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Agriculture News

Africa digital agriculture needs growth-stage capital and robust, scalable business models

By: Schalk Burger     26th January 2022 Digital technologies in agriculture have the potential to transform Africa’s food systems to deliver better livelihoods for farmers, high-quality and more consistent ingredients for processors and healthy and sustainable diets for consumers. However, without adequate growth-stage capital and a... 

Food inflation decelerating but there are upside risks for 2022

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th January 2022 In its latest “Food Inflation Brief”, the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) has reported that food and non-alcoholic beverages price inflation came to 5.5% in December, in year-on-year terms. In month-on-month terms, the increase was 0.5%. For food alone, the year-on-year inflation... 

South Africa’s heaviest rain on record causes destructive floods

By: Bloomberg     25th January 2022 Large parts of South Africa’s most important farming provinces have been soaked by unprecedented rain, causing floods and crop damage and adding to concern that climate change is making weather cycles more erratic. Many districts across six of the country’s nine provinces experienced the most... 

Smaller wine grape harvest expected in South Africa this year

By: Darren Parker     24th January 2022 Wine industry association Vinpro has announced that many South African wine grape producers are expecting a smaller-than-usual wine grape crop. This forecast for the imminent harvest season – which typically runs from January to April – is based on the second of four crop estimates issued by... 

Shoprite, SA Canegrowers partner to encourage use of locally-produced sugar

By: Schalk Burger     24th January 2022 Retailer Shoprite Group has partnered with industry body the South African Cane Growers Association (SA Canegrowers) to prioritise the sale of locally produced sugar in its 1 189 Shoprite, Checkers, Checkers Hyper and Usave supermarkets in South Africa. This forms part of SA Canegrowers' Home... 

South African wine industry resilient, adopting tools to be more sustainable, competitive

By: Schalk Burger     21st January 2022 The South African wine industry was hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic and will take a few years to fully recover, but wine businesses are changing the way they do business and the industry has fast-tracked tools aimed at becoming more robust, adaptable, competitive and sustainable, wine industry... 

Unitrans Africa acquires crop-spraying drones as it pursues cost, enviro and other advantages

By: Irma Venter     21st January 2022 Unitrans Africa has acquired a fleet of the world’s largest spraying drones. The seven Chinese-made DJI T30 Agras drones were developed at a cost of more than R400-million. The T30 drones are already in operation in Malawi and Mozambique, with results exceeding expectations in terms of spraying... 

Zimbabwe export farm's 510 kW solar PV and 1 MWh battery powering packhouse, cold storage

By: Schalk Burger     20th January 2022 A 510 kW and 1 MWh solar photovoltaic (PV) and battery storage installation to power the packhouse and cold store facilities of Zimbabwean agricultural company Nhimbe Fresh has started generating electricity. The $1.4-million project was funded through a crowd-sale completed by solar leasing... 

South Africa declares national disaster after rain, flood damage

By: Bloomberg     20th January 2022 South Africa has declared a national disaster after torrential rains in several parts of the country resulted in deaths, flooding and damage to property and infrastructure, according to a notice in the Government Gazette. Declaring a national disaster lays the basis for financial and humanitarian... 

Water drops on a window

Tongaat defies small investors on R4bn rights issue

By: Bloomberg     19th January 2022 Tongaat Hulett won approval for a R4-billion rights issue to help keep the South African sugar maker afloat, in defiance of small investors who said the move hands too much power to a little-known new backer. The 132-year-old company secured the required support for the discounted fundraising... 

A generic image of sugar

Potential impact of excessive rain on food prices uncertain for now

By: Marleny Arnoldi     17th January 2022 As farmers are exasperated from watching excessive rainfall damage their crops, consumers may also suffer from higher food prices in the near future. However, the exact impact on plantings and crops is yet to be determined.  

Grain in hand

Grain SA worried about excessive rainfall impacts on grain harvests

By: Marleny Arnoldi     14th January 2022 Industry body Grain South Africa (Grain SA) says grain production in South Africa went from experiencing extreme drought in recent years to excessive rainfall in certain areas of the country currently. Although producers are always grateful for rain, the season so far has created many... 


Vergelegen wine estate tests environment-friendly gum poles

By: Schalk Burger     14th January 2022 Wine producer Vergelegen Wine Estate, in Somerset West, is testing a new concept – environment-friendly eucalyptus poles that have not been chemically treated – in some of its vineyards The untreated poles have been installed in two blocks of vineyards, extending over 3.55 ha. These are planted... 

Vergelegen Wine Estate viticulturist Rudolf Kriel
Vergelegen Wine Estate viticulturist Rudolf Kriel

Govt stifles tech development, trade through misplaced assessment framework, say agribusinesses

By: Marleny Arnoldi     13th January 2022 Agricultural organisations the Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz), CropLife South Africa and the South African National Seed Organisation (Sansor) say government is stifling the development of new breeding technologies (NBTs) by deciding to evaluate them under the risk assessment framework for... 

Opinion: The ocean economy is integral to the revival of the Eastern Cape's habitability

12th January 2022 With its immense resource wealth and potential to boost economic growth, employment and innovation, the ocean in the Eastern Cape could become the new economic frontier, writes Nelson Mandela University Infrastructure Development & Engagement Unit associate Bongani Mankewu. 

Bongani Mankewu

Bayer launches testing platform for pioneering agri scientists

By: Marleny Arnoldi     12th January 2022 Global pharmaceuticals and life sciences company Bayer has launched a new programme called Testing4Ag, which allows research scientists from around the world to submit novel chemistries to Bayer for testing in the hopes of identifying potential new modes of action to control fungal diseases,... 

Bayer logo

Tanzanian agri firm undergoes rebrand

By: Marleny Arnoldi     10th January 2022 Agricultural firm Grosso Foods has undergone a rebrand to Grosso Africa to coincide with its strategic expansion plans. The Tanzania-based company distributes conservation agriculture equipment and smart farming solutions.  


AfDB approves $47m grant for Mozambique agro-industrial processing zone

By: Schalk Burger     5th January 2022 Development finance institution the African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a $47.09-million grant for the first phase of Mozambique’s Pemba-Lichinga Integrated Development Corridor, a special agro-industrial processing zone, the bank said on January 5. The grant, from the African... 

CHEP pallet rental solution reduces Clover's carbon emissions

By: Schalk Burger     14th December 2021 Supply chain solutions company CHEP rents out and reuses 345-million wooden pallets used in the transportation of goods, which reduce costs and minimise environmental impact. The reuse model makes business sense, said CHEP South Africa customer relationship manager Celeste Enoch. 

Godongwana appoints Land Bank chair, senior Finance Ministry execs

By: Schalk Burger     10th December 2021 Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana has appointed Thabi Nkosi as the nonexecutive chairperson of the Land and Agricultural Development Bank (Land Bank). He also appointed Pamela Mondliwa as his special adviser on economic policy and Nokwanda Mahori as the Parliamentary liaison to the Ministry of... 

Tongaat outlines unrest-related cost; reports interim net loss

By: Donna Slater     9th December 2021 JSE-listed sugarcane and maize producer Tongaat Hulett’s operating profit for the six months ended September 30 fell by 23% year-on-year to R1.3-billion. This movement mainly reflects the impact of lower sugar production in the company’s South African operation, increased expenses in Zimbabwe... 

An image of a Tongaat Hulett Sugar Cane Truck
A Tongaat Hulett sugar cane truck

First wine grape crop estimate for 2022 looks good – Vinpro

By: Simone Liedtke     7th December 2021 South African wine grape producers expect a good, but somewhat smaller, 2022 wine grape crop following a favourable and healthy season. This according to the first of four crop estimates to be issued by viticulturists and producer cellars, agricultural association Vinpro said on December 7. 

Tongaat refinances South African debt

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     7th December 2021 JSE-listed Tongaat Hulett has completed the refinancing of its existing South African debt facilities, including its remaining term debt, working capital facilities, a revolving credit facility and overdraft facilities. With the support of the South African lenders, the maturity of the existing... 

Tongaat reports interim loss, despite progress in turnaround strategy

By: Simone Liedtke     6th December 2021 Agriculture and agroprocessing business Tongaat Hulett has continued to make steady progress in the implementation of its turnaround strategy and in restoring the group on a sustainable growth path. During the six months ended September 30, the group experienced strong local demand across all... 

Service centre assists in optimisation solutions

By: Nadine Ramdass     3rd December 2021 Engineering solutions provider BMG’s Regional Service Centre (RSC) in Riverhorse Valley, KwaZulu-Natal, plays a critical role in the sugar sector by providing engineering solutions designed to optimise productivity for sugar growers and millers. “Our dedicated service centre, which focuses on... 

An image of BMGKZN field service team assisting with sgar diffuser
OPERATION EFFICIENCY BMG's services assist in enuring sugar processing plants are prepared for high productivity season

Sugar master plan to help ailing industry

By: Nadine Ramdass     3rd December 2021 With the South African sugar industry having experienced various challenges in the past few years, the Sugarcane Value Chain Master Plan 2030 aims to address some challenges and assist with the industry’s growth. Over the past 20 years, local yearly sugar production has declined by nearly 25%,... 

An image of SASA executive director Trix Trikam
TRIX TRIKAM Sugarcane Value Chain Master Plan 2030 to set to address industry challenges

Heat transfer tech offers more bang for buck

By: Nadine Ramdass     3rd December 2021 Thermal engineering solutions company Industrial Water Cooling (IWC) has partnered with Canada-based developer, designer and manufacturer Solex Thermal Science to distribute Solex’s technology to Southern Africa to cool, heat or condition bulk solid products, for example sugar. Using fluid bed... 

An image of IWC's sugar cooler
COOLING DOWN IWC has partnered with Solex to distribute heat transfer technology

July riots temporarily halt sugar production

By: Nadine Ramdass     3rd December 2021 KwaZulu-Natal is a primary location for South Africa’s sugar production and the riots in July resulted in sugar production coming to a halt. Although sugar producer Tongaat Hulett Sugar South Africa was one of many businesses affected by the riots, Tongaat Hulett Sugar South Africa MD Dave... 

An image of a Storage unit at Tongaat Hulett
TEAM WORK Tongaat Hulett employees came together to protect Tongaat Hulett operations during the riots

Sugar factory expansion earns excellence award

By: Nadine Ramdass     3rd December 2021 Consulting engineering and project management company Bosch Projects was named a joint winner in the 2021 CESA Aon Engineering Excellence Awards, for the UCL 175 TCH Factory Expansion Project, in the category of projects valued between R50-million and R250-million. “This annual awards programme,... 

An image of Strike Recievers installed in the project
EXPANDING CAPACITY The expansion project was necessary for UCL to meet its season requirements

South African food security linked to innovation, improving productivity in agriculture 

By: Schalk Burger     2nd December 2021 South Africa's food security is linked to the competitiveness of its agricultural production. Therefore, improving productivity through innovation and global best practices will support food security amid challenges, including climate change, local electricity and water supply constraints, as... 

A farm in the Eastern Cape

CSIR's initial circular economy study shows potential to create economy-wide value

By: Schalk Burger     26th November 2021 The initial findings from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research's (CSIR's) Science, Technology and Innovation for a Circular Economy (STI4CE) study shows that transitioning to a more circular economy has the potential to create value across all sectors of the economy. There are also... 

Invicta reports strong interim results

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     26th November 2021 Invicta Holdings, the investment management company of the Engineering Solutions Group (ESG), Capital Equipment Group (CEG) and Kian Ann Group (KAG) based in Singapore, has reported a strong set of results for the six months ended September 30. CEO Steven Joffe tells Engineering News that,... 

Mahindra launches new tractor, farm equipment range in South Africa

By: Irma Venter     26th November 2021 Mahindra South Africa (SA) has launched a new range of tractors and farm equipment in the domestic market.  Mahindra SA says these products will be introduced in a phased manner.  

Image of Mahindra tractors

Green economy will drive inclusive economic growth, social upliftment – Nedbank

By: Schalk Burger     25th November 2021 Financial services company Nedbank on November 25 launched its revised corporate social investment (CSI) strategy, which will focus on the green economy elements of agriculture, water, energy and waste, in recognition that a green economy approach is a key enabler of economic growth, social... 

TWK to list shares on A2X

By: Schalk Burger     23rd November 2021 Cape Town Stock Exchange- (CTSE-) listed diversified agricultural and related industries company TWK Investments will also list its shares for trade on A2X Markets stock exchange. The collaboration between the CTSE and the A2X means that listed companies, for the first time, will be able to... 

Food price inflation moderates somewhat in October

By: Schalk Burger     19th November 2021 Inflation on food and non-alcoholic beverages (NAB) for October was 6.1%, a slight moderation from September levels. Among food categories that exhibited the most significant inflation, oils and fats increased by 20.9% year-on-year, meat by 9.1% and vegetables by 7.2%, mainly driven by high... 

ETGL expands its logistics business into tractor, motorbike sectors

By: Irma Venter     19th November 2021 ETG Logistics (ETGL) has announced that it is expanding its product and service offering to the farming and automotive sectors. ETGL is the logistics vertical of ETG, a global conglomerate with business interests across various industries. 

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