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Agriculture News

Showcase of SA's manufacturing prowess to debut in 2019

By: Dylan Slater     2nd February 2018 To showcase the best South Africa has to offer in terms of local manufacturing and South African-produced capital equipment, capital equipment manufactures lobby group the South African Capital Equipment Exporters Council (Saceec) has partnered with exhibition organisers Specialised Exhibitions... 

New models needed to revitalise and modernise SA’s water sector

By: Dylan Slater     2nd February 2018 Sustainable transformation in the South African water sector requires the introduction of new models and mechanisms for working relationships that will enhance the effective and efficient delivery of related water services to consumers, according to Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane.  

IBM open-source food-safety blockchain system launched

By: Schalk Burger     2nd February 2018 Computing multinational IBM in December launched an open-source, blockchain system designed to provide transparency on food safety in China. The Blockchain Food Safety Alliance has as its initial signatories US mass retailer Walmart, Chinese e-commerce firm JD.com, as well as IBM and the Tsinghua... 

KfW Development Bank signs R900m loan facility with Land Bank

By: Anine Kilian     1st February 2018 Germany’s KfW Development Bank on Thursday signed an agreement for a R900-million loan to the Land and Agricultural Development Bank of South Africa (Land Bank). The loan, which will assist the Land Bank with refinancing its loan book and extending longer-term financing to both emerging and... 

KfW Development Bank signs R900m loan facility with Land Bank
Land Bank CEO TP Nchocho

Crop munching pest in Africa raises hunger threat

By: Reuters     29th January 2018 A crop munching worm that can fly up to 100 km (60 miles) at night is spreading rapidly across Africa, threatening food production and the livelihoods of millions of farmers already struggling with conflicts and drought, experts said on Friday. The larvae form of fall armyworm prefers maize, but... 

South African maize planting area seen down 18% from last season

By: Reuters     26th January 2018 South African maize farmers are expected to plant 18% less of the staple crop this season due to dry and hot weather along the western part of the maize belt, a Reuters poll showed on Friday. South Africa's Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) is expected to forecast the planted area at 2.159-million... 

Zambia says miners must move 30% cargo by railway 

By: Reuters     26th January 2018 Mining firms and other bulk cargo firms in Zambia must transport at least 30% of their freight by railway, the government said on Friday, imposing a law to revive the sector. Transport Minister Brian Mushimba told reporters there was evidence of a huge imbalance between use of the road and rail... 

Wine industry sees positives despite expected R700m shortfall

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd January 2018 The smaller wine grape harvest anticipated by industry body Vinpro for this year is expected to result in a R700-million shortfall at farm gate, at a time when production costs have doubled in the past decade and the minimum wage for farm workers is set to increase by 17% in May. However, despite... 

Wine industry sees positives despite expected R700m shortfall

Sawis warns wine grape crop may be smallest since 2005

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     19th January 2018 Continuing drought and low water supplies in the Western Cape may lead to South Africa’s smallest wine grape harvest since 2005, when 1.15-million tonnes were harvested owing to drought and diseases in some production areas. Industry body South African Wine Industry Information and Systems... 

Sawis warns wine grape crop may be smallest since 2005

Cool heads and cooperation needed to address WCape drought crisis – Agri SA

By: African News Agency      19th January 2018 Cool heads and steady leadership are needed to mobile and support farmers and residents as south-western parts of  South Africa grapple with a drought-related water crisis, farm group Agri SA said on Friday. “As the threat of our water sources running dry begins to materialize, panic is beginning... 

Cool heads and cooperation needed to address WCape drought crisis – Agri SA

Former Land Bank CEO convicted of fraud

By: African News Agency      19th January 2018 The specialised commercial crimes court in Pretoria has convicted former Land Bank CEO Philemon Radichaba Mohlahlane and three others of defrauding the bank of at least R6 million in a case dating back to 2012. The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, commonly known as the Hawks, said... 

Industry demand sets high targets for company

By: Simone Liedtke     19th January 2018 Activated carbon manufacturer Rotocarb aims to become the biggest activated carbon producer in Africa by 2019, owing to increasing demand and dependence on activated carbon in the wastewater treatment, purification and desalination industry. 

Industry demand sets  high targets for company
PROUDLY SOUTH AFRICAN The company’s water-intensive processing and wastewater treatment operations use local raw materials, technology and deployment

Investment prioritised in water industry

By: Simone Liedtke     19th January 2018 The recent droughts in South Africa have spurred renewed prioritisation of investments to increase capacity in water supply, treatment infrastructure and management to continuously meet demand for potable and drinkable water, says multidisciplinary engineering consultancy WSP Africa environment... 

Investment prioritised in water industry
GREG MATTHEWS Resources are under pressure as demand increases owing to a growing population, industry and commercial operations

Mindset change required to mitigate water crisis effects

By: Simone Liedtke     19th January 2018 Owing to water currently being a critical global commodity, engineering company Royal HaskoningDHV business development manager Sander Zweers says a societal mindset change regarding the importance of water, as well as its treatment, purification and desalination, is needed. 

Mindset change required to mitigate water crisis effects
SANDER ZWEERS The global water crisis is considered not only an environmental risk but also a social risk

Plant to be completed in March

By: Simone Liedtke     19th January 2018 Integrated solutions provider ImproChem will be completing the construction and commissioning of a desalination plant for a large factory on the West Coast, in South Africa, with the plant expected to supply its first water in the second week of March 2018. 

Plant to be completed in March
REVERSE OSMOSIS Sea water will be pumped through a Suez Reverse Osmosis plant where the salt and mineral particles will be separated

Illovo appoints new South Africa MD

By: Anine Kilian     17th January 2018 Illovo Sugar South Africa has appointed Mamongae Mahlare MD, effective March 1. She will succeed Dave Howells who stepped down to focus on his role as corporate and external affairs executive within the broader Illovo Sugar Africa Group.   Mahlare previously held commercial, operational and... 

Without rain, S Africa's Cape Town may run out of water by April

By: Reuters     16th January 2018 South Africa's Cape Town, one of the world's iconic tourist destinations, could run out of water by April as the city's worst drought in a century risks forcing residents to join queues for emergency rations. "Day Zero" – the date taps are due to run dry – has crept forward to April 22 as city... 

Without rain, S Africa's Cape Town may run out of water by April

Ian Harebottle appointed Kropz CEO

By: Anine Kilian     15th January 2018 South Africa-based plant nutrient company and miner of fertiliser feed materials Kropz has appointed Ian Harebottle as group CEO. Harebottle, who stepped down as CEO of Aim-listed Gemfields in July last year, will join Kropz on March 28, once his contract with the diamond miner has ended.   “I am... 

Ian Harebottle appointed Kropz CEO
Ian Harebottle

South Africa white maize futures scale 11-month peak on hot, dry conditions

By: Reuters     15th January 2018 South African white maize futures prices hit 11-month highs on Monday as a spell of hot, dry weather raised concerns about plantings and yields over a swathe of the maize belt. Maize is South Africa's staple crop and policy makers such as the central bank, which will meet later this week on... 

South Africa white maize futures scale 11-month peak on hot, dry conditions

Ramaphosa to lead South African delegates at World Economic Forum

By: Dylan Slater     10th January 2018 Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is also the recently elected president of the incumbent African National Congress, will lead a South African delegation to the forty-eighth edition of the World Economic Forum’s yearly meeting, which will be held in Davos-Klosters, in Switzerland, from... 

Ramaphosa to lead South African delegates at World Economic Forum
Photo by Duane Daws
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa

Drought conditions hit South African maize belt – industry group

By: Reuters     9th January 2018 The western part of South Africa's maize belt has been hit by drought and farmers there have only planted 70 to 75% of the area they had intended to, industry group Grain SA said on Monday. With the window of planting opportunity fast closing, the unexpected onset of dry conditions in the key... 

Drought conditions hit South African maize belt – industry group

PAC welcomes proposed land expropriation without compensation

By: African News Agency      2nd January 2018 The Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) has welcomed the recent proposal by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) to expropriate land without compensation, saying that it had always held the belief that land reform in South Africa should not involve the exchange of money. At its 54th national... 

PAC welcomes proposed land expropriation without compensation

Agbiz disappointment by ANC resolution on land expropriation 

By: African News Agency      21st December 2017 The Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) on Thursday said it was concerned by the  African National Congress' (ANC's) resolution to start the process of amending the constitution to allow for land expropriation without compensation. The ANC announced the move at the just ended 54th National... 

Agbiz disappointment by ANC resolution on land expropriation

Balancing rules, safety and certification will be key to drone industry success

By: Dylan Slater     15th December 2017 The regulations and laws governing access to South African air space for remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) are sound and among the “best in the world”, according to Edenvale-based commercial drone operator Visual Air Productions director Stephen Verheul.  

Balancing rules, safety and certification will be key to drone industry success

South African poultry group calls for probe of forced labour in Brazil

By: Reuters     12th December 2017 South Africa's poultry industry body has asked the government to investigate allegations of forced labour in the sector in Brazil, the world's largest poultry exporter. The South African Poultry Association (SAPA) said it had asked its government to seek "urgent comment" after a report said... 

Omnia files contempt of court case at Foskor over contentious phosphoric acid pricing  

By: Dylan Slater     8th December 2017 Diversified chemicals producer Omnia has filed a contempt of court case against phosphates and phosphoric acid producer Foskor over the alleged breaching of a court order by the Competition Tribunal 

Doubt whether desalination plants will be delivered by March  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th December 2017 Valves supplier APVF will supply pipeline products for six desalination plants earmarked for construction in the Western Cape, which are expected to deliver 28 M of water to the province daily.  

Doubt whether desalination plants will be delivered by March
OCEAN ASSISTANCE The City of Cape Town awarded six companies the construction and commissioning of six desalination plants on November 7 as part of the solution to the water crisis

Knysna rental company acquires high-quality TLB

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th December 2017 The downside of unreliable plant hire equipment is two-fold; for the end-user, unplanned downtime translates into project delays, while for the plant hire company, faulty gear translates to foregone profits and a tarnished reputation, says George-based equipment distributor Carlu Tractors.  

Knysna rental company acquires high-quality TLB
POWER LIFTING With a 1.6 t breakout force, the Kubota L45 has a lifting capacity of 1 t at a maximum lifting height of 2.8 m

Battling threat of sugar tax, excessive imports and low price

By: Victor Moolman     8th December 2017 The large amount of sugar being imported into South Africa has caused the country’s sugar industry, which may soon be further compromised by the introduction of a sugar tax, to start exporting sugar at world market prices to offload excess sugar, which it is unable to sell locally. While opposing... 

Battling threat of sugar tax, excessive imports and low price
Photo by Victor Moolman
DEDICATED TO SUGAR CANE Large parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga, about 360 000 ha, are dedicated to growing sugar cane

Ocean science key to supporting sustainable ocean health

By: Anine Kilian     6th December 2017 Studying and understanding ocean science is key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set out by the United Nations (UN) and to sustain the health of the world’s oceans, according to Department of Environmental Affairs oceans research director Ashley Johnson, who unpacked the key... 

Ocean science key to supporting sustainable ocean health
Department of Environmental Affairs oceans research director Ashley Johnson

South Africa, Norway announce new oceans research programme

By: Anine Kilian     6th December 2017 The Norwegian Embassy in South Africa, together with the Department of Science and Technology (DST), has signed a declaration of intent to develop a new bilateral research programme focused on the oceans economy. The intent for the development of the programme, called the South Africa-Norway... 

South Africa, Norway announce new oceans research programme
DST International Cooperation and Resources deputy-director-general Daan du Toit and Norwegian Ambassador to South Africa, Botswana, Madagascar and Namibia Trine Skymoen

Second Norway-South Africa Science Week to stimulate oceans science and economy 

By: Schalk Burger     1st December 2017 The second Norway-South Africa Science Week will provide a platform for scientists, researchers, civil servants and business people from both countries to share best practices and policies to promote the sustainable use of ocean resources. Norwegian ambassador to South Africa, Botswana,... 

Second Norway-South Africa Science Week to stimulate oceans science and economy
Norway Ambassador to South Africa, Botswana, Madagascar and Nambiia Trine Skymoen discusses the upcoming Norway-South Africa science week. Video and editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Municipalities to reduce emissions by diverting waste

By: Simone Liedtke     1st December 2017 Consulting engineering company JG Afrika and international specialist waste consultancy RWA have developed a strategy to help South African municipalities reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by diverting biodegradable waste from their landfills. 

Municipalities to  reduce emissions  by diverting waste
WASTE-DIVERSION STRATEGY The strategy entails waste disposal and the beneficial use for business development

Large companies driving increase in land contamination assessments

By: Simone Liedtke     1st December 2017 With there being an increase in land-contamination assessments among large companies owing to recently promulgated environmental legislation, sustainability services and consultancy Environmental Resources Management (ERM) partner Steve McKeown says this will hold companies accountable for the... 

Large companies driving increase in land contamination assessments
STEVE MCKEOWN Companies that have a global footprint are more committed to assessing their impact on the environment

Potential of groundwater in spotlight again amid Western Cape drought

By: Dylan Slater     1st December 2017 Groundwater still holds significant potential to provide water for various uses, especially to augment large-scale supply during drought, notes Geological Society of South Africa: Western Cape ground water division chairperson Dr Roger Parsons.  

Crookes Brothers profits down on lower sugar cane revenue

By: African News Agency      29th November 2017 Agricultural firm Crookes Brothers said on Wednesday its after-tax profit decreased by 70.5% to R26.4 million in the six months ended September 2017, driven down by a decline in sugar cane revenue in the aftermath of drought. Crookes however said it expected results for the full year to March... 

Omnia delivers double-digit H1 growth

By: Natasha Odendaal     28th November 2017 JSE-listed Omnia on Tuesday posted double-digit growth in earnings for the first half of the 2018 financial year as the agriculture segment normalised after harsh drought conditions ended and the mining segment started to show signs of improvement. Profit after tax increased by 27% to... 

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