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Farming Economics News

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

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

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

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

Govt committed to accelerating land redistribution - Ramaphosa

By: African News Agency      27th April 2018 President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Friday that government was committed to accelerating land redistribution, adding that economic freedom means that the land that was taken from black South Africans needs to be returned. "We are committed to accelerate the redistribution of land, both in urban... 

Govt committed to accelerating land redistribution - Ramaphosa
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa

Pests, diseases a burden on agriculture – ARC

By: Anine Kilian     25th April 2018 Despite an influx of agricultural imports and an increase in pests and diseases coming into the country over the past 20 years, South Africa has not invested adequately in pest and disease control strategies, says Agricultural Research Council (ARC) president Shadrack Moephuli. “We have not been... 

Africa’s population growth could drive South Africa’s livestock exports

By: Anine Kilian     25th April 2018 Africa’s population is expected to grow by 25% by 2050, creating an expanding middle class population that will require an affluent protein diet, Agricultural Research Council (ARC) research institute manager Dr Misheck Mulumba said on Wednesday. Addressing delegates at a public awareness day... 

Agri SA spent R331m on transformation in 2016/17

By: Anine Kilian     24th April 2018 Members of agricultural industry association Agri SA spent R331-million on transformation during the 2016/17 financial year and reached an estimated 108 307 beneficiaries, including 55 000 farmers. This is according to the 2018 Agri SA transformation report, which was released on Tuesday, and is... 

Ramaphosa says there will be 'broad discussion' on expropriation without compensation

By: News24Wire      15th March 2018 President Cyril Ramaphosa said the land reform debate should not be reduced to a debate about expropriation without compensation. He was answering questions in the National Assembly, where Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane asked him about the full details of the government's plan to... 

Ramaphosa says there will be 'broad discussion' on expropriation without compensation
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Confidence in agriculture ticks up, but land expropriation yet to weigh in

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     12th March 2018 The Agbiz/IDC Agribusiness Confidence Index for the first quarter painted an encouraging picture of the South African agricultural sector, as it improved by nine points to 58, after declining to levels below the 50-point mark in the last quarter of 2017. The survey, which was conducted between... 

Confidence in agriculture ticks up, but land expropriation yet to weigh in

Wine industry continuously focuses on transformation, social development, says Vinpro 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     7th March 2018 With every R1-million invested into the South African wine industry, almost five jobs are created, says wine industry representative Vinpro.  

Wine industry continuously focuses on transformation, social development, says Vinpro
Vinpro transformation and development manager Phil Bowes

Land expropriation without compensation key for economic growth – Masondo 

By: Anine Kilian     6th March 2018 Land reform, including the uncompensated expropriation of land, is necessary for economic growth and development and will contribute towards ending unacceptable levels of inequality, poverty and unemployment, African National Congress (ANC) National Executive Committee (NEC) member Dr David... 

Land expropriation without compensation key for economic growth – Masondo

Zambia taps climate fund to battle worsening drought

By: Reuters     5th March 2018 Zambian farmers facing more extreme weather are set to get better early warning and weather information to help them cope, as part of a new grant from the Green Climate Fund. In a funding round announced this week, the international climate fund approved $32 million toward a broader effort by the... 

Long-suffering SA manufacturing sector hoping to reap Ramaphosa dividend

By: Dylan Slater     2nd March 2018 Prior to the Valentine’s Day resignation of now former President Jacob Zuma, popular industry sentiment pointed towards a better year in terms of manufacturing and gross domestic product (GDP) on the back of a recovering commodities market.  

Long-suffering SA manufacturing sector  hoping to reap Ramaphosa dividend

Sapoa concerned about land expropriation

By: Thabi Madiba     1st March 2018 The South African Property Owners Association (Sapoa) has raised concerns, particularly in relation to food security, agricultural production and the economy, following the recent motion by the National Assembly to amend the Constitution to allow for land expropriation without compensation. The... 

Sapoa concerned about land expropriation

Illovo’s economic value-add in Africa reported at R23.8bn

By: Schalk Burger     21st February 2018 Sugar producer Illovo Sugar Africa has estimated its positive economic impact across the six countries in which it operates at R23.8-billion, which includes a R5-billion direct positive economic impact. This is a 29% increase in the company’s total contribution to the economies over a period of... 

Treasury allocates R6bn for drought relief measures

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     21st February 2018 Citizens of towns in the Western Cape, particularly Cape Town, on Wednesday could give a sigh of relief as Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba outlined that a provisional allocation of R6-billion has been set aside in 2018/19 for drought relief measures and to augment public infrastructure investment.... 

Treasury allocates R6bn for drought relief measures

South African grape variant to be launched at German fruit trade fair

By: Dylan Slater     6th February 2018 South African science institution, the Agricultural Research Council (ARC), in partnership with the South African Table Grape Industry (Sati) and Culdevco, plans to launch a seedless red table grape at the South African National Pavilion during the Fruit Logistica Trade Fair, which takes place in... 

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... 

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.  

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... 

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

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
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