Africa. With the merger of SAB... 

SAB, AB InBev on track with five-year public interest commitment investments

Call made for ‘broad coalition’ to reverse South Africa’s premature deindustrialisation 

By: Terence Creamer     20th April 2018 A new no-holds-barred study of South Africa’s economic transformation over the past two decades concludes that the country has not only deindustrialised prematurely, but has also failed to materially transform its economic structure to one that encourages inclusive growth and development. Titled... 

Call made for ‘broad coalition’ to reverse South Africa’s premature deindustrialisation

Researchers discover a new coastal current off Madagascar

By: Simone Liedtke     9th April 2018 South African, Malagasy and French researchers have discovered the existence of a coastal current off Madagascar. The newly-described current, the South-West Madagascar Coastal Current, flows poleward off the south-west coast of Madagascar. 

Harbour materials handling company transforms corporate identity

30th March 2018 Durban-based harbour materials handling specialists Big Lift Trucks (BLT) has transformed its corporate identity with the launch of a new company name – BLTWORLD. BLTWORLD MD Ken Mouritzen explains that the company – which has traded locally and internationally as BLT for over 20 years – needed... 

Harbour materials handling company transforms corporate identity
CONTAINER HANDLER BLTWORLD’s portfolio of container and bulk handling equipment now includes straddle carriers

Short retention time silo installed in Thailand

30th March 2018 A recent milestone for project manager and equipment designer Bosch Projects, in conjunction with its technology partners in Thailand, was the development of a new short retention time (SRT) refined sugar conditioning silo, designed to significantly reduce conditioning time and capital investment... 

Short retention time silo installed in Thailand
NEW TECHNOLOGY The newly developed short retention time refined sugar conditioning silo enables reduced residence time of 16 hours, compared with the standard period of between 65 and 72 hours

Renewability driving forest and paper industry

By: Victor Moolman     30th March 2018 Renewable commercial forests that supply the pulp, paper and board industry with wood fibre provide key environmental services and conserve our indigenous forests, says Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa (Pamsa) executive director Jane Molony. “Commercially grown trees have helped to... 

Lack of carton collection reduces recycling processes

By: Victor Moolman     30th March 2018 Although paper and plastics packaging company Mpact has been processing liquid packaging successfully, not enough cartons are being collected to use for recycling. “Consumers don’t realise that liquid packaging, such as juice and milk cartons, are actually recyclable. We need to put in an effort... 

Safety solution provided for contractor at Sappi mill

30th March 2018 Rope-access specialist Skyriders has provided a working at height safety solution for a contractor undertaking maintenance at paper and pulp manufacturer Sappi’s Ngodwana pulp and paper mill, in Mpumalanga. The company explains that this follows an earlier successful project in 2016 where it... 

Paper producer to upgrade Mpumalanga mill 

By: Victor Moolman     30th March 2018 Pulp and paper producer Sappi will shut down its Ngodwana mill, in Mpumalanga, for four weeks in May, to install new equipment that will decrease bottlenecking. The company will install new machines, and upgrade the wood chipper, fibre line and pulp dryer, says Sappi Southern Africa CEO Alex... 

Paper producer  to upgrade Mpumalanga mill
SAPPI southern Africa CEO Alex Thiel explains what the company is doing and how the paper industry has changed. Camerawork: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Christo Greyling.

Polymer offering diversified into US beet sugar industry

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     30th March 2018 Thermoplastic producer Vesconite Bearings is expanding its polymer offering to the US beet sugar market, building on its experiences and success in the local and US sugar cane industries. Vesconite Bearings began supplying its locally-produced polymers to the South African sugar industry in 2009... 

Polymer offering diversified into US  beet sugar industry
PROCESS SWEETENER The HiTemp 150 hanger bearing is an abrasive-resistant material, ideal for applications that are wearing on traditional materials such as bronze

Insufficient tariff requires urgent intervention

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     30th March 2018 The current sugar import tariff of South Africa is insufficient to regulate imports, which makes it imperative that the tariff be increased, says South African Sugar Association (Sasa) executive director Trix Trikam. “There are various systems to implement tariffs, with South Africa employing a... 

Insufficient tariff requires urgent intervention
PROBLEMATIC The Health Promotion Levy currently being pursued will have an adverse effect on the local sugar market

Plug-and-play IoT edge gateway launched for industry, mining

By: Schalk Burger     27th March 2018 Information technology (IT) hardware multinational DellEMC and local Internet of Things (IoT) developer IoT.nxt have launched an edge computing device, called the Raptor, which enables businesses to deploy an IoT network in their operational environments to integrate existing sensors and... 

Governance key to boosting intra-Africa timber trade – AfDB report

By: Simone Liedtke     23rd March 2018 A new report by the African Development Bank’s (AfDB’s) African Natural Resources Centre has stressed the importance of forestry governance to boosting intra-African trade of wood products. The report, titled ‘Assessing forest law enforcement, governance and trade in Africa’, was launched on... 

Cape farmers lose 25% of orchards, vineyards as result of drought – expert 

By: News24Wire      22nd March 2018 Drought-stricken farmers in the Western Cape have had to abandon at least a quarter of their high-value vineyards and deciduous fruit orchards because of a lack of water for irrigation. This has had a knock-on effect on rural employment, with the loss of about 30 000 seasonal farm worker jobs... 

New research facility to unlock economic potential of South Africa’s biomass waste

By: Shirley le Guern     20th March 2018 The Department of Science and Technology and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) on Tuesday launched a R37.5-million Biorefinery Development Facility (BIDF) in Durban that will bridge the gap between research and development and industrialisation, while helping to rejuvenate... 

New research facility to unlock economic potential of South Africa’s biomass waste
Science and Technology Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane and Biorefinery Development Facility group leader Bruce Sithole

Ramaphosa says there will be 'broad discussion' on expropriation without compensation

By: News24Wire      15th March 2018 President Cyril Ramaphosa said the land reform debate should not be reduced to a debate about expropriation without compensation. He was answering questions in the National Assembly, where Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane asked him about the full details of the government's plan to... 

Ramaphosa says there will be 'broad discussion' on expropriation without compensation
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Steinhoff sells part of stake in South Africa's KAP to help cut debt

By: Reuters     14th March 2018 Crisis-hit South African retailer Steinhoff raised R3.66-billion ($311-million) from the sale of a 16.7% stake in KAP Industrial, another step in its efforts to shore up its finances and pay down debt. Steinhoff, which has more than 40 retail brands that include Conforama, Poundland and Mattress... 

Southern Africa likely to see GDP growth above 2% in the next two years

By: Anine Kilian     12th March 2018 The African Development Bank (AfDB) expects real gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the Southern African region to improve to 2% in 2018 and then to 2.4% in 2019. The'Southern Africa Economic Outlook Report 2018', released by the AfDB, in Pretoria, on Monday, states that there is cautious... 

Confidence in agriculture ticks up, but land expropriation yet to weigh in

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     12th March 2018 The Agbiz/IDC Agribusiness Confidence Index for the first quarter painted an encouraging picture of the South African agricultural sector, as it improved by nine points to 58, after declining to levels below the 50-point mark in the last quarter of 2017. The survey, which was conducted between... 

Confidence in agriculture ticks up, but land expropriation yet to weigh in

Energy company launches new product, expands operation

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     9th March 2018 Independent energy company SA Oil made its new brand of fuel, Accelerate Special Gasoline, available to the market last month. This follows the response to a product trial, which ran between 2016 and 2017, where it was made available in limited quantities and “enthusiastically accepted among... 

Energy company  launches new product,  expands operation
GARY PULLEN SA Oil is entering the agricultural market, with a client-centric service offering

Wine industry continuously focuses on transformation, social development, says Vinpro 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     7th March 2018 With every R1-million invested into the South African wine industry, almost five jobs are created, says wine industry representative Vinpro.  

Wine industry continuously focuses on transformation, social development, says Vinpro
Vinpro transformation and development manager Phil Bowes

Land expropriation without compensation key for economic growth – Masondo 

By: Anine Kilian     6th March 2018 Land reform, including the uncompensated expropriation of land, is necessary for economic growth and development and will contribute towards ending unacceptable levels of inequality, poverty and unemployment, African National Congress (ANC) National Executive Committee (NEC) member Dr David... 

Land expropriation without compensation key for economic growth – Masondo

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