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Agriculture News

Consumers will find relief in maize, chicken prices; red meat prices to rise

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     19th January 2017 Maize production in the current season, which ends in April, is estimated to reach more than 12-million tonnes, up from the 7.5-million tonnes in the previous season, which could bring some relief to consumers. “The good rainfalls South Africa has experienced since October last year has restored... 

Astral says Eskom cutting municipal electricity supply would be ‘catastrophic’ for Standerton operations 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     13th January 2017 Eskom’s plan to cut power to the Lekwa local municipality, in Mpumalanga, will interrupt poultry producer Astral’s feed and poultry operations in Standerton with “catastrophic” results, the company has warned. Astral has received notification that Eskom plans to start interruptions of its bulk... 

Astral says Eskom cutting municipal electricity supply would be ‘catastrophic’ for Standerton operations

Tiger Brands appoints new grains business executive

By: Natasha Odendaal     13th January 2017 JSE-listed Tiger Brands has appointed former GWK Group CEO Pieter Spies as its business executive for grains, effective February 1. Spies has worked in sales, logistics, commercial and general management for a number of local and international companies, including Cadbury, Coca-Cola, Diageo and... 

SA fly-farm venture secures funding for global expansion

By: Irma Venter     12th January 2017 Cape Town-based waste-to-protein producer AgriProtein says it has secured $17.5-million of further capital from its key strategic partners to fund the company’s expansion into Europe, North America and Asia.   The new investment values the fly-farming venture at more than $117-million.   The new... 

SA fly-farm venture secures funding for global expansion
The Black Soldier fly

Lobster to disappear from menus in five years – WWF 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd December 2016 Conservation organisation World Wide Fund (WWF) South Africa on Thursday warned that the West Coast rock lobster, commonly known as kreef, could disappear from menus altogether within the next five years unless radical action is taken to save the fishery. For this reason, the organisation... 

Lobster to disappear from menus in five years – WWF

Eskom business competition boosts local agriculture business

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     19th December 2016 A Makhado-based agriculture outfit, the Vhumatshelo Crop Farming Cooperative, has received a R450 000 grant, from the Limpopo Department of Social Development (DSD), to further grow their operations, The cooperative was recognised after performing well in their category in the yearly Eskom... 

Fawu promises protests against poultry imports in 2017

By: African News Agency      17th December 2016 The Food and Allied Workers Union (Fawu) on Friday promised to continue mass protests against poultry imports in 2017, dismissing a recent import tariff hike as being too little, too late. Fawu national secretary Katisha Masemola said in a statement released on Friday that it welcomed a recently... 

Fawu promises protests against poultry imports in 2017

Company completes Wolmerton rail project

By: Sascha Solomons     16th December 2016 Rail track construction, rehabilitation, electrification and maintenance provider Grindrod Rail Construction (GRC), in a joint venture with engineering company Bakara, has completed the rail refurbishment of the Wolmerton Depot. This forms part of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s... 

Company completes Wolmerton rail project
WOLMERTON DEPOT The Wolmerton Depot overhaul falls under PRASA’s Depot Modernisation Programme

Fast-dissolving sugar to help reduce sugar in chocolate by 40%

By: Schalk Burger     16th December 2016 A new fast-dissolving sugar developed by Swiss food multinational Nestlé will help it to reduce the amount of sugar used in its chocolates by 40% by 2018 without reducing the sweetness of the chocolates, says Nestlé chief technology officer Stefan Catsicas. “Using only natural ingredients,... 

Fast-dissolving sugar to help  reduce sugar in chocolate by 40%
Photo by Duane Daws
SWEET CHOCOLATE Even while much less sugar is used in the chocolate, the tongue perceives an almost identical sweetness to before

NWK reports H1 profit contraction, optimistic of H2 recovery

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th December 2016 Agriculture products and services provider NWK’s half-year profit has declined; however, the second half of the 2017 financial year is forecast to be much improved as the group sheds certain lossmaking operations, assisted by a normal production season after four seasons of drought. For the six... 

Research ongoing to further develop biogas in South Africa

     9th December 2016 Despite the biogas sector being a well developed industry globally, ongoing research continues to further develop and strengthen the industry in South Africa, highlights the South African Biogas Industry Association (Sabia). The association notes that a variety of biogas applications have been... 

Lite-C sensors allow for reduction in electricity bills

By: Simone Liedtke     9th December 2016 Energy efficiency solutions provider Magnet Energy has developed, designed and manufactured the Lite-C wireless lighting control system, which allows for a reduction in electricity bills of up to 43%. 

Lite-C sensors allow  for reduction in  electricity bills
AFTER INSTALLATION Lite-C sensors operate using radio frequency technology that allows input devices to communicate with and control output devices without the need for cabling over long distances

No excuses for noninvestment in greener buildings

By: Simone Liedtke     9th December 2016 With such a strong business case for energy efficiency and renewable energy, energy solutions provider Johnson Controls area GM Neil Cameron says South African companies do not have an excuse for not investing in greener buildings. 

No excuses for noninvestment in greener buildings
NEIL CAMERON The design and manufacturing of all the equipment that Johnson Controls provides is based on constant innovation to ensure more efficiency

Southern Africa faces worst drought in decades

By: African News Agency      8th December 2016 Nearly 14-million people in southern Africa are in need of emergency humanitarian assistance as the region faces the worst El Nino induced drought in decades. United Nations (UN humanitarian agencies and partners launched a revised action plan to outlining their response to the needs of an... 

Southern Africa faces worst drought in decades

RCL Foods, union protest against rising chicken imports

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     7th December 2016 RCL Foods on Wednesday joined the Food and Allied Workers Union in a march in Pietermartizburg to protest against the ongoing threats to job security as a result of what it says is the increased dumping of imported chicken on the South African market. Some 350 protesters marched from the Mayors... 

RCL Foods, union protest against rising chicken imports

Company extends range to meet demand for portable power

     2nd December 2016 Having identified a growing need for dependable portable power, particularly for use in agriculture and mining, for maximum efficiency of power tools in construction and for small-scale commercial and residential applications, custom power solutions provider Vert Energy is extending its range of... 

Company extends range to meet demand for portable power
ENSURING DEPENDABLE POWER NSM’s welder is just one of several new products in Vert Energy’s offering for the mining, commercial and industrial sectors

Plans in place to stimulate industries for further economic growth

By: Simone Liedtke     2nd December 2016 Being the second largest regional economy after Gauteng, the Western Cape is set on creating new industries as well as stimulating labour-intensive industries such as agroprocessing, marine culture, the green economy, tourism, and oil and gas to further grow the economy. 

Plans in place to stimulate industries for further  economic growth
JANINE MYBURGH There has been great cooperation between the private sector, the province and the council to improve, build and promote Cape Town

The worst appears to be over for mining sector – Barloworld

By: Irma Venter     2nd December 2016 For the first time in four years some green shoots are starting to appear in the mining industry, says Barloworld CE Clive Thomson. Discussing the JSE-listed group’s financial results for the year ended September 30, he says he believes the current cycle has reached its bottom. 

Bell Equipment launches tractor-loader-backhoe

By: Dylan Slater     2nd December 2016 South African equipment manufacturer Bell Equipment launched its new L-series tractor-loader-backhoe (TLB) to the domestic market in October.  

Proposed standards for vegetable oil for use in transformers problematic – engineer

By: Schalk Burger     2nd December 2016 The standards proposed for the production of vegetable oils to use as electricity transformer oil are unnecessary, and prevent the inclusion of smaller producers who stand to benefit most and provide the greatest number of new employment opportunities, says retired chemical engineer John... 

Project Solaris starts first local seed selection 

     1st December 2016 South African seed selection for research and development company Sunchem’s solaris crop – a nicotine-free tobacco variety that yields significant amounts of sustainable oil for biojet fuel feedstock – has started taking place locally for the first time since the launch of Project Solaris in 2014. 

Project Solaris starts first local seed selection
Project Solaris starts first local seed selection

Drought prevails in South Africa despite increased rainfall

By: Anine Kilian     30th November 2016 Despite the significant increase in rainfall across South Africa in recent weeks, the country is still experiencing a severe drought, noted Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) climate modelling chief researcher Professor Francois Engelbrecht on Wednesday. Speaking at a CSIR... 

Drought prevails in South Africa despite increased rainfall

Omnia H1 profit down 11% y/y amid drought, plant breakdown

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     29th November 2016 South African chemicals producer Omnia on Tuesday reported that negative impacts on its agriculture division, including the drought and a breakdown at its Nitric Acid 2 complex, have seen its gross profit decrease by 11% year-on-year to R1.5-billion for the six months to September 30. The... 

Omnia H1 profit down 11% y/y amid drought, plant breakdown

Agribusiness to face several challenges in the new year – Agbiz

By: Anine Kilian     25th November 2016 The South African agribusiness environment will be faced with various challenges in 2017, especially in terms of engaging with key land reform legislation, according to Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) CEO Dr John Purchase, who delivered an agricultural industry forecast for 2017 on Friday.... 

Signs of hope in South Africa’s struggling agriculture sector  

By: Anine Kilian     25th November 2016 The agriculture sector contributes about 1.6% to South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP), below the 2.2% contribution that is needed for the sector to remain sustainable, Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) CEO Dr John Purchase said on Friday. Addressing delegates at a conference focused on... 

Signs of hope in South Africa’s struggling agriculture sector
AGbiz CEO John Purchase talks to Engineering New Online about land reform and the redistribution of land. Camerawork and Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Ecofriendly innovations in on-site wastewater treatment simplified

By: Sascha Solomons     25th November 2016 Using technology in sustainable wastewater treatment combined with the creation of its own bacterial strains developed in-house, South Africa-based biological wastewater treatment solutions provider SewTreat can respond to the demand for water management across sectors. SewTreat spokesman Theunis... 

Ecofriendly innovations in on-site wastewater treatment simplified
WASTEWATER TREATMENT FACILITIES SewTreat offers a specialised, modular biological wastewater treatment plant tailor-made for the African market

Inside the South Africa leg of Unilever’s globally recognised push for sustainability

By: Dylan Slater     25th November 2016 For the third consecutive year, consumer goods manufacturer Unilever has been rated as the Number 1 Top Employer in the manufacturing sector as well as the Number 1 Top Employer in the fast moving consumer goods sector in Africa by the Top Employers Institute. 

Inside the South Africa leg of Unilever’s globally recognised push for sustainability

Rail freight system will benefit economy, reduce road maintenance

By: Nadine James     25th November 2016 To limit the damage to the national and provincial road networks – primarily caused by heavy-duty freight vehicles – and cut down on resulting maintenance, government should ensure that South Africa has a workable and reliable rail freight service, says auditing and consulting firm KPMG. KPMG... 

Rail freight system will benefit economy, reduce road maintenance
DE BUYS SCOTT The establishment of a workable rail infrastructure would stimulate job creation and economic growth during the construction phase of rail-related projects

Some green shoots visible in mining sector, says Barloworld’s Thomson

By: Irma Venter     21st November 2016 For the first time in four years some green shoots are starting to appear in the mining industry, says Barloworld CE Clive Thomson. Discussing the JSE-listed group’s financial results for the year ended September 30, in Johannesburg, he said he believed the current cycle had reached its bottom. 

Some green shoots visible in mining sector, says Barloworld’s Thomson
Photo by Duane Daws
Clive Thomson

Barloworld, BayWa extend collaboration in Southern Africa

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     18th November 2016 JSE-listed Barloworld and German company BayWa have entered into a joint venture (JV) to further expand their agriculture and materials handling operations in Southern Africa. Subject to approval by competition authorities, the parties will establish a 50:50 JV company, BHBW Holdings, which will... 

Local LSFB market worth R1-billion yearly

By: Simone Liedtke     18th November 2016 The South African light steel frame building (LSFB) market is estimated to be worth about R1-billion a year. This is based on the steel used by LSF manufacturers, as well as volumes of the major materials – including gypsum board, fibre cement board, insulation, vapour permeable membranes and... 

Local LSFB market worth R1-billion yearly
MALL OF AFRICA PROJECT The latest large-scale project completed using LSF was the external walling of the 131 000 m2 floor area of the multibillion-rand Mall of Africa

Tongaat Hulett upbeat about future prospects, despite drought impact

By: Anine Kilian     14th November 2016 The drought in Southern Africa has cut JSE-listed Tongaat Hulett’s sugar production in the current season by about 400 000 t. Speaking to Engineering News Online, CEO Peter Staude pointed out that the company’s sugar production had decreased from 1.4-million tons a few years ago, to an expected... 

Sappi declares first dividend in 8 years

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     10th November 2016 Paper and pulp manufacturer Sappi on Thursday declared a dividend of $0.11 for the year ended September 30, its first since 2008, when it stopped paying dividends as it grappled with losses caused by the economic crisis in Europe and falling demand for paper, as well as crippling debt. However,... 

Sappi declares first dividend in 8 years

Economic diversification critical to growth success – Davies

By: Natasha Odendaal     8th November 2016 As the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) works to develop a dedicated agroprocessing incentive to attract investment, Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies has reiterated the importance of diversifying South Africa’s economy. The development and revitalisation of South Africa’s... 

Sugar expected to yield sweet profit for Tongaat Hulett

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     4th November 2016 Tongaat Hulett expects to report a R1.35-billion operating profit for the six months to September 30, a 5.8% increase on the R1.27-billion recorded in the six months to September 2015, owing to strong performance in its starch operations. Headline earnings for the six months under review are... 

Lithuania seeking trade partnership with South Africa

By: Keith Campbell     4th November 2016 The first ever trade mission to South Africa from Lithuania, although small, represented no fewer than six sectors of the latter country’s economy. The just-concluded mission is part of the small European country’s programme of diversifying its trade and investment partners and expanding into the... 

Analogue gauges outweigh benefits of electronic instrumentation

By: Simone Liedtke     4th November 2016 The structure and robustness of analogue pressure-type gauges, coupled with the guaranteed availability of spare parts for locomotives in South Africa, outweigh the benefits of electronic instrumentation that has to be sent away for repair or recalibration, says pressure and temperature... 

Analogue gauges outweigh benefits of electronic  instrumentation
GAUGE PRODUCTION All SA Gauge gauges are sent for quality control before distribution

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