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Agroprocessing News

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... 

South Africa provides $16m in drought relief to farmers for animal feed

By: Reuters     7th November 2016 South Africa's agriculture ministry said on Monday the Treasury has provided R212-million ($16-million) in drought relief for animal feed to be allocated in the last three months of 2016 to help livestock farmers hard hit by a devastating drought. "The drought’s devastating effects are quite... 

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

Eskom, IDC study use of vegetable oils in utility transformers

By: Schalk Burger     21st October 2016 Power utility Eskom and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) signed a memorandum of agreement at a technical workshop at the Eskom Academy of Learning, in Midrand, in September to complete feasibility studies to enable the adoption and use of natural esters, or vegetable oils, as... 

Sacci calls on members to play part in averting ratings downgrade

By: David Oliveira     21st October 2016 South Africa’s current economic growth does not reflect the country’s potential and the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (Sacci’s) members must help build the economy and steer the country to success, says the chamber’s president Vusi Khumalo. Addressing delegates at the Sacci... 

‘Devastating’ black frost hits Cape vineyards

By: African News Agency      20th October 2016 Farmers in the Breedekloof Wine Valley in South Africa were still assessing the damage on Thursday following a night of widespread black frost, described as “the most devastating frost the valley has seen in 21 years”, a week before. Black frost occurs when the temperature falls below zero but... 

Ongoing drought prompts concerns about food security, govt’s land reform programme 

     20th October 2016 Creamer Media’s Samantha Herbst talks to senior journalist Megan van Wyngaardt about issues discussed at the 2016 Agri SA Congress. 

Ongoing drought prompts concerns about food security, govt’s land reform programme
Ongoing drought prompts concerns about food security, govt’s land reform programme

First local seed selection to take place at Project Solaris 

By: Anine Kilian     14th October 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... 

First local seed selection to take place at Project Solaris
Sunchem South Africa project manager Samantha Hampton

Sacci calls on members to help avert ratings agency downgrade

By: David Oliveira     6th October 2016 South Africa’s current economic growth does not reflect the country’s potential and the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (Sacci’s) members must help build the economy and steer the country to success, says the chamber’s president Vusi Khumalo. Addressing delegates at the Sacci... 

Rooibos, Honeybush among South Africa’s most widely commercially cultivated plant products

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     4th October 2016 Rooibos and Honeybush, which are both endemic to South Africa, are among the most widely commercially cultivated botanical species originating in the country, with more than 300 trademarks and 20 patents to their names, which is why they have been singled out as local treasures, according to... 

Rooibos, Honeybush among South Africa’s most widely commercially cultivated plant products

US poultry industry warns of new threat to South Africa’s Agoa benefits

By: African News Agency      3rd October 2016 The US poultry industry has warned that South Africa could once again lose its trade free access for many exports to the market if South African poultry and pork producers get a court injunction to block US chicken imports. US Poultry and Egg Export Council (USAPEEC) president James Sumner said... 

US poultry industry warns of new threat to South Africa’s Agoa benefits

Monsanto opens revamped plant breeding centre  

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     30th September 2016 Sustainable agriculture company Monsanto on Friday opened its R15-million renovated breeding centre, in Petit, near Benoni. The breeding centre is located on a 300 ha maize farm and hosts new offices, which are more than double the size of the original office, and an audiovisual boardroom that... 

Monsanto opens revamped plant breeding centre
Monsanto South Africa breeding leader Kiru Pillay speaks about the new centre

Eskom, IDC to collaborate on validating use of vegetable oils in utility transformers

By: Schalk Burger     29th September 2016 Power utility Eskom and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) on Thursday signed a memorandum of agreement at a technical workshop at the Eskom Academy of Learning, in Midrand, to complete feasibility studies to enable the adoption and use of natural esters, or vegetable oils, as... 

South Africa to export pigeon peas, pork, mango to India

By: SANews, SA government news service     27th September 2016 As part of ongoing efforts by member States to improve intra-Brics trade, South Africa has been granted an opportunity to export pigeon peas also known as cajanus cajan, pork, mango and persimmons to India. India for its part has expressed an interest to import pickled sheep skins from South... 

Sugar tax to leave secondary industries desolate – association

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     20th September 2016 The South African Sugar Association (Sasa) has called on the National Treasury to reconsider its intention to introduce a tax on sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs) by April next year, saying that, not only will it have an adverse effect on the beverages industry, but also widespread ramifications... 

Sugar tax to leave secondary industries desolate – association

Agribusiness confidence index experiences uptick in Q3

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     19th September 2016 After remaining below 50 index points for five consecutive quarters, the Agbiz/Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) Agribusiness Confidence Index recovered significantly by 13 index points to 60 in the third quarter of this year. This is the highest reading since the third quarter of 2014. An... 

Agribusiness confidence index experiences uptick in Q3

Commercial bamboo production may have biofuel potential  

By: Dylan Slater     16th September 2016 According to Africa-focused bamboo technology company Afribam, growing bamboo commercially could create biofuel possibilities for commercial power generation and serve to sequestrate a percentage of carbon emitted by the same power generation facilities.  

Commercial bamboo production may have  biofuel potential
Bamboo specialist Adrian Sutton tells Engineering News about the opportunities of commercially growing bamboo. Camerawork and Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

African companies and govts need to work harder to benefit from growth potential – McKinsey 

By: Anine Kilian     15th September 2016 Some of Africa’s economies have been experiencing significantly less accelerated growth than five to fifteen years ago, having started experiencing a marked slowdown as a result of lower resource prices and higher sociopolitical instability. This is despite the bulk of the continent’s countries... 

African companies and govts need to work harder to benefit from growth potential – McKinsey

Clover increases revenue to R9.8bn, cost efficiency drive pays off

By: Tracy Hancock     13th September 2016 JSE-listed dairy products manufacturer Clover has improved its revenue for the year ended June 30 by 6%, to R9.8-billion, despite having faced numerous economic headwinds in the year under review. “We had a tough year, no doubt. We had a deflationary year in dairy,” Clover CEO Johann Vorster told... 

Clover increases revenue to R9.8bn, cost efficiency drive pays off

Aussie drought aid for Southern Africa

By: African News Agency      8th September 2016 The Australian Government will provide further support to southern Africa in response to the acute food shortages caused by severe El Niño conditions in the region. Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop has announced that Australia will give another 10-million Australian dollars to the World... 

Aussie drought aid for Southern Africa

$35bn in pledges to Africa’s green revolution

By: African News Agency      8th September 2016 Heads of State and leaders of global organisations and companies dug deep on Wednesday to support the transformation of agriculture in Africa with pledges of more than $35-billion in additional funding. Strive Masiyiwa, chairman of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, told a gala dinner... 

Big bet on agriculture pays off for African nations

By: African News Agency      6th September 2016 A decade of paying intense attention to farming has generated “the most successful development effort” in African history, according to a report released by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) at the UN’s African headquarters on Tuesday. Analysis of AGRA’s 2016 African... 

Focus on innovation provides opportunities for trade

By: Robyn Wilkinson     2nd September 2016 China’s thirteenth five-year plan – from 2016 to 2020 – includes a clear prioritisation of innovation, which is likely to increase the country’s interest in importing technologies from outside, including from South Africa, says advisory services provider KPMG local China practice in South Africa... 

Focus on innovation provides opportunities for trade
NEW TRADE OPPORTUNITIES China’s economy is undergoing a shift that is likely to increase the country’s interest in importing innovative technologies

Agriculture entrepreneurs innovate to take awards

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     1st September 2016 Innovation in the local agriculture sector was highlighted at this year’s Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, with pelleting solutions provider Agricon owner Johan Eksteen named the overall winner. Pelletising is used globally by manufacturers of animal feed or at recycling facilities that... 

Agriculture entrepreneurs innovate to take awards
Agricon owner Johan Eksteen

IDC aims to grow approvals beyond R14.5bn in 2017, despite impairment worry

By: Terence Creamer     31st August 2016 The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has committed to continue increasing its level of finance approvals and disbursements, despite a surge in impairments to over R3-billion. Funding approvals increased to a record R14.5-billion during 2016 from R11.5-billion a year earlier, while... 

IDC aims to grow approvals beyond R14.5bn in 2017, despite impairment worry
Photo by Duane Daws
Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel and IDC CEO Geoffrey Qhena

RCL Foods' revenue up, chicken and sugar still ‘real’ challenges

By: Tracy Hancock     31st August 2016 JSE-listed RCL Foods' revenue for the 12 months to June 30 increased by 6.8% to R25-billion, up on the R23.4-billion in 2015, the first full year of operating under its new structure and leadership. RCL Foods CFO Rob Fields told Engineering News in a telephone interview on Wednesday that the... 

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