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Agroprocessing News

Cold weather curbs armyworm outbreak in South Africa – Grain SA

By: Reuters     27th February 2017 Cold weather, rains and resilient genetically-modified crops (GMO) have limited the damage caused by an armyworm outbreak in South Africa, the head of Grain SA Jannie de Villiers said on Monday. Neighbouring countries, such as Zambia and Zimbabwe, who do not grow GMO crops, are suffering larger... 

Diverse technologies combine to offer ‘smart’ ways of improving farm yields

By: Dylan Slater     24th February 2017 Consulting firm Frost & Sullivan’s science team finds that factors such as information and communications technology (ICT), chemicals, hydroponics and aquaculture inputs are augmenting profits for farmers.  

Association highlights the negative impact of poultry imports on the feed industry

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     23rd February 2017 Poultry meat imported into South Africa during 2016 displaced around 1.5-million tonnes of broiler feed, worth an estimated R8.2-billion or the equivalent of 15 medium-sized feed mills, which could have been locally manufactured, Animal Feed Manufacturers Association of South Africa (AFMA) said... 

Association highlights the negative impact of poultry imports on the feed industry

Sasa calls for greater public input in sugar tax deliberations

By: Anine Kilian     23rd February 2017 The South African Sugar Association (Sasa) believes there has been insufficient public involvement in discussions on the implementation of the proposed tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Wednesday confirmed that the proposed tax, which will be levied at a rate of... 

Agriculture outlook positive, says Gordhan

By: African News Agency      22nd February 2017 Agriculture output is expected to increase as South Africa recovers from a crippling drought, which National Treasury is hoping will boost job creation in the sector. According to the 2017 budget review tabled by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Wednesday, two successive seasons of drought had... 

Agriculture outlook positive, says Gordhan

Pockets of resilience, but SA’s manufacturing outlook remains fragile

By: David Oliveira     17th February 2017 South Africa’s manufacturing sector is expected to grow by 0.5% this year and by 1.2% in 2018, according to data from economic analysis and forecast provider FocusEconomics. Financial institution Barclays’ latest purchasing managers’ index (PMI) released earlier this month indicates that the... 

Pockets of resilience, but SA’s manufacturing outlook remains fragile

South Africa to be ‘resolute’ in using tariffs to protect domestic industry 

By: Terence Creamer     15th February 2017 South Africa will be “resolute” in using tariffs to defend domestic industry and support industrial development, particularly in light of moves towards greater protectionism in other countries, Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies said in his contribution to the State of the Nation debate on... 

South Africa to be ‘resolute’ in using tariffs to protect domestic industry
Photo by Duane Daws
Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies

Zokwana, FAO to visit farms hit by fall armyworm

By: News24Wire      13th February 2017 Agriculture Minister Senzeni Zokwana will visit farms in Limpopo with the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) on Monday in an effort to bring the fall armyworm plague under control. The pest, which causes massive crop loss, has been nibbling through South African crops as producers try... 

Fly farm venture AgriProtein signs deal for 25 fly farms a year

By: Irma Venter     10th February 2017 Austria-based engineering group Christof Industries has partnered with waste-to-nutrient company AgriProtein to build up to 25 fly farms a year. AgriProtein rears fly larvae (on an industrial scale) on organic waste and harvests the larvae to make natural, high-protein animal feed products.  

Fly farm venture AgriProtein signs deal for 25 fly farms a year
AgriProtein's fly farm in Cape Town

South Africa confirms presence of invasive pest that infests maize

By: Reuters     6th February 2017 South Africa's department of agriculture said on Friday that scientific tests have confirmed the presence of the invasive fall armyworm in the maize belt, the first time the crop-damaging pest has been detected there. Countries with confirmed outbreaks can face import bans on agricultural... 

Armyworm outbreak damaging crops in southern Africa – FAO

By: Reuters     3rd February 2017 A suspected outbreak of armyworms has spread to Namibia and Mozambique and is causing "considerable crop damage" in southern Africa, the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said on Friday. Suspected outbreaks have already erupted in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and South Africa. 

SA fly-farming venture receives funding for global expansion

By: Irma Venter     3rd February 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... 

South Africa registering pesticides for use against maize-attacking armyworms

By: Reuters     2nd February 2017 South Africa's agriculture ministry is registering pesticides for use against the fall armyworm in the event that tests confirm the presence of the Central American pest in the country's maize belt, a spokesperson said on Thursday. "We don't have any registered pesticides for the fall armyworm... 

South Africa registering pesticides for use against maize-attacking armyworms

Chicken industry challenges weigh on RCL’s interim results 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     31st January 2017 Owing to the significant challenges facing the South African chicken industry, including imports and high feed input costs, food manufacturer RCL Foods expects its headline earnings a share for the six months ended December 31 to be between 40c and 55c, around 30% to 50% lower than the 87.2c it... 

Chicken industry challenges weigh on RCL’s interim results

EU rebuffs South African claim of chicken imports being cause of industry distress 

By: Terence Creamer     31st January 2017 The European Union (EU) is strongly contesting arguments that its chicken exports to South Africa are the main cause of the current distress in the industry, asserting that “structural” problems in the South African industry are the main reason for its lack of competitiveness. Ambassador Marcus... 

EU rebuffs South African claim of chicken imports being cause of industry distress
Photo by Duane Daws
EU Ambassador Marcus Cornaro

Poultry task team makes progress in finding solutions to sector challenges

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     27th January 2017 A poultry sector task team established by the South African government to deal with the challenges facing the domestic poultry industry has made “significant progress” across various work streams, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said on Friday. Domestic poultry producers continue to... 

Excessive imports of grain hurting local farmers – Grain SA

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     27th January 2017 Grain farmers association Grain SA has called for greater transparency in the reporting of import and export contracts, as local producers' competitiveness was being hampered by unchecked imports. “Currently there is no mechanism to report import and export contracts. This is totally one-sided... 

Excessive imports of grain hurting local farmers – Grain SA

New sewer pipeline to relieve pressure on existing works

By: Simone Liedtke     27th January 2017 Dube TradePort will construct the 6-km-long Hlawe river sewer pipeline, which will link the Dube TradePort precinct to the existing Tongaat Wastewater Treatment Works, service the northern part of the TradePort precinct and relieve pressure on the wastewater works. 

New sewer pipeline to relieve pressure on existing works
DUBE TRADEPORT The Dube AgriZone is intended to act as a catalyst for high-value agribusiness in Kwa-Zulu Natal

Wine industry under pressure amid subdued economy

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     20th January 2017 While the local wine market has grown more than 14%, or by 50-million litres, over the past two years, to more than 400-million litres at the end of December, continued pressure on the local economy could hamper the industry’s future growth. The wine industry is currently in a slump, with only... 

Wine industry under pressure amid subdued economy

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... 

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

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

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

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... 

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

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

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.... 

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

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... 

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... 

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... 

Fruit SA signs MoU to access fruit market in China

By: African News Agency      2nd November 2016 Fruit South Africa has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Peoples Republic of China in a bid to strengthen collaboration and to ensure market access for fruit between the two countries. In a statement on Wednesday, Fruit SA said its vice chairperson, Willem Bestbier signed the... 

Investing in climate resilience will be key to improving prospects for drought-prone farming sector

By: Mia Breytenbach     28th October 2016 With several weather institutions expressing cautious optimism that South Africa could receive normal, or even above-normal, rainfall towards mid-summer – that is between December and January – there is a degree of optimism that the embattled local agriculture sector could rebound in 2017. In... 

Investing in climate resilience will be key to improving prospects for drought-prone farming sector

Packaging group sees lifestyle choices driving health-juice growth

By: Schalk Burger     28th October 2016 About 20.2-billion litres of fully natural ingredient fruit and vegetable juices are consumed globally a year, and new mixed fruit, vegetable and health juices are increasingly being demanded by customers willing to pay a premium for them, says food and beverage processing and packaging... 

National Gazelles opens accelerator programme to SMEs

By: Natasha Odendaal     27th October 2016 National Gazelles, a small and medium-sized (SME) business growth accelerator programme, has opened a new applications window for SMEs wanting to join the programme. National Gazelles, which is a partnership between the Small Enterprise Development Agency and the Department of Small Business... 

R500m allocated to drought relief

By: African News Agency      26th October 2016 More than half a billion rand would be allocated to drought relief measures, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan revealed when he tabled the medium-term budget policy statement (MTBPS) in Parliament on Wednesday. “The 2016 adjusted estimates of national expenditure allocates a further R553.3-million... 

R500m allocated to drought relief
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