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Agriculture News

Peaceful use of nuclear tech underscores its value to Africa’s developmental needs

By: Simone Liedtke     Updated 1 hour 52 minutes ago The development and peaceful use of nuclear technology could further underscore its value by helping to meet Africa’s developmental needs, says African Commission on Nuclear Energy (Afcone) executive secretary Messaoud Baaliouamer. He says the safe and peaceful use of nuclear technology has... 

Offering diversified with new crop input solution

By: Tracy Hancock     7th August 2020 Environmental management company I-CAT will soon launch agricultural and forestry input solution Cyflo, as part of its product offering, targeting existing and potential clients, says I-CAT Planting Business Unit head Rachelle Botha. The product was developed by diagnostic agronomist Charl Marais... 

Offering diversified with new crop input solution
ENHANCED EFFECT Cyflo effects cellular permeability of agricultural remedies and fertilisers, and significantly improves their efficacy

Smart-Farming initiative supports food security

7th August 2020 Engineering solutions company BMG’s Boer Slim and/or Smart-Farming agricultural team works closely with farmers throughout Southern Africa, assisting them with the selection, installation and operation of new electromechanical systems. These projects are designed to improve efficiencies, reduce... 

Smart-Farming initiative supports food security
SMART-FARMING INITIATIVE BMG’s agricultural team works closely with farmers throughout Southern Africa, assisting them with the selection, installation and operation of new electromechanical systems

Agricultural engineers are an endangered species

By: Tracy Hancock     7th August 2020 The agricultural industry remains key to the development of South Africa and addressing the country’s prevalent unemployment issues, but local agricultural engineers are a scarce breed, says South African Institute of Agricultural Engineers (SAIAE) VP Thabo Mavundza. “Despite the drought, water... 

Agricultural engineers are  an endangered species
DIRECTING DEVELOPMENTS The need to improve the efficiency of water and energy use, coupled with the introduction of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, are shaping agricultural engineering innovations in South Africa

New interface’s mobile version coming soon

By: Tracy Hancock     7th August 2020 Data-driven agricultural solutions provider SupPlant has launched a new user interface for its decision support system (DSS), with a mobile version to follow, enabling farmers to keep an eye on their crops wherever they are. The Israeli company first entered the South African market when it... 

New interface’s mobile version coming soon
ADVANCING AGRICULTURE The new platform makes all the data from SupPlant’s sensors, such as the first continuous measurement fruit sensor on Macadamia fruit in South Africa, easily accessible and understood

Mobile factories reduce time, costs

By: Cameron Mackay     7th August 2020 Agricultural processing equipment supplier Dryers for Africa supplies containerised processing factories fitted with agricultural dryer units which enable clients without access to a factory to buy a mobile factory with the required components and equipment prefitted, reducing installation costs... 

Mobile factories reduce time, costs
ACCESS TO INFRASTRUCTURE Small-scale farming can be encouraged to provide produce for the containerised factory, which comes prefitted with dryer units

Sector welcomes bearing distributor’s new products

By: Tracy Hancock     7th August 2020 Demand for the agriculture-specific products offered by Southern Africa bearings and power transmission products distributor Bearings International (BI) is slowly picking up now that lockdown restriction have eased, says agriculture business development leader Gerhard Pienaar. In addition, there... 

Sector welcomes bearing distributor’s new products
HANDY RANGE Bearings International has seen a huge increase in demand for its range of Grippaz hand gloves and has increased its stockholding

Pump rentals effective contingency plan to ensure food security

By: Tracy Hancock     7th August 2020 When a pump used for agricultural applications fails, it poses a significant risk to the food production cycle, revenue generation and, ultimately, the food supply chain during a time when South Africa is facing food-security pressure. The local agriculture industry cannot afford to lose crops... 

Pump rentals effective contingency plan to ensure food security
MEETING MARKET DEMANDS Rand-Air offer diesel-driven pumps for when power is not available at the source that meet the needs of the undersupplied market for high-head pumps

‘Soil conditioner’ production keeps manufacturer bustling

By: Tracy Hancock     7th August 2020 The processing facility of manufacturer and minerals producer Pratley has been significantly busy producing Pratley Vulture Creek Clino during the national lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19, as the product is mainly supplied to the agriculture sector and, therefore, classified as essential,... 

‘Soil conditioner’ production keeps manufacturer bustling
PRODUCTIVE PROPERTIES More farmers are experiencing improved crop yields when using Vulture Creek Clino, owing to its cation-exchange and slow-release fertiliser properties

Seed companies join forces to form Limagrain Zaad South Africa

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     5th August 2020 Three of South Africa’s agricultural seed companies, Link Seed, Klein Karoo Seed Marketing (K2) and Seed Co South Africa, have joined forces to create a joint venture (JV) company − Limagrain Zaad South Africa − to provide multi crop alternatives for farmers in Southern Africa. K2 offers an... 

Microsoft invests R40m into South Africa’s agricultural sector

By: Natasha Odendaal     5th August 2020 Microsoft South Africa plans to invest up to R40-million to bolster the use of technology as an enabler to tackle the challenges facing South Africa’s agriculture sector. The investment aims to drive sustainability in the agriculture sector for South Africa’s smallholder farmers, which have... 

Solidarity Fund ramps up farming, food assistance

By: Marleny Arnoldi     31st July 2020 South Africa’s national Solidarity Fund has ramped up its efforts to bring relief to those most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The fund has been focusing its efforts since its inception in March on humanitarian efforts, as well as medical supplies, but food relief and gender-based violence... 

Hempcrete advantageous for construction

By: Mc'Kyla Nortje     31st July 2020 Hempcrete provides several advantages when used for the construction of a building, says Cape Town-based architecture firm Wolf and Wolf Architecture founder and principal Wolf Wolf. Hempcrete is a fully biodegradable material that comprises hemp hurds – the woody core removed during processing... 

Hempcrete advantageous for construction
Photo by Wolf
SUPERIOR BENEFITS Hemp boasts several characteristics that make it superior from an ecological and economic perspective

Without infrastructure and manufacturing, AfCFTA will fall short – senior African policymaker 

By: Terence Creamer     28th July 2020 An Ethiopian senior minister and special adviser to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has cautioned that, without major infrastructure investment and the development of manufacturing capacity, African countries will not be in a position to take full advantage of the African Continental Free Trade... 

Without infrastructure and manufacturing, AfCFTA will fall short – senior African policymaker
Dr Arkebe Oqubay speaking during virtual TIPS 2020 Fourm meeting

South African wine industry questions alcohol ban

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     23rd July 2020 Stellenbosch Wine Routes and about 300 wineries in South Africa, together with Visit Stellenbosch, are supporting an official legal application requesting evidence from the Ministry of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs to explain the reintroduction of a blanket ban on the domestic... 

Agri SA calls for contributions to R1bn food drive

By: Marleny Arnoldi     23rd July 2020 Industry association Agri SA has called on government and the private sector to contribute to a R1-billion food drive initiative. The association says that, with winter putting strain on food systems and with Covid-19 and general economic conditions leaving many households food insecure, a... 

Agri SA calls for contributions to R1bn food drive

TPT facilitates export of higher-than-expected volumes of citrus

By: Donna Slater     22nd July 2020 State-owned port operator Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) is tracking ahead of a planned 13% increase in citrus export volumes across four of its 19 terminals this year. In the face of Covid-19, actual citrus volumes are 29.4% higher across all terminals combined when compared with 2019 volumes.  

TPT facilitates export of higher-than-expected volumes of citrus
A forklift manoeuvres a reefer unit

Agri SA bemoans agriculture programme budget cuts

By: Marleny Arnoldi     22nd July 2020 Industry body Agri SA says the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development’s salary bill should be cut by a higher amount rather than the cuts announced in funding for programmes for food security, land reform, production aid, infrastructure and rural development. “Scaling down... 

Agri SA bemoans agriculture programme budget cuts

IFC exceed 2019 fiscal commitments with $4.6bn invested

By: Donna Slater     22nd July 2020 IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, committed $5.6-billion to private sector development in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa in fiscal year 2020, supporting businesses across the two regions to launch, grow, provide jobs and fight the impacts of the global Covid-19 pandemic.   IFC is a... 

Reduced agricultural budget compounds food insecurity in SA

By: African News Agency      22nd July 2020 The South African Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development received its budget allocation for the 2020/2021 financial year. This follows the national budget vote in February by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni. According to a statement issued on Tuesday, the received amount of... 

Reduced agricultural budget compounds food insecurity in SA
Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza

Study calls for extension of moratorium on transport height restrictions  

By: Irma Venter     21st July 2020 Many South African industries, especially the fruit industry, could suffer major financial losses if they are not allowed to transport their goods in high-cube containers beyond June, next year, indicates a new Master’s degree study. This is when government’s seven-year moratorium (running from... 

Study calls for extension of moratorium on transport height restrictions 
Tiffany Adams

Invicta sells agricultural equipment businesses

By: Marleny Arnoldi     20th July 2020 Investment holding and management company Invicta Holdings will sell four businesses owned by its subsidiary Humulani Marketing to CNH Industrial. The businesses being sold are Northmec, NHSA, CSE and Landboupart.  

Drones used to combat spread of water-sapping alien trees in semi-arid Karoo

By: Donna Slater     17th July 2020 Drones are being used by the agricultural community in the Western Cape, and more specifically the semi-arid Karoo region, where water resources are under strain, to fight invasive and water-hungry alien plant species. Southern Cape Landowners Initiative’s (SCLI’s) Cobus Meiring explains that,... 

Drones used to combat spread of water-sapping alien trees in semi-arid Karoo
Kammanassie farmer Morné Jonker with the drone sprayer used to fight alien vegetation

Drones Council launched to expedite advancement of regulatory environment

By: Donna Slater     15th July 2020 The Drone Council South Africa (DCSA) was launched on July 15 with its first webinar to update global stakeholders in the private and public sectors on progress being made in the drones industry, both internationally and in South Africa. The DCSA was formed in part to address South Africa’s... 

Rising imports could jeopardise local agricultural economy, says Agri SA

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     13th July 2020 Industry organisation Agri SA has called on government to be vigilant around produce trade. Globally, the decline in demand for agricultural produce has resulted in stock surpluses and over-capacitated storage facilities, it says. 

Poultry industry requires threefold structural reforms

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     10th July 2020 The poultry industry in the country requires three structural changes to grow and contribute further to the country’s economy and overcome internal challenges, as well as the external challenge of cheap imports. This was indicated by National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) chief economic... 

Chicken producer lends support to food drive in Pretoria

By: Simone Liedtke     7th July 2020 A collaboration between the chicken industry and nonprofit organisations (NGOs) WeCan and Atterbury Trust has delivered hope to 222 vulnerable families in Pretoria in the form of food parcels. According to principal Erich Cloete, several of the families whose children attend Westerlig Primary... 

Chicken producer lends support to food drive in Pretoria

Tech solution enhances water security in S Africa

By: Halima Frost     3rd July 2020 The self-automated scour gate is a technology which has been developed and refined by local water engineering contractors Amanziflow Projects to promote water security. Amanziflow Projects MD Peter Townshend says many projects have been conducted by the company in the Southern African Development... 

Tech solution enhances water security in S Africa
WATER GATE The scour gate developed by Amanziflow allows for the effective flushing of sediment from a dam increasing its storage capacity

Transnet undertakes upgrades at various terminals

By: Marleny Arnoldi     2nd July 2020 Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) has prepared for a 13% increase in citrus volumes this year, with new equipment being set up to boost operations at the Port Elizabeth, Durban and Ngqura container terminals. This follows the Citrus Growers Association’s forecast that new orchards coming into... 

Nampo Harvest Day show goes virtual

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     30th June 2020 Agricultural industry body Grain SA has had to make changes to its plans for this year's Nampo Harvest Day, which has been bringing the agriculture sector together for almost six decades. The 2020 Nampo Harvest Day show, which will be the fifty-fourth edition of this agricultural trade show, will... 

Labat Africa reports investor interest as South Africa publishes medical cannabis notice

By: Schalk Burger     29th June 2020 JSE-listed medical cannabis investment holding company Labat Africa on June 29 said South Africa’s changing cannabis regulation was helping it to attract investor interest. "In another clear indication that the South African government views the emerging cannabis sector as a priority, Notice R586... 

Local company involved in Malawi railway link

26th June 2020 This year, environmental consulting engineers JG Afrika completed hydrological, topographical, sedimentation and climate studies to assist the Malawian government in rebuilding railway infrastructure. This was done in an area of the country that is prone to devastating floods.  

Local company involved  in Malawi railway link
FLOOD TOIL TEARS AND SWEAT Floods caused significant erosion and wash away damage on several sections of the railway line that are in close proximity to the river

Land Bank to get additional R3bn in extra budget, nothing for other SOEs

By: African News Agency      24th June 2020 South Africa's National Treasury on Wednesday said it would allocate an additional R3-billion to the recapitalise the Land Bank, but said no other in-year spending adjustments were proposed for state-owned companies in budget adjustments related to the Covid-19 crisis. In a supplementary budget... 

Zoetis believes precision animal farming innovation can help advance sector

By: Marleny Arnoldi     24th June 2020 As agriculture will play a critical role in the economic recovery of South Africa in the wake of Covid-19, animal health company Zoetis intends to introduce various innovations to help local farmers increase their productivity. Zoetis South Africa business unit director Dr Ralf Patzelt explains... 

Infrastructure key to agriculture's future

By: Marleny Arnoldi     23rd June 2020 For agriculture to become a greater contributor to the economy and to better ensure food security, industry experts agree that the country needs investment into infrastructure and this, in turn, needs a targeted approach. Speaking during a session at the inaugural Sustainable Infrastructure... 

Huletts Sugar joins Proudly South African

By: Simone Liedtke     22nd June 2020 Sugar manufacturer Tongaat Hulett Sugar is the latest large corporation to join Proudly South African (SA) and become part of the “buy local” movement. For over 128 years, Huletts has been a local company and is a key player in the sugar industry that has created 65 000 direct jobs and about 350... 

Benefits of investment in biofuels twofold

By: Halima Frost     19th June 2020 The South African biogas sector can attract up to R250-billion in local and international investment and contribute to a 15% reduction in the total greenhouse-gas emissions generated by the country, says Southern African Biogas Industry Association (Sabia) general secretary Alberto Borello. “The... 

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