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Farming Economics News

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

Ghost tomato factory showcase for Nigeria's farming problems

By: Reuters     30th August 2017 At a state-of-the-art plant in northern Nigeria, shiny machines stand next to a conveyor belt ready to crush tomatoes to satisfy the country's insatiable demand for tomato paste. But a lonely cleaner mopping the floor is the only sign of activity in Nigeria's biggest tomato factory, equipped with... 

Ghost tomato factory showcase for Nigeria's farming problems
Dangote Group founder and CEO Aliko Dangote

South Africa's crop committee raises record maize estimate by 2.7%

By: Reuters     29th August 2017 South Africa will harvest 16.413-million tonnes of maize this season, the biggest crop on record after improved weather conditions across the maize belt boosted yields, the government's Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) said on Tuesday. The estimate is up 2.7% from the CEC's July forecast of... 

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

Suspected avian flu outbreak in Western Cape

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th August 2017 Two ostrich farms in the Heidelberg area of the Western Cape have been placed under quarantine as authorities work to determine the possibility of an outbreak of the now widely-spread H5N8 avian influenza. The Western Cape Department of Agriculture is leading the investigations to confirm if the... 

Agricultural irrigation efficiency framework improves water use

By: Robyn Wilkinson     11th August 2017 Through intensive research, the Agricultural Research Council’s Institute for Agricultural Engineering has developed a framework to improve water efficiency in agricultural irrigation systems in South Africa, which reassesses the methods traditionally used to measure a system’s efficiency and... 

Agricultural irrigation efficiency framework improves water use
STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT With effective water management and good subsurface drainage, soil health conditions can be created for irrigation farming to assist with food security in South Africa

AgriProtein assessing two new fly-farming sites in South Africa

By: Irma Venter     11th August 2017 Waste-to-nutrient group AgriProtein will expand its presence in South Africa with two new fly-farming sites, while also growing its research and development function in the country, says CEO Jason Drew. AgriProtein started operations in Cape Town in 2015, launching the world’s first... 

Creative farming methods ensure sustainability

By: Robyn Wilkinson     11th August 2017 Amid extreme weather, regulatory barriers and import competition, South African farmers need to think creatively about farming practices – not only to reduce costs but also preserve an environment that is struggling under the pressures of a growing global population, says agriculture... 

Creative farming methods  ensure sustainability
PLANT PROTECTION Haygrove’s multispan polytunnel structure provides a controlled environment for the aquaponic and hydroponic systems

Equipment drives farming sustainability

By: Robyn Wilkinson     11th August 2017 Forward-thinking livestock farmers who are willing to embrace the use of new equipment in their operations will forge a way forward amid the economic and ecological hardships facing South Africa’s agricultural industry, says Johannesburg-based industrial equipment provider Vermeer Equipment... 

Equipment drives  farming sustainability
BETTER FEED The Vermeer R2300 basket rake ensures a cleaner forage, increasing the production value of dairy and beef cattle

Small farms an economical option in South Africa

By: Robyn Wilkinson     11th August 2017 While many medium-sized farms have been unable to weather the challenges facing the South African agricultural industry and have consequently been absorbed by larger commercial farms, smaller farmers are proving that it is possible to generate a sustainable income from a modest operation through... 

Small farms an economical option in South Africa
MAXIMUM BENEFIT Hinomoto’s small-scale tractors ensure that farmland is used in the most efficient way possible, maximising yield sizes

Stakeholder support integral to urban farming in S Africa

By: Robyn Wilkinson     11th August 2017 While the appetite for urban farming exists in South Africa, more needs to be done to motivate stakeholders from both the private and public sectors to play a role in creating and growing successful projects that can be translated into sustainable investments, say engineering and infrastructure... 

Stakeholder support  integral to urban  farming in S Africa
Photo by Bloomberg
MODERN FARMING Wheat grass and other leafy greens are being grown in vertical farming units in China created out of retrofitted shipping containers

Think-tank hands over title deeds to residents of Western Cape town  

By: Ilan Solomons     11th August 2017 Think tank the Free Market Foundation’s (FMF’s) Khaya Lam land reform project last month handed over the latest batch of title deeds to residents in the town of Grabouw, in the Western Cape, thereby taking the project’s total title deed handover tally to 1 360. Khaya Lam project manager Perry... 

Think-tank hands over title deeds to residents of Western Cape town
Khaya Lam Land Reform project manager Perry Feldman discusses the Free Market Foundation’s project.

Western Cape’s agricultural growth to drive economy

By: Robyn Wilkinson     11th August 2017 Supported by the Western Cape government’s strategic initiatives to help farmers grow their crops – and their market share – the province’s official tourism, trade and investment agency Wesgro has successfully committed investments in the Western Cape agricultural sector of R1.56-billion over the... 

Western Cape’s agricultural growth to drive economy
Photo by Bloomberg
UNIQUE ENVIRONMENT The Western Cape plays a key role in South Africa’s agricultural sector, with a unique rainfall pattern allowing for a mixture of agricultural activities

Agriculture a significant growth area for Africa

By: Anine Kilian     31st July 2017 Agriculture is the largest economic growth sector for Africa, New Partnership for Africa's Development business foundation CEO Lynette Chen said at the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Industrialisation Week on Monday. She pointed out that less than 10% of arable land in Africa was... 

US farm equipment maker looking to Africa for future growth

By: Dylan Slater     28th July 2017 US-based agricultural equipment manufacturer and supplier Agco is directing a large portion of its future growth potential into Africa, specifically South Africa, as a key market going forward.  

US farm equipment maker looking to Africa for future growth
FUTURE FARM One of Agco’s Future Farm’s responsibilities is to teach aspiring tractor technicians how to service Agco-distributed tractors

With drought threatening food security, farmers turn to drip irrigation 

By: Anine Kilian     21st July 2017 With the recent drought in Southern Africa compounding the unpredictable impact of climate change on food production, local farmers are converting to drip irrigation in an attempt to conserve water, using less to produce more, according to Crookes Brother’s Limited (CBL) MD Guy Clarke. During a... 

With drought threatening food security, farmers turn to drip irrigation

Sugar industry to make the most of yield recovery

By: Robyn Wilkinson     21st July 2017 As KwaZulu-Natal’s sugar cane growers start to recover from the effects of the drought, the South African Canegrowers’ Association (SA Canegrowers) is urging the industry to remain resilient and look for opportunities to diversify their operations. 

Sugar industry to make the most of yield recovery
BOUNCING BACK The SA Canegrowers board of directors is optimistic about the 2017/18 season, with improved rainfall set to improve production levels

Farmers still face headwinds despite return to growth

By: David Oliveira     14th July 2017 Despite the recent positive news from Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) indicating that the agriculture sector had increased 22.2% in the first quarter of 2017 and that a record maize harvest is on the horizon for this year, the recent sovereign downgrades by credit agencies and news that the... 

SAB invests R2.8bn in expanding Gauteng breweries

By: Anine Kilian     11th July 2017 Multinational beverage and brewing company Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB-InBev) subsidiary South African Breweries (SAB) will invest R2.8-billion into brewery expansions, including two new packaging lines for returnable glass bottles, at its Alrode and Rosslyn breweries, in Gauteng. During a media... 

SAB invests R2.8bn in expanding Gauteng breweries
AB-InBev Africa president Ricardo Tadeu

South Africa faces land reform dilemma, partnership is key

By: Natasha Odendaal     5th July 2017 South Africa is facing a land reform dilemma, with the redistribution of land having progressed well below expectations and with much of the land already transferred falling into an economic abyss. Of the estimated 5.9-million hectares of functional farms that had been transferred, up to 90% have... 

South Africa faces land reform dilemma, partnership is key

Learning from, replicating land reform successes a better option than land grabs – Hanekom

By: Natasha Odendaal     5th July 2017 Expropriation of land without compensation will result in serious damage to the economy and is fundamentally unjust, Member of Parliament and former Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom reiterated on Wednesday. Speaking at the Agribusiness Africa conference, in Kempton Park, he said that while the... 

Learning from, replicating land reform successes a better option than land grabs – Hanekom
Photo by Duane Daws
Derek Hanekom

Fly-farm venture mulls two more SA sites, appoints heavy hitters as it expands

By: Irma Venter     4th July 2017 Waste-to-nutrient group AgriProtein will expand its presence in South Africa with two new fly-farming sites, while also growing its research and development function in the country, says CEO Jason Drew. AgriProtein started operations in Cape Town in 2015, launching the world’s first... 

Fly-farm venture mulls two more SA sites, appoints heavy hitters as it expands

DTI to implement policy interventions to curb poultry industry losses

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     28th June 2017 Rather than make findings on the current state of the poultry industry and the ongoing challenges it faces owing to the dumping of imported chicken products, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), together with the government-led Poultry Task Team, which was established in January, would... 

Govt launches R1bn agroprocessing investment support programme

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     28th June 2017 Government’s R1-billion agroprocessing support scheme (APSS), aimed at supporting brown- and greenfield investments in the local industry, was launched by Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies at the Africa Big 7 Food Forum and Saitex, in Midrand, on Wednesday. The APSS further seeks to... 

Omnia FY17 results pinched by tough economy

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     27th June 2017 Chemicals producer Omnia on Tuesday reported a drop in headline earnings a share to 881c for the year ended March 31, from 944c in the prior financial year, owing to a tough economic environment. This resulted in an 8% drop in its profit before tax, to R856-million. 

Omnia FY17 results pinched by tough economy
Photo by Duane Daws
Omnia chairperson Rod Humphris

Rooibos Limited faces abuse of dominance charge

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     19th June 2017 South Africa’s largest rooibos producer Rooibos Limited has been referred to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution, for allegedly abusing its dominance and engaging in uncompetitive behaviour. Historically, rooibos tea processors obtained their supply from farmers through one-year supply... 

Rooibos Limited faces abuse of dominance charge

Agribusiness confidence index remains in expansionary territory despite marginal Q2 decline

By: Anine Kilian     12th June 2017 The Agbiz/ Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) Agribusiness Confidence Index declined by one Index point to 56 points in the second quarter of this year. Despite the slight decline in confidence, the sector remains in expansionary territory. 

Department of Public Works to hand over land to black farmers

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     12th June 2017 Public Works Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko has handed over letters of intent to grant property rights to 30 emerging black farmers in Tafelkop, in Limpopo, with four pieces of land, amounting to 220 ha, having been subdivided into farming plots. The beneficiaries of the land will use the properties... 

Department of Public Works to hand over land to black farmers

Grain SA starts aid initiative to assist farmers

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     9th June 2017 Grain SA has launched a drought aid project aimed at collecting at least 15 000 t of white or yellow maize from its grain-producing members to be distributed to livestock farmers over three to four months. This follows an initiative launched by a group of farmers in the Hoopstad area to raise... 

Grain SA starts aid initiative to assist farmers

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

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... 

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