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Agriculture News

Pioneer Foods achieves credible interim performance

By: Simone Liedtke     21st May 2018 JSE-listed Pioneer Foods achieved a credible performance for the six months ended March 31, with total sales volumes up 4% year-on-year and revenue up 3% year-on-year to R9.9-billion. Mainly as a result of volume growth and the normalisation of the maize procurement position, the company’s gross... 

Cranes company upgrades equipment at power stations

18th May 2018 Crane manufacturer Konecranes Southern Africa is currently working on systematically upgrading lifting equipment at State-owned power utility Eskom’s different power stations. The upgrading of the equipment includes repairing equipment that has been misused and replacing equipment that is obsolete. 

Cranes company  upgrades equipment  at power stations
UPGRADING CRANES Konecranes is currently upgrading and replacing crane and lifting equipment at various Eskom power stations across South Africa

Rope specialist introduces drones to NDT at Eskom

By: Erin Steenhoff-Snethlage     18th May 2018 Rope access specialist Skyriders has introduced the collision-tolerant Elios drones to its nondestructive (NDT) testing offering, and has started using them at State-owned power utility Eskom. The drones are part of Skyriders’ turnkey solution offering that improves the efficiency of the NDT and... 

Rope specialist introduces drones to NDT at Eskom
DRONE INSPECTIONS Skyriders has added a drone to its NDT testing offerings at Eskom facilities

Some inroads made after ten years of the Industrial Policy Action Plan - Davies

By: Kim Cloete     15th May 2018 Ramping up production in the automotive sector, resuscitating the ailing tooling industry and boosting the clothing, textiles, leather and footwear industries are among successes the government has listed in its review of ten years of the Industrial Policy Action Plan (Ipap). Despite a... 

Some inroads made after ten years of the Industrial Policy Action Plan - Davies

South Africa's Astral Foods H1 profit jumps more than five fold

By: Reuters     14th May 2018 South Africa's Astral Foods said on Monday its profit surged more than five fold for the first half ended March, helped by higher sales and prices in its poultry business. Revenue at the company's poultry division increased by 23% to R5.5-billion ($448.5-million), as an improvement in poultry... 

Bayer to sell South African cotton seed business as part of Monsanto merger conditions

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th May 2018 The Competition Tribunal on Friday approved a merger between German multinational pharmaceutical and life sciences company Bayer and US multinational agrochemical corporation Monsanto on the condition that the merged entity sell the Bayer South African cotton seed business.  

Bayer to sell South African cotton seed business as part of Monsanto merger conditions

Energy efficient tech can bring farmers substantial savings

By: Paige Müller     11th May 2018 With energy cost a major factor in farm viability and profitability, the South African farming sector will need to shift its thinking towards the implementation of energy efficient technology, says motor and controls manufacturer Zest WEG Group integrated solutions executive Johan van Niekerk.... 

Energy efficient tech can bring farmers  substantial savings
SEE FOR YOURSELF The Zest WEG Group demo trailer which compares motor efficiency from WEG IE1 all the way up to WEG IE5 motors

Refurbishments a cheaper alternative

By: Paige Müller     11th May 2018 Industrial equipment supplier the Goscor Group will showcase its Doosan Pro-5 series forklift refurbishments – aimed at providing the farming industry with quality lifting solutions at affordable prices – at this year’s Nampo Harvest Day. Goscor Rental Company sales manager Tanya Brummer tells... 

Technology at forefront of Nampo 2018

By: Paige Müller     11th May 2018 This year’s Nampo Harvest Day has specifically been designed to help the South African agriculture industry increase its efficiency through technology amid global oversupply of agricultural produce, says autonomous and voluntary commodity organisation Grain SA grain economy and marketing manager... 

Technology at forefront of Nampo 2018
GO BIG OR GO HOME The Grain SA Nampo Harvest Day exhibition has grown steadily since its inception in 1967

Agriculture industry grows despite challenges 

By: Paige Müller     11th May 2018 Despite policy uncertainty and drought having impacted on the South African agriculture industry, Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) agricultural economist Wandile Sihlobo says the industry outlook is fairly optimistic in the near term. Sihlobo met with Engineering News to discuss the state of... 

Agriculture industry grows despite challenges
Agricultural Business Chamber discusses the state of the agricultural economy in South Africa. Camerawork and editing: Darlene Creamer.

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,... 

Drone industry to expand in 2018
YEAR OF THE DRONE The versatility of drones make them adaptable for a variety of industries

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... 

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