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Farming Economics News

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

South Africa white maize futures scale 11-month peak on hot, dry conditions

By: Reuters     15th January 2018 South African white maize futures prices hit 11-month highs on Monday as a spell of hot, dry weather raised concerns about plantings and yields over a swathe of the maize belt. Maize is South Africa's staple crop and policy makers such as the central bank, which will meet later this week on... 

South Africa white maize futures scale 11-month peak on hot, dry conditions

Ramaphosa to lead South African delegates at World Economic Forum

By: Dylan Slater     10th January 2018 Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is also the recently elected president of the incumbent African National Congress, will lead a South African delegation to the forty-eighth edition of the World Economic Forum’s yearly meeting, which will be held in Davos-Klosters, in Switzerland, from... 

Ramaphosa to lead South African delegates at World Economic Forum
Photo by Duane Daws
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa

Drought conditions hit South African maize belt – industry group

By: Reuters     9th January 2018 The western part of South Africa's maize belt has been hit by drought and farmers there have only planted 70 to 75% of the area they had intended to, industry group Grain SA said on Monday. With the window of planting opportunity fast closing, the unexpected onset of dry conditions in the key... 

Drought conditions hit South African maize belt – industry group

PAC welcomes proposed land expropriation without compensation

By: African News Agency      2nd January 2018 The Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) has welcomed the recent proposal by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) to expropriate land without compensation, saying that it had always held the belief that land reform in South Africa should not involve the exchange of money. At its 54th national... 

PAC welcomes proposed land expropriation without compensation

Balancing rules, safety and certification will be key to drone industry success

By: Dylan Slater     15th December 2017 The regulations and laws governing access to South African air space for remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) are sound and among the “best in the world”, according to Edenvale-based commercial drone operator Visual Air Productions director Stephen Verheul.  

Balancing rules, safety and certification will be key to drone industry success

Battling threat of sugar tax, excessive imports and low price

By: Victor Moolman     8th December 2017 The large amount of sugar being imported into South Africa has caused the country’s sugar industry, which may soon be further compromised by the introduction of a sugar tax, to start exporting sugar at world market prices to offload excess sugar, which it is unable to sell locally. While opposing... 

Battling threat of sugar tax, excessive imports and low price
Photo by Victor Moolman
DEDICATED TO SUGAR CANE Large parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga, about 360 000 ha, are dedicated to growing sugar cane

Doubt whether desalination plants will be delivered by March  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th December 2017 Valves supplier APVF will supply pipeline products for six desalination plants earmarked for construction in the Western Cape, which are expected to deliver 28 M of water to the province daily.  

Doubt whether desalination plants will be delivered by March
OCEAN ASSISTANCE The City of Cape Town awarded six companies the construction and commissioning of six desalination plants on November 7 as part of the solution to the water crisis

Potential of groundwater in spotlight again amid Western Cape drought

By: Dylan Slater     1st December 2017 Groundwater still holds significant potential to provide water for various uses, especially to augment large-scale supply during drought, notes Geological Society of South Africa: Western Cape ground water division chairperson Dr Roger Parsons.  

Third biennial food and drink exhibition to be held in 2018

By: Simone Liedtke     17th November 2017 Conceptualised as a “for Africa by Africa” event, exhibition company Messe München South Africa (SA) will host the third biennial food and drink technology Africa (fdt Africa) exhibition from September 4 to 6 at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa, next year. 

Third biennial food and drink exhibition to be held in 2018
FDT AFRICA 2018 The aim of fdt Africa 2018 is to consolidate the existing target groups of exhibitors and visitors

SAB entrepreneurship for employment initiative welcomed

     17th November 2017 Business Unity South Africa (Busa) has welcomed South African Breweries (SAB’s) entrepreneurship campaign aimed at enabling South African entrepreneurs to create 10 000 jobs by 2021. 

SAB entrepreneurship for employment initiative welcomed
SAB PROGRAMME The SAB entrepreneurial programme, which provides a package of support, was launched in September

Industry still suffers effects of drought

By: Simone Liedtke     17th November 2017 Although innovative production practices and a diversified geographic production area helped to buffer the effect of the drought on the 2017 harvest, wine industry body VinPro explains that insufficient rainfall in the winter months will undoubtedly have an effect on vine functionality and yield... 

Industry still suffers effects of drought
DROUGHT EFFECTS As a result of the drought, the Western Cape has received 30% less rainfall than the amount needed at this stage

DCD success in winemaking opens new markets

     17th November 2017 Having proven that its Disruptor technology is more than suitable for the winemaking and beer sectors, South African biotechnology company Green Cell Technologies (GCT), states that it has turned its attention to the lucrative fruit sugar concentrates market. 

DCD success in  winemaking opens new markets
LESS SUGAR Consumers are more informed about the effect of foodstuffs they consume and the growing demand for less sugary products

New Summerstrand-based ale house opened

By: Simone Liedtke     17th November 2017 Eastern Cape-based manufacturing micro-brewery Dockside Brewery opened its Dockside Ale House in Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth, last month. 

New Summerstrand-based ale house opened
GLOBAL STYLES Globally, there are more than thirty main styles of beer

Tank cleaning ensures quality batch, every time

By: Simone Liedtke     17th November 2017 Although tank cleaning is considered a ‘necessary evil’ for any producer in the wine, brewery and beverage industry, South Africa-based industrial nozzle, pump and filter supplier Spray Nozzle says tank cleaning is required between batches to ensure that a reliable, uncontaminated, high-quality... 

Tank cleaning ensures  quality batch, every time
SPECIALIST PRODUCT The HydroClaw nozzle is a specialist nozzle which is best suited for the cleaning of tanks with high solids content

Value-for-money centrifugal pumps to change process

     17th November 2017 The food and beverage industry is continuously looking for solutions to increase production efficiency with extremely high system pressure applications becoming more common, especially in typical reverse osmosis applications for whey, wine and beer filtration. 

Value-for-money centrifugal pumps to change process
UPCOMING AVAILABILITY Higher flow rates are expected to be available very soon

We should avoid radical rhetoric and policies on land – AgriSA

By: News24Wire      1st November 2017 AgriSA believes progress is being made in the land reform debate in South Africa and that the country should steer away from radical rhetoric and policies. These were the views of Dan Kriek, the president of AgriSA during the launch of its national land audit on Tuesday. 

We should avoid radical rhetoric and policies on land – AgriSA

Work drying up in Western Cape drought

By: News24Wire      26th October 2017 Red flags were raised over possible civil unrest in the Western Cape due to the predicted loss of around 50 000 jobs as the drought hammers the province's vital agricultural sector, a joint parliamentary committee sitting heard on Wednesday. "The impact on the economy is worse for the... 

Mahindra SA to start local assembly, move into tractor market

By: Irma Venter     13th October 2017 Mahindra South Africa (SA) should start local semi-knockdown assembly of its new generation Mahindra Pik Up and Bolero bakkie within the next six months, says Mahindra Automotive and Farm Equipment International Operations chief Arvind Mathew. “Local assembly is my number one priority,” he told... 

Mahindra SA to start local assembly, move into tractor market
The new-generation Mahindra Pik Up

Global water insecurity calls for water infrastructure maintenance

     13th October 2017 The growing funding gap to keep up with the rehabilitation, operation and maintenance of ageing water infrastructure is a global concern, particularly in the current age of austerity, says global engineering firm Aurecon. The firm emphasises that new water systems need to be built to cope with... 

Global water insecurity calls for water infrastructure maintenance
Photo by Bloomberg
FOOD INSECURITY Food is heavily reliant on water supply. Scarce water supply puts crops and livestock at risk

KZN local cane farmers rally together to survive

By: African News Agency      12th October 2017 South African sugar cane growers in Amatikulu, northern KwaZulu-Natal, have rallied together to raise enough capital to buy Unitrans’ assets in the two operational areas. Longstanding haulier Unitrans’ ceased cane haulage operations in their area, impacting the income of 50 commercial growers and... 

CoM shows off potential of rooftop agriculture in Johannesburg inner city

By: Ilan Solomons     11th October 2017 The Chamber of Mines (CoM) on Wednesday hosted the launch of the Urban Agriculture Initiative, which is aimed at creating a vibrant urban agricultural ecosystem by “innovatively” repurposing disused rooftops and making use of hydroponics and aquaponics to produce agricultural produce for... 

CoM shows off potential of rooftop agriculture in Johannesburg inner city
Photo by Chamber of Mines
The Chamber of Mines is participating in and has funded a pilot project to assess the feasibility of growing herbs and vegetables on the rooftops

Fresh produce market agents, association referred to Competition Tribunal for prosecution

By: Schalk Burger     11th October 2017 Fourteen fresh produce market agents and association, the Institute for Market Agents of South Africa, have been referred to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution in relation to charges of alleged price-fixing and fixing trading conditions in contravention of the Competition Act, the... 

AB InBev focusing on its public interest commitments as it celebrates one year as megabrewer

By: Schalk Burger     11th October 2017 Brewing multinational Anheuser-Busch (AB) InBev has worked hard over the past year to meet its public interest commitments following the business combination with SAB in late 2016, SAB and AB InBev Africa zone president Ricardo Tadeu said in a statement on Wednesday. The public interest... 

DTI calls for resolution on outstanding Doha issues

By: Schalk Burger     10th October 2017 Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies on Tuesday called for outcomes to be developed for the outstanding issues of the Doha Development Agenda (DDA). Davies was in Morocco attending the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Informal Ministerial Gathering, which was attended by Ministers from the 164... 

Low-skilled labour plan could provide solution to unemployment challenge

By: David Oliveira     8th September 2017 Industrial research and development engineering company Greville Wood Developments (GWD) is awaiting funding to recreate a 1986 manufacturing proof study and farming plan, called the Warrenton Plan, which could collectively create about 2 300 jobs in Warrenton, in the Northern Cape, then rolled... 

Clover warns of up to 67% drop in FY17 HEPS

By: Creamer Media Reporter      7th September 2017 Diary products manufacturer Clover has warned that its headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the financial year ended June 30 are likely to decrease by between 65% and 67% year-on-year as a result of the prolonged drought and rand volatility that resulted in above-inflation input costs. The... 

Poultry industry challenges, drought negatively impact on RCL Foods’ FY17 profit

By: Mia Breytenbach     30th August 2017 The widely reported challenges facing the local poultry industry and the performance of JSE-listed RCL Foods’ chicken business unit decimated the company’s profits in the financial year ended June 30, with the company reporting a 0.8% decrease in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and... 

Poultry industry challenges, drought negatively impact on RCL Foods’ FY17 profit
Bloomberg

Disaster relief money starts flowing into Western Cape

By: News24Wire      29th August 2017 The Western Cape government has received the first tranche of the money it needs to cope with the devastating drought and fires in the province, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des van Rooyen said on Tuesday. The first tranche of R34 866 263 was transferred on August 21... 

Water department proposes up to 14.6% increase in raw water tariffs for 2018/19

By: Mia Breytenbach     25th August 2017 The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has proposed water tariffs for the 2018/19 financial year, with a proposed increase of up to 14.6% throughout the spectrum of raw water users. The DWS proposed the increase at its final national raw water consultation, held in Boksburg, Ekurhuleni, on... 

Water department proposes up to 14.6% increase in raw water tariffs for 2018/19

Sustainable partnerships needed to ensure Africa’s food security

By: David Oliveira     18th August 2017 New approaches and sustainable partnerships are required to ensure food security for Africa’s rapidly urbanising population, says financial services provider Absa senior agricultural economist Wessel Lemmer. According to a January 2017 report by The Sustainable Development Goals Centre for... 

Sustainable partnerships needed to ensure Africa’s food security
WESSEL LEMMER Achieving sustainable food security for urban and rural citizens remains an important priority for governments across Africa
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