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Farming Economics News

Dry conditions threaten 2019 maize crop – Grain SA

By: Reuters     12th December 2018 Dry conditions in the main part of South Africa's maize belt have delayed crop plantings, threatening yields for the staple food and sending prices sharply higher, the farmers lobby group Grain South Africa said on Tuesday. With the optimum planting window fast closing in the western part of the... 

Measures in place to boost the Western Cape economy

By: Thabi Madiba     7th December 2018 The Western Cape economy remains relatively stable despite challenges affecting consumer spending, says Western Cape Economic Opportunities Minister Beverley Schäfer. “The province has recorded good gains in employment, and continues to record the lowest expanded unemployment rate in the country.” 

Measures in place to boost the Western Cape economy
Beverley Schäfer Growth in the Western Cape economy slowed down over the past years because of the drought that impacted on some of the province’s key sectors such as agriculture and tourism

Partnership for land tenure rights mutually beneficial

By: Paige Müller     7th December 2018 Sugar producer Illovo Sugar Africa has been partnering nongovernmental organizations, governments and global donors to transform the landscape of tenure rights in its operating countries, says Illovo Sugar Africa Group MD Gavin Dalgleish. “Africa has the highest proportion of agricultural land... 

Partnership for land tenure rights mutually beneficial
Photo by Bloomberg
WOMEN IN SUGAR More than 65% of those who have benefited from the Illovo Maragra plantation partnership to date have been women

Agribusiness outlook remains cautious as lack of rainfall issue looms

By: Simone Liedtke     5th December 2018 The agriculture sector’s optimistic outlook at the start of the 2018/19 production season has changed, says Agbiz agribusiness research head Wandile Sihlobo. Despite the season having started with farmers aiming to lift the summer grain and oilseed planting activity by 5% from the previous season... 

Agribusiness outlook remains cautious as lack of rainfall issue looms
Photo by Simone Liedtke
Agbiz agribusiness research head Wandile Sihlobo

First institutional anaerobic digester launched at NPO’s Johannesburg premises

By: Simone Liedtke     28th November 2018 To promote renewable energy as a cost-effective technology in a world facing the impact of climate change and global warming, the University of South Africa, diversified miner Exxaro Resources and the South African National Energy Development Institution on Wednesday launched its first... 

First institutional anaerobic digester launched at NPO’s Johannesburg premises
Photo by Simone Liedtke
The University of South Africa, Exxaro Resources and the South African National Energy Development Institution on Wednesday launched its first institutional anaerobic digester at nonprofit organisation EARTH Centre’s premises, in Johannesburg

Treasury loses out on more than R1bn in VAT from drought-stricken farmers

By: News24Wire      27th November 2018 The government has lost out on more than R1-billion in VAT from drought-stricken farmers who were forced to cut production after their irrigation water from the Cape supply dams was radically reduced a year ago. Agri Western Cape CEO Carl Opperman said on Monday this was one of the facts he... 

Treasury loses out on more than R1bn in VAT from drought-stricken farmers

Astral commits to R1.1bn in expansion projects 

By: Simone Liedtke     19th November 2018 On the back of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s recent investment drive and stimulus plan, integrated poultry producer Astral Foods has committed R1.1-billion to expansion projects over the next three years. This is the JSE-listed company’s first major expansion in its poultry division in a decade and... 

Astral commits to R1.1bn in expansion projects

Wine looking positive in the face of poor economy

16th November 2018 Despite the poor performance of the economy, industrial research company BMi Research says the wine industry yielded a positive volume growth relative to the previous year. The company notes that the growth in production may be attributed to farmers investing in improved irrigation systems as... 

Wine looking  positive in the face  of poor economy
MALTITUDE OF BEERS With lower incomes households are opting for cheaper beers at home instead of at restaurants

Big five to save water for wine producers

By: Halima Frost     16th November 2018 Owing to the prolonged drought that has caused severe challenges, the local wine industry is researching more efficient ways of monitoring and managing water use through five projects, says representative body of the South African wine industry Vinpro. This comes after what has been recorded as... 

Big five to save water for wine producers
RIPE FOR THE PICKING The harvest done at exactly the right time makes for a good wine

Cane valuations, land negotiations dent Tongaat Hulett’s H1 headline earnings

By: Marleny Arnoldi     12th November 2018 JSE-listed agriculture and agroprocessing group Tongaat Hulett suffered a 64% year-on-year decrease in operating profit for the six months ended September 30 to R530-million, compared with the R1.4-billion profit reported for the six months ended September 30, 2017. Tongaat said on Monday that... 

Cane valuations, land negotiations dent Tongaat Hulett’s H1 headline earnings

Prototype soil sampling device being tested for use in agriculture

By: Schalk Burger     26th October 2018 A cost-effective, handheld soil and water chemical testing device for use in agriculture is being developed and tested by information technology research subsidiary IBM Research, says IBM Research Brazil Industrial Technology & Science manager Dr Mathias Steiner. The AgroPad is a business... 

Prototype soil sampling device being tested for use in agriculture
AGROPAD SCAN Farmers can gain meaningful information to optimise conditions to grow a specific crop

Govt commits support for clothing, textiles sector and emerging farmers  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     24th October 2018 The National Treasury has, over the medium term, placed incentives for agriculture, land reform, manufacturing and research and development among its priorities for expenditure reprioritisation. The Clothing and Textile Competitiveness Programme has helped sector exports grow from R7.1-billion in... 

Govt commits support for clothing, textiles sector and emerging farmers

Simple farm implement can increase crop yield, reduce soil erosion

By: Creamer Media Reporter      19th October 2018 Ethiopia-based farm implement manufacturer Aybar Engineering exhibited its Broad Bed Maker (BBM) farm implement at this year’s Maker Faire Rome exhibition, which took place from October 12 to 14 in Rome, Italy. The company was established in 2014 to develop improved agricultural implements for... 

Simple farm implement can increase crop yield, reduce soil erosion
Photo by Aybar Engineering
The Aybar BBM is a land management system that assists farmers to construct broad bed furrows to drain excess water in vertisols

Stats SA to conduct commercial agriculture census

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th October 2018 Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) will, on October 15, embark on a countrywide Census of Commercial Agriculture. About 600 field staff will visit commercial farms across the country to establish the number of commercial farmers, farm size, crop type being farmed in different geographic areas,... 

Stats SA to conduct commercial agriculture census

AfDB seeks partnerships to lift 1bn people out of hunger

By: Simone Liedtke     26th September 2018 The African Development Bank (AfDB) has called on global partners to join hands to lift one-billion people globally out of hunger. The finance institution said in a statement that it was leading the way by investing $24-billion in African agriculture over the next decade. 

Agribusiness confidence declines significantly in third quarter – index

By: Marleny Arnoldi     10th September 2018 The Agbiz/Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) Agribusiness Confidence Index has fallen below the neutral 50-point mark, declining by six points to 48 in the third quarter of the year – the lowest level since the second quarter of 2016, which was a drought year. Agbiz states that while the... 

Agribusiness confidence declines significantly in third quarter – index

AfDB, FAO to collaborate again on boosting agriculture investments in Africa

By: Marleny Arnoldi     28th August 2018 The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) have agreed to strengthen joint efforts aimed at growing agriculture sector investments in Africa. The organisations will raise up to $100-million over five years to support these activities,... 

Agricultural organisations commit to developing national strategy

By: Simone Liedtke     27th August 2018 The presidents of the African Farmers Association of South Africa (Afasa), the National African Farmers Union of South Africa (Nafu SA), Agri SA and the Transvaal Agricultural Union of South Africa (Tau-SA), as members of the Agri Sector Unity Forum (Asuf), on Monday declared their intent to work... 

Agricultural organisations commit to developing national strategy

Gauteng rapid land release programme to be launched next week

By: Simone Liedtke     22nd August 2018 Gauteng Premier David Makhura will, on August 31, launch the province’s rapid land release programme, in which he plans to make provincial land and buildings available for the development of human settlements and for urban agriculture projects. Speaking at the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and... 

ANC, AgriSA to meet over expropriation, economy

By: News24Wire      20th August 2018 The ANC and AgriSA, the country’s largest representative body of commercial farmers, will meet on Tuesday to discuss the heated issue of expropriation without compensation. This follows months of uncertainty in the agricultural sector and the broader economy after the ANC’s initial decision to... 

Tiger Brands’ shares fall on lower FY18 earnings expectations

By: Simone Liedtke     16th August 2018 JSE-listed Tiger Brands’ share price fell by nearly 9.8% on Thursday morning after it announced that its earnings per share (EPS) and headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the financial year to end September 30 are likely to decrease by 22% to 37% year-on-year. It reported EPS of R19.15 and HEPS... 

Davies endorses Itac’s recommendation of increase in sugar import duties

By: Simone Liedtke     15th August 2018 Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies has endorsed the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa’s (Itac’s) recommendation for an increase in import duties on sugar to $680/t. While the level is not at the maximum bound rate, as initially requested by the industry in the... 

AfDB head calls for agriculture technologies to optimize African farmers' output

By: African News Agency      10th August 2018 African farms should be given access to technologies that will enhance production, with evidence from countries such as Nigeria demonstrating that technology coupled with strong government backing are yielding positive results, African Development Bank (AfDB) president Akinwumi Adesina has said.... 

Blockchain can facilitate development of communal lands

By: Schalk Burger     10th August 2018 Blockchain systems can provide a trusted registry of property ownership in communal lands, which can facilitate their development into productive assets, says Zimbabwean former commercial farmer and former chairman of the National Association of Dairy Farmers Dave Conolly. Conolly is researching... 

Blockchain can facilitate development of communal lands
Photo by Reuters
ZIMBABWEAN FARMING Commercial transformation on the back of ownership and productive use of assets supports development

App monitors spread of FAW in Africa

By: Erin Steenhoff-Snethlage     10th August 2018 The Fall Armyworm Monitoring and Early Warning System (FAMEWS) application (app) can save 300-million people in Africa from food insecurity and prevent significant economic losses in maize of up to $4.8-billion, caused by the infestation of the fall armyworm (FAW), says Food and Agriculture... 

App monitors spread  of FAW in Africa
Photo by Bloomberg
PEST ARMY The invasion of the fall armyworm is threatening the food security of 300-million people in Africa

Irrigation system reduces water use in orchards by 70%

By: Erin Steenhoff-Snethlage     10th August 2018 Louirrigate’s micro drip irrigation system, Tree Hog, can reduce farmers’ water use by up to 70% in orchards, and save up to 70% of energy costs, claims Tree Hog designer and Louirrigate owner Louis Loubser, who is a wine and fruit farmer in Robertson, Western Cape.   The Tree Hog system is... 

Irrigation system reduces water use in orchards by 70%
WATER CONSERVATION The Tree Hog can reduce water consumption by up to 70%

W Cape focusing on creating certainty in agriculture sector

By: Erin Steenhoff-Snethlage     10th August 2018 The Western Cape provincial government is focusing on creating certainty for the agriculture industry by trying to ensure that farmers can continue farming and save jobs by requesting an increase in the water allocation to the industry from the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), says... 

W Cape focusing on creating certainty in agriculture sector
CERTAINTY NEEDED Farmers are positive about recent rains in the Western Cape, but more rain is needed to sustain recovery efforts

South Africa has significant potential for biopharming, bio economy

By: Erin Steenhoff-Snethlage     10th August 2018 Judging by the number of patent applications filed for biopharming inventions by local universities, research councils and science councils, there is significant potential for South Africa to create an industry around biopharming, claims intellectual property firm Spoor & Fisher. “Biopharming is... 

South Africa has significant potential for biopharming, bio economy
Photo by Bloomberg
BIOPHARMING POTENTIAL Maize, potato, and tobacco plants can be used in biopharming

South African farmers face tough road to recovery

By: Erin Steenhoff-Snethlage     10th August 2018 Local orchards and vineyards could take between five and seven years to fully recover from the recent drought, provided there is average or above-average rainfall for three consecutive years, says agriculture industry association Agri SA head of natural resources Janse Rabie. “Because of the... 

South African farmers face tough road to recovery
Photo by Reuters
ROAD TO RECOVERY Drought stricken regions in South Africa need three years of significant rainfall to recover

Tunisia, AfDB to launch drones pilot project for agriculture management

By: Marleny Arnoldi     30th July 2018 Tunisia and the African Development Bank (AfDB) have signed an agreement for the launch of a pilot project to use drones for data collection, which will enhance the management of agricultural projects in the country. The project will be implemented over the next ten months and will receive... 

G20 agriculture ministers slam protectionism, pledge WTO reforms

By: Reuters     30th July 2018 Agriculture ministers from the G20 countries criticized protectionism in a joint statement on Saturday, and vowed to reform World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, but did not detail what steps they would take to improve the food trade system. In the statement, they said they were "concerned about... 

As crops dry, Malawi turns to solar irrigation

By: Reuters     23rd July 2018 As climate change brings longer droughts, farmers in eastern Malawi's already dry Lake Chilwa basin are seeing an ever-more-frequent disaster: maize wilting or drying completely, leaving families hungry. "In the past many farmers relied on rain-fed agriculture to grow their food," said Edwin... 

Avocado 'green gold' ripe and ready for South Africa's farmers

By: Reuters     21st June 2018 Whether you like to squash it onto your toast in the morning, millennial-style, eat it to cut your cholesterol with healthy unsaturated oil, or moisturise your face with it - if you live in the West, you're probably rarely far from an avocado. And that is very good news for South Africa's... 

DTI, stakeholders establish sugar value-chain task team to address industry challenges

By: Marleny Arnoldi     29th May 2018 The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has established a sugar value-chain task team, comprising representatives from the beverage industry, retailers, the South African Sugar Association (Sasa), smallholder farmers, small manufacturers and the Industrial Development Corporation of South... 

DTI, stakeholders establish sugar value-chain task team to address industry challenges

Avian flu still affecting agricultural cycles – Quantum Foods

By: Simone Liedtke     24th May 2018 The first six months of the current financial year proved how quickly agricultural cycles can change, says diversified feeds and poultry business Quantum Foods. This is evidenced through two main factors influencing the macroenvironment during this period, ended March 31. 

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. 

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
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