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Farming Economics News

South Africa farm minister sees no land expropriation without payment

By: Reuters     17th May 2017 South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) is not likely to approve any expropriation of land from white farmers without paying compensation, the agriculture minister said on Tuesday after President Jacob Zuma mooted such an idea. Faced with opposition mainly from ANC's urban base,... 

High Court rejects Farmers Trust’s appeal in fresh produce competition investigation 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     12th May 2017 The High Court of South Africa has dismissed an application by Farmers Trust to set aside the Competition Commission’s search warrant in an investigation into alleged cartel and price-fixing conduct by fresh produce market agents. The failed bid followed a search and seizure operation conducted... 

High Court rejects Farmers Trust’s appeal in fresh produce competition investigation

New twist in compensation saga for dispossessed Zimbabwe farmers

By: African News Agency      10th May 2017 In a new twist in the saga over compensation of white farmers who were ejected from their farms in Zimbabwe, two groups of dispossessed landowners have emerged, one of which argues that government is not liable and should not pay for land. Invasions of white-owned farms in Zimbabwe began in 2000... 

New twist in compensation saga for dispossessed Zimbabwe farmers

As droughts worsen, phones and radios lead way to water for Niger's herders

By: Reuters     9th May 2017 When Moumouni Abdoulaye and his fellow herders in western Niger used to set off on scouting missions in search of water, they feared for their livestock - and for their own lives. Unable to rely anymore on their traditional methods of predicting the weather amid increasingly erratic droughts and... 

Agriculture sector needs to be globally competitive to survive

By: African News Agency      5th May 2017 Job losses were inevitable if the agricultural sector was not globally competitive and not supported by government, the World Economic Forum on Africa heard yesterday. Speaking on the sidelines of the WEF event in Durban, Mauricio Adade, board chairperson of Africa Improved Foods, said: “It’s... 

Saudi Arabia to host the Middle East’s first fly farm

By: Irma Venter     5th May 2017 The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is to host the Middle East’s first fly farm, following the completion of a licensing deal between Saudi technology hub Sajt and waste-to-nutrient group AgriProtein. The agreement signals the start of a new industry for the region, namely the commercial-scale... 

DAFF pledges support for a game changing NWU food and energy security project

By: Mia Breytenbach     26th April 2017 The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) has pledged its support for the SUNfarming Food & Energy project at the North-West University (NWU), in Potchefstroom, in the North West province, which promotes the growing of and provides an opportunity to grow affordable and... 

DAFF pledges support for a game changing NWU food and energy security project
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Senzeni Zokwana and Faculty of Engineering Dean Prof LJ Grobler at the SUNfarming Food & Energy project

Land Bank sets aside R1bn to support black farming investments in 2017  

By: Terence Creamer     20th April 2017 South Africa’s Land Bank has set a target of disbursing “at least” R1-billion in 2017/18 to support investments by black entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector and to begin transforming a loan book that is still overwhelmingly composed of funding to established commercial farmers. Should the... 

Land Bank sets aside R1bn to support black farming investments in 2017
Land Bank CEO TP Nchocho on plans to increase the pace and scale of support for black farmers. Camera Work: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Lionel da Silva. Recorded: 20.04.2014

Local macadamia association spreads footprint through Chinese MoU

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     18th April 2017 The South African Macadamia Grower’s Association (Samac) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the China National Industry Association’s (CSNC’s) specialised committee for nuts and roasted seeds to enhance cooperation in the nuts and roaster industries of the two countries. Signed... 

Fresh produce markets, agents critical to enabling market access – association

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     12th April 2017 The agency system of sales in the South African fresh product market is “definitely not under siege”, as suggested by the recent Competition Commission raids, say Produce Marketing Association Southern Africa GM Lindie Stroebel and ZZ2 CEO Tommie van Zyl. The commission, last month, held search... 

Fresh produce markets, agents critical to enabling market access – association

Fire damage to Western Cape agri sector nearly R200m

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     12th April 2017 The Western Cape Department of Agriculture says that, based on questionnaires distributed to farmers in the region, around R192.3-million in fire damage has been reported in the Hessequa and George regions. “We received feedback from 79 farms. The data shows that infrastructure, crops, livestock,... 

Fire damage to Western Cape agri sector nearly R200m

South Africa’s credit rating downgrade will also hit SADC region, says AgriSA

By: African News Agency      11th April 2017 AgriSA said on Tuesday that the impact of South Africa’s foreign currency credit rating downgrades was likely to be felt outside of the country’s borders and would have an impact in the Southern African region as a whole. South Africa’s foreign currency credit rating was downgraded to junk status... 

FairPlay appoints Richard Goldstone as patron, sets its sights on ending chicken dumping

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     10th April 2017 Former Constitutional Court judge Justice Richard Goldstone has joined antidumping organisation FairPlay, which was formed to oppose the illegal and job-destroying practice of selling goods below the cost of production, as its patron. FairPlay’s first project will be to focus on stopping the... 

FairPlay appoints Richard Goldstone as patron, sets its sights on ending chicken dumping

Downgrade to junk status will impact on food security – Agbiz

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     7th April 2017 Standard & Poor’s (S&P’s) decision to downgrade South Africa’s sovereign debt to junk status will have a significant impact on the country’s agribusiness sector, with a knock-on effect on consumers, agricultural business chamber Agbiz said on Friday. CEO Dr John Purchase explained that the... 

Competition Commission pursues prosecution of seed potato supplier, agent 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     4th April 2017 The Competition Commission has asked the Competition Tribunal to prosecute Netherlands-based seed potato breeder HZPC Holland and its exclusive South African distributor Wesgro Potatoes for the alleged abuse of dominance in supplying Mondial seed potatoes varietal in the country. Wesgro has an... 

Need for industry growth must be recognised

By: Robyn Wilkinson     31st March 2017 More favourable economic conditions for sugar cane production and processing need to be fostered in South Africa to protect and grow a sector that contributes an average R12-billion to the economy and provides about 350 000 jobs in the country, say industry associations the South African Cane... 

Need for industry growth must be recognised
Photo by Duane Daws
REMAINING GLOBALLY RELEVANT South Africa needs to protect its positon as a globally competitive producer of high-quality sugar

Sugar tax threatens sugar industry survival

By: Robyn Wilkinson     31st March 2017 The South African Treasury’s proposal to introduce a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) later this year threatens the sustainability and survival of a sugar industry already under strain, says South African Sugar Association (Sasa) executive director Trix Trikam. 

Western Cape budgets for drought relief

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     29th March 2017 The Western Cape government has set aside R797-million for its Department of Agriculture in the 2017/18 financial year. Of this, R47-million was allocated towards drought relief, with a special focus on emerging entrepreneurs. “In 2015, South Africa recorded its lowest rainfall in a calendar year... 

Western Cape budgets for drought relief

DAFF to assist agricultural sector increase production  

By: Anine Kilian     17th March 2017 The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) plans to boost agricultural production, which was severely affected by the drought in recent years. Addressing delegates at the Agricultural Research Symposium 2017 in Centurion, Gauteng, on Friday, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries... 

Joburg rooftop gardens bringing agriculture to heart of city living

By: Schalk Burger     17th March 2017 Food shapes the daily patterns of city life, and food production in urban and peri-urban areas is increasingly regarded as integral to resilient and sustainable city region food systems, says United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (UN FAO) director general José Graziano da Silva. “In... 

Joburg rooftop gardens bringing agriculture to heart of city living

Urban agriculture pilot project hints at potential 

     16th March 2017 The vegetable garden on the roof of the Kotze street shelter, in Braamfontein, is part of a pilot project series of urban gardens to improve food security for the more vulnerable people in the city. Schalk Burger has the story. 

Urban agriculture pilot project hints at potential
Urban agriculture pilot project hints at potential

Global agriculture innovators vie for top honours at Future Agro Challenge awards 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     13th March 2017 Two South African innovators in the agriculture industry, Reel Gardening and Meat Naturally, will on Wednesday battle it out against 48 other agripreneurs for the title of Agripreneur of the Year. As part of agriculture innovation hub Future Agro Challenge’s (FAC’s) Global Championships, held in... 

Global agriculture innovators vie for top honours at Future Agro Challenge awards
FAC co-founder Carla Tanas speaks about the background of the awards. Video and editing: Nicholas Boyd 13/03/17

Tongaat’s sugar, maize output to rise on improved rainfall

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     10th March 2017 Tongaat Hulett’s sugar production is expected to increase significantly over the next two years, as the company recovers from the adverse conditions, including drought, in the past two years. Based on good rainfall, the agriculture and agroprocessing business’s South African division is expected... 

Tongaat’s sugar, maize output to rise on improved rainfall

Government won’t allow poultry industry to be ‘decimated’ - Davies 

By: Terence Creamer     2nd March 2017 Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies is adamant that government will not stand by while its poultry industry is “decimated”, but acknowledges that there are also issues of industry competitiveness that should be addressed. Speaking this week during the Economic Sectors, Employment and... 

Government won’t allow poultry industry to be ‘decimated’ - Davies
Poultry workers and management during a recent march to the EU Delegation in Pretoria, to protest the dumping of bone-in chicken

Chicken imports contribute to 21.9% decrease in RCL Foods’ interim Ebitda

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     24th February 2017 The widely reported issues facing the domestic poultry industry have significantly decimated JSE-listed RCL Foods’ profits, with the company reporting a 21.9% decrease in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) to R900.4-million for the six months ended December... 

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

DAFF nears end of drought relief funding programme

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     20th February 2017 The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) on Monday said delivery and distribution of feed, which forms part of its R212-million drought relief programme, is almost complete in the provinces, excluding Gauteng, that were declared as drought disaster regions. The department last... 

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

Minimum wage results in certainty for agriculture sector – AgriSA

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     10th February 2017 South Africa’s agriculture sector will, as from March this year, start paying its labourers R15.39 an hour, as per the long-anticipated new national minimum wage that was announced by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa this week. “This brings certainty for agriculture regarding the remuneration... 

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

Scientists use high-tech methods to deliver accurate agricultural information

By: Schalk Burger     20th January 2017 Scientists at the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) are using high-technology methods to provide accurate information and research for the agricultural sector, such as the use of genomics to significantly and rapidly improve breeding of animals and plants, and using high precision mapping to... 

Scientists use high-tech methods to deliver accurate  agricultural information
STANDARDISED PRECIPITATION INDEX 2010 – 2014 The gradual shift in dry areas can be observed on the 36-month time scale from June 2010 to June 2014

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
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