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Agriculture News

AfDB finances cross-country power initiative, youth development in Ethiopia

By: Marleny Arnoldi     23rd July 2021 The African Development Bank (AfDB) has signed two grant agreements for new projects with the Ethiopian government, which aims to boost youth employment and electricity trade between Ethiopia and Djibouti. The grants are grouped under the bank’s concessional lending window and will comprise... 

Project management firm upgrades sugar factory

23rd July 2021 Consulting engineering and project management solutions company Bosch Projects was appointed by wattle bark miller and sugar producer UCL Company to undertake three major projects for the recent expansion at its sugar factory in Dalton, KwaZulu-Natal. Bosch Projects is a member of the... 

Photo of long tube evaporator installed at sugar factory
LONG TUBE EVAPORATOR Bosch Projects team needed to be innovative and creative in its approach to detailed engineering solutions and the application of expertise

Hybrid solar installation completed in Zimbabwe

By: Halima Frost     23rd July 2021 The active partnership between South Africa-based solar solutions provider Blockpower SA and German-managed microgrid integrator Dhybrid has resulted in the completion of a 1.4 MWp, 1 MVA, 480 kWh hybrid solar system at an agriculture estate, in Zimbabwe. The Tanganda Tea Company, which operates... 

Large solar plant at an agriculture estate Zimbabwe
OFF GRID The hybrid solar installation installed by Blockpower SA and Dhybrid was tailor made for the client in Zimbabwe

Investment event targets S Africa and Germany

By: Halima Frost     23rd July 2021 The annual Africa Financial Services Investment Conference – Investing in Africa event, known as AFSIC, organised by hosting company Africa Events Limited, will be held in London, UK, on October 11 and 12. The event provides a forum for investors, business leaders and dealmakers to build... 

Panel discussion at AFSIC Investing in Africa event
SEATED DEBATE The forums and mini country-summits will focus on highlighting investment and business opportunities in Africa

Technology at the heart of insurance in the agri industry, says Santam

By: Marleny Arnoldi     21st July 2021 Optimism in South Africa’s agricultural value chain has reached a six-year high despite the setbacks brought about by Covid-19. Insurance company Santam business development manager Hanlie Kroese says this suggests that the agricultural industry is bouncing back, although the full impact of... 

Agri SA welcomes drought disaster declaration in Cape provinces

By: Marleny Arnoldi     21st July 2021 Industry organisation Agri South Africa (Agri SA) has welcomed the national drought disaster declaration published by National Disaster Management Centre director Dr Mmaphaka Tau on July 20. This follows urgent requests from farmers in drought-stricken areas of the Western, Northern and Eastern... 


ERG’s agriculture programme bears fruit for communities in the DRC

By: Marleny Arnoldi     20th July 2021 Communities near Eurasian Resources Group’s (ERG’s) Frontier mine, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), have been benefiting from the company’s agricultural development project called Chawama. The project involves equipping local farmers with the technical, business and marketing know-how... 

Vinpro confirms hearing date for interim interdict application after issues

By: Marleny Arnoldi     20th July 2021 Industry body Vinpro confirms that a court date has been set for July 21, in the Western Cape High Court, to hear its urgent interim interdict application. This follows various postponements and, most recently, Vinpro being notified that the court would not hear this application, owing to two... 

Association confirms unrest had little impact on citrus exports

By: Marleny Arnoldi     19th July 2021 Citrus growers in Mpumalanga and Limpopo have been diverting their fruit to other ports across the country in the wake of delays and disruption at the Durban port, as well as on routes in Gauteng, but the situation is normalising. While the citrus value chain has been impacted to some extent,... 


Agri SA says civil unrest threatens food security, exports 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     16th July 2021 Agri SA president Pierre Vercueil says the mass looting and general civil unrest prevailing in South Africa has affected the agricultural sector, particularly in KwaZulu-Natal. “Solutions can not take not take weeks, but must be implemented as soon as possible, because we have perishable... 

SIDS fast-tracks infrastructure- boosting projects

16th July 2021 As part of the Sustainable Infrastructure Development System (SIDS) methodology launched last year, the government announced 50 projects, along with 12 special projects, that the methodology has already been applied to. These projects were fast-tracked for implementation along with all regulatory... 

INTERCHANGE Transport sector has 15 SIDS projects across the country
INTERCHANGE Transport sector has 15 SIDS projects across the country

Various services available to sugar mills

16th July 2021 Engineering components company BMG is working closely with KwaZulu-Natal’s sugar mill engineers in the industry’s off-crop period to refurbish and replace worn components in preparation for high productivity in the upcoming season. Original-equipment manufacturer (OEM) Dorstener brand gearboxes... 

BMG has designed, fabricated and installed new carriers, reducing the normal 24-week delivery period to only four weeks
CARRY ON BMG has designed, fabricated and installed new carriers, reducing the normal 24-week delivery period to only four weeks

Draft mandate clarifies TWG’s directive

By: Nadine Ramdass     16th July 2021 The mandate document submitted by the agricultural and agroprocessing sector’s Technical Working Group (TWG), clarifies the core mandates of the sector’s group. This is in line with the Sustainable Infrastructure Development System (SIDS) objectives of facilitating sustainable development. The... 

Long-term sector growth can increase exports
LAUNCH OF GRAIN EXPORT Long-term sector growth can increase exports

IoT use in South Africa to grow by 14% a year to 2025

By: Schalk Burger     15th July 2021 The use of Internet of Things (IoT) in South Africa is expected to grow by 14% a year from 2020 to 2025, says information and communications technology market research firm IDC Middle East, Africa and Turkey associate VP for sub-Saharan Africa Mark Walker. He notes that IoT adoption is expected... 

Canegrowers call on government to declare a state of emergency

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     14th July 2021 Industry organisation the South African Canegrowers Association is calling on government to declare a state of emergency and to immediately deploy more South African National Defence Force troops to bring law and order in hotspot areas, following the outbreak of violence in KwaZulu-Natal and... 

United Nations’ agri fund zooms in on private sector SMEs in Africa

By: Marleny Arnoldi     14th July 2021 The United Nations’ International Fund for Agricultural Development (Ifad) has launched a new financing programme that will help aid rural businesses in the food systems of the world’s poorest countries. The Private Sector Financing Programme aims to spearhead an increase in much-needed private... 

South Africa unrest hits farming, threatens food supply

By: Reuters     13th July 2021 South African farmers have been hit by days of unrest and looting as trucks carrying produce are prevented from delivering to markets, threatening food supplies, industry officials said. Crowds have this week clashed with police and ransacked shopping malls, with dozens reported killed as... 

Tongaat progresses turnaround strategy, despite headwinds

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     13th July 2021 JSE-listed Tongaat Hulett’s results for the year ended March 31 showed continued progress in the turnaround strategy, notwithstanding some headwinds along the way and a challenging trading environment arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, the company says. Revenue from continuing operations... 

Ivorian engineer wins Royal Academy award for biowaste innovation

By: Schalk Burger     9th July 2021 Côte d'Ivoire chemical engineer Noël N’guessan has won the Royal Academy of Engineering’s 2021 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation. He developed biowaste equipment for smallholder farmers in West Africa to efficiently manage and generate income from biowaste. 

Tobacco associations demand action against illicit cigarette trade

By: Marleny Arnoldi     9th July 2021 Illegal cigarette manufacturing is increasingly impacting on legitimate tobacco farmers, processors and cigarette manufactures, says the South Africa Tobacco Transformation Alliance (Satta). The extent of this damage has been exposed in a research report into illegal cigarette trading by market... 


Wine industry in a dire position, Vinpro study shows

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     8th July 2021 The South African wine industry is at a tipping point, with many wine businesses, especially smaller companies and those under black ownership, facing potential closure in the next three to twelve months owing to the recurring bans on the sale of alcohol. According to the ‘Impact of Covid-19 on... 

AfDB commits to building agri value chains in Côte d'Ivoire

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th July 2021 The African Development Bank (AfDB) has committed its support to Côte d'Ivoire in building agricultural value chains to create more jobs and make economic growth more inclusive. Particularly, the bank will support the Ivorian government in the creation of agricultural value chains in banana,... 

Vinpro dismayed court will not hear its urgent interim interdict application

By: Marleny Arnoldi     7th July 2021 Industry body Vinpro has advised that its urgent interim interdict application to lift the ban on wine sales in the Western Cape will not be heard. The interim interdict application was confirmed to be heard on July 7, after being postponed from the initial date of July 2, after Vinpro launched... 

Tongaat, KZN govt partnership benefits sugarcane growers

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     5th July 2021 Operation Sakhinzuzo, a R74-million six-year development programme funded by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA) and agribusiness Tongaat Hulett, has, after five years, delivered benefits for 287 small-scale sugarcane growers on the... 

Hearing to decide on allowing wine sales in the Western Cape set for next week

By: Marleny Arnoldi     2nd July 2021 Industry body Vinpro has advised that the hearing it was due to have in the Western Cape High Court against national government has been postponed to some time in the week of July 5. The matter was initially set to be heard on July 2, after Vinpro filed an urgent interdict application on June... 

Renewable energy becomes an increasingly tangible option for farmers 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     29th June 2021 The agricultural sector spends about R146-billion on intermediate goods and electricity accounts for about 94% of that cost, says industry body Agri SA chief economist Kulani Siweya. This is helping to drive the adoption of renewable energy in the sector, as the country continues to implement... 

Nedbank national agriculture head John Hudson
Nedbank national agriculture head John Hudson discusses renewable energy considerations for farmers

Vinpro seeks to have alcohol sales ban lifted for the Western Cape 

By: Simone Liedtke     29th June 2021 Agricultural association Vinpro has launched an urgent interim interdict application to lift the ban on the sale of wine in the Western Cape in a bid to seek interim relief for wine businesses. “The latest ban of two weeks that has now been imposed follows on 19 weeks of revenue loss over the... 

CSIR researchers producing products from indigenous plants

By: Schalk Burger     28th June 2021 Researchers from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have and continue to develop commercial products using indigenous plants, and have helped the holders of indigenous plant products, communities and traditional healers to produce these products at the same scale, safety... 

Agri SA requests clarity on restricted auctions

By: Marleny Arnoldi     28th June 2021 Industry organisation Agri SA is seeking greater clarity on the ban of gatherings at auctions in the latest set of regulations, since South Africa returned to Level 4 lockdown on June 28. “Does it mean that auctions may take place but people may not gather together? Which auctions are... 

Invicta records solid full-year results amid many positive changes

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     28th June 2021 Investment holding and management company Invicta Holdings, consisting of the Engineering Solutions Group (ESG), the Capital Equipment Group (CEG) and the Kian Ann Group (KAG), based in Singapore, reported good results for the year ended March 31, during a period of considerable changes. “The... 

Omniolytics using IBM to provide data platform for African poultry farmers

By: Schalk Burger     25th June 2021 Agriculture digital technologies startup Omniolytics is helping to transform poultry farming through digital platforms that use sensors and information technology multinational IBM Watson running in the IBM Cloud, IBM said on June 24. The poultry industry is faced with a number challenges ranging... 

Tongaat results delayed owing to debt restructure negotiations

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     25th June 2021 JSE-listed Tongaat Hulett has postponed the publication of its financial results owing to continuing debt restructure negotiations. The group anticipates that it will now release its results for the period on or about July 13, instead of June 30 as previously planned. 

Hudaco reports solid interim trading performance, but port inefficiencies a concern 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th June 2021 Automotive, industrial and electrical consumable products supplier Hudaco has posted an operating profit of R357-million for the six months ended May 31, which is a notable 351% growth compared with the operating profit posted for the six months ended May 31, 2020. The company has advised... 

Hudaco CEO Graham Dunford
Photo by Creamer Media
Hudaco CEO Graham Dunford

Pilot Crushtec, Metso extend partnership to provide security for customers  

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     25th June 2021 Mining and quarrying equipment specialist Pilot Crushtec has renewed its distributorship with minerals and metals processing technology company Metso Outotec in Southern Africa for five years, building on a successful five years of representing the company. Speaking to Engineering News & Mining... 

Pilot Crushtec sales and marketing director Francois Marais
Pilot Crushtec sales and marketing director Francois Marais

Drone technology use on the rise in the wake of Covid-19

By: Simone Liedtke     24th June 2021 There has been a considerable increase in the use of drone technology across various scenarios in the wake of the global Covid-19 pandemic, with drones proving to be “of immense assistance”, says mapping service provider Southern Mapping’s Jaco Wiesner. He explains that the integration of... 

Panel unpacks what is necessary to increase Africa’s agricultural productivity 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     23rd June 2021 Given Africa’s rapidly growing population, demand for food is set to escalate dramatically in the medium term, creating new growth opportunities in agriculture. By 2030, 20% of the world’s population is expected to be in Africa. The growing population will place immense pressure on Africa’s... 

Illovo, Jobs Fund project benefitting community  

23rd June 2021 Four years in, the Small-Scale Grower Cane Development project has recorded notable successes, with over 860 sustainable jobs created and 3 000 ha of cane developed on communal land owned by small-scale growers. Tasneem Bulbulia elaborates. 

Illovo, Jobs Fund project benefitting community
Illovo, Jobs Fund project benefitting community
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