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Agriculture News

Transnet scales back to only essential services, operations

By: Simone Liedtke     27th March 2020 In line with government’s implementation of a three-week lockdown of the country to reduce the spread of the Covid-19 virus, State-owned entity Transnet will be scaling down its transportation services and operations of non-essential cargo during this period. After consultation with various... 

Food research group warns on precarious nutrition situation of 50% of South Africans

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th March 2020 The independent research Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) has warned that poorer households in South Africa would be put at risk, in terms of both their nutrition and health, if they suffer from a fall in their income or an increase in food prices, because  measures to counter, or... 

Distributor’s experience makes for sweeter projects supply

By: Mamaili Mamaila     27th March 2020 With more than 60 years of servicing the sugar industry, power transmission products distributor Bearings International (BI) has gained meaningful expertise, which enables the company to continue being a “dependable supplier” in the industry. 

Distributor’s experience makes for sweeter projects supply
SWEET RIDE Bearings International supplies the complete drive chain – from the feeder tables where the sugar cane arrives from the farm to the pack house where the product gets distributed

Equipment design vital for sugar industry

By: Mamaili Mamaila     27th March 2020 A critical aspect of servicing the sugar industry is equipment design, says integrated engineering technology and project management company Bosch Projects sugar sector director Steve Rosettenstein. 

Equipment design vital for sugar industry
DIVERSE OFFERING For the sugar industry, Bosch Projects provides front-end cane offloading, cane preparation, juice extraction, sugar processing, sugar drying and refining equipment

Mechanised systems gaining momentum

By: Mamaili Mamaila     27th March 2020 Manual harvesting currently dominates sugarcane harvesting operations. 

Mechanised systems gaining momentum
CANE MECHANISATION Any change towards a fully mechanised harvesting system involves many disciplines and affects all aspects of cane production

Components provider extends offering for sugar industry

By: Mamaili Mamaila     27th March 2020 Engineering components provider BMG has extended its range of power transmission components to include its recently upgraded Fenagrid Premium range. 

Components provider extends offering for sugar industry
SOAKING UP BMG’s new Fenagrid Premium taper grid steel flexible couplings absorb considerable torque overloads, achieving smoother running, with consequent reduction of wear and tear on machinery

Mill equipment advances essential for industry

By: Mamaili Mamaila     27th March 2020 With the local sugar industry being more than 150 years old, advances in equipment critical to the milling process add “immense value”, as they improve the operational efficiency potential of the sugar mills, says industrial equipment supplier Verder Pumps MD Darryl Macdougall. 

Mill equipment advances essential for industry
ALLEVIATING THE DEFECTS Sucrose losses can be significantly reduced – if not mitigated altogether – if the correct advanced and integrated pumping solution is used

Company transforming amid difficulties

By: Mamaili Mamaila     27th March 2020 JSE-listed sugar producer Tongaat Hulett is striving to reconstruct its business to be innovative, resilient and cost effective. 

Company transforming  amid difficulties
TRANSFORMATION IN SIGHT The three main shareholders in Uzinzo hold 65%

Mill closures, continued market decline a concern for growers

By: Mamaili Mamaila     27th March 2020 With two sugar mills closing down and being mothballed for the 2020/21 season, growers are concerned that the remaining 12 mills might potentially struggle to successfully complete this season’s harvest, says the South African Canegrowers’ Association (SA Canegrowers). 

Mill closures, continued market decline a concern for growers
THE NUMBERS GAME The South African cane-growing sector comprises 21 500 cane growers – of which 20 200 are small-scale growers, producing about 20% of the 19-million tons of cane a year

Communication and planning needed to limit Covid-19 impact on supply chains

By: Schalk Burger     27th March 2020 The impact on supply chains owing to the Covid-19 outbreak and from the closure of ports of entry can be mitigated through identification of potential impacts and early communications among affected stakeholders, says advisory firm Deloitte Africa restructuring services leader Jo Mitchell-Marais.... 

Corteva spearheading agricultural growth on the continent  

26th March 2020 Agricultural company Corteva Agriscience considers Africa as an important market for the company, as it presents a multitude of opportunities for agricultural development. Tasneem Bulbulia tells us more. 

Corteva spearheading agricultural growth on the continent
Corteva spearheading agricultural growth on the continent

Ministers announce Covid-19 business support measures  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     24th March 2020 Amid government’s strategy to “flatten the curve” of Coronavirus infections, government departments have shared more details on the measures that would be implemented to support businesses during the national declared lockdown time and afterwards. Health Minister Zweli Mkhize delivered an... 

Ministers announce Covid-19 business support measures
Photo by Creamer Media
Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel

Research group assures South Africans that the country has ample food supplies

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd March 2020 South Africans should not be concerned about the availability of food during the current Covid-19 pandemic. This assurance has been given by the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Production (BFAP), a Pretoria/Tshwane-based nonprofit organisation (created in 2004 to carry out scientifically... 

Research group assures South Africans that the country has ample food supplies
Photo by Bloomberg
South Africa is expected to have a bumper maize crop this year

Agri SA assures South Africans of food security

By: Marleny Arnoldi     20th March 2020 Agriculture industry association, Agri South Africa (SA), says South Africa’s food supply is unlikely to fall short, because of a resilient and diligent farming community. The association released a statement on Friday, unpacking the tough times that are ahead for the South African economy.  

Large pumps fleet offers fast turnaround for rental customers

By: Shannon de Ryhove     20th March 2020 Specialist pump rental company Integrated Pump Rental has reported a steady increase in the demand for rental pumps over the last four months, mainly owing to the start of the rainy season. Integrated Pump Rental MD Lee Vine also attributes the increase in demand to the company’s fleet diversity... 

Citrus industry expects record export season but warns of Covid-19 uncertainties

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     17th March 2020 Southern Africa is expected to export a record 143.3-million cartons of citrus fruit to over 100 countries this year, Citrus Growers Association (CGA) CEO Justin Chadwick said in a statement on Tuesday. This is a 13% increase compared with 2019, when 126.7-million cartons were exported,... 

Hard to laud agri confidence gains when prospects have since deteriorated, says Agbiz

By: Marleny Arnoldi     16th March 2020 The Agricultural Business Chamber of South Africa (Agbiz)/Industrial Development Corporation Agribusiness Confidence Index (ACI) has finally risen to 50 after six consecutive quarters of remaining below this neutral mark. The index picked up by six points to 50 in the first quarter of the... 

Hard to laud agri confidence gains when prospects have since deteriorated, says Agbiz
Photo by Creamer Media's Simone Liedtke
Agbiz chief economist Wandile Sihlobo

Fruit South Africa CEO steps down

By: Marleny Arnoldi     12th March 2020 Industry organisation Fruit South Africa CEO Dr Konanani Liphadzi has decided to step down from the position after six years to pursue other interests, effective March 31. Fruit South Africa chairperson Justin Chadwick in a statement on Thursday praised Liphadzi for her dedication is putting the... 

An arid future arrives early in South Africa’s farm country

By: Bloomberg     9th March 2020 Ben Brynard’s family has been farming sheep in northwest South Africa since 1923, and for the past 66 years has kept records on annual rainfall in the nearby town of Calvinia. In all that time, the three inches of rain he measured for 2019 was the least they’d ever gotten. Brynard looked at... 

African trade and energy developments poised to boost agriculture

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th March 2020 Africa is at risk of missing out on immense growth opportunities if it does not advance more regional trade and investment soon at a time that foreign countries are increasingly recognising the value of investing in underdeveloped African countries. Research and consultancy firm Africa House... 

African trade and energy developments poised to boost agriculture

South African economy enters recession as Q4 GDP contracts 1.4% 

By: Reuters     3rd March 2020 South Africa’s gross domestic product contracted 1.4% in the fourth quarter of 2019, following a revised 0.8% contraction in the third quarter, data from Statistics South Africa showed on Tuesday. Economists polled by Reuters had predicted a contraction of 0.1% in quarter-on-quarter and... 

South African economy enters recession as Q4 GDP contracts 1.4%

Tongaat Hulett to sell starch division to Barloworld for R5.35bn

By: Creamer Media Reporter      28th February 2020 JSE-listed Tongaat Hulett will sell its starch business to Barloworld for an enterprise value of R5.35-billion. Tongaat will use the proceeds to reduce its debt. 

Dangote Nigeria starts test run $2bn fertiliser plant

By: Bloomberg     28th February 2020 Nigeria’s Dangote Group started a test run of a $2-billion fertiliser plant that will make Africa’s most populous country meet all its domestic demand. This followed the completion of critical sections of the plant, including the central control room, the ammonia and urea bulk storage area and... 

South Africa a springboard for growth in Africa, says Corteva

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     27th February 2020 Agricultural company Corteva Agriscience considers South Africa as its most important market for growth in Africa, Corteva Agriscience Africa and Middle East president Prabdeep Bajwa said. Corteva was the agricultural unit of DowDuPont prior to being spun off as an independent public company... 

South Africa a springboard for growth in Africa, says Corteva
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Pannar site

Old wine in new cans? South African startup sniffs new export opportunity

By: Reuters     26th February 2020 A South African startup is hoping to cash in on a growing global taste for canned wines as a lighter, more convenient alternative to bottles. Canned wines are already on sale in the United States, parts of Europe and elsewhere, but they are a novelty in South Africa, which is one of the world's... 

Deere taps tractor-hailing tech in bid to break ground in Africa

By: Reuters     25th February 2020 It's ride-hailing, farm style. Deere & Co is teaming up with the "Uber of tractors" in Africa and betting on a future where farmers summon machines with the touch of a button. The world's leading farm equipment maker is outfitting its tractors with startup Hello Tractor's technology, which allows... 

South Africa confirms locust outbreak in Namibia, Karoo region

By: Bloomberg     25th February 2020 A locust outbreak in Namibia and South Africa’s northwestern Karoo region may pose a threat to grazing lands in a region that’s already prone to droughts. South Africa’s Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries confirmed the outbreak of brown locusts in a newsletter published on its... 

Constitutional amendment only unlikely to deliver success, warns land panel 

By: Irma Venter     20th February 2020 South Africa had to put in place a 50- to 100-year food security plan, and then walk backwards to see what it can do to make that happen, says former Afrgri CEO Chris Venter. “However, this is not happening. We are not looking at the areas becoming increasingly drier in our country to see what we... 

Constitutional amendment only unlikely to deliver success, warns land panel

Newly launched agency plans to drive agricultural development, ensure successful land reform

By: Schalk Burger     18th February 2020 The nonprofit Agricultural Development Agency, launched on Tuesday, in Pretoria, is a cross-sector, government-supported and private-sector led initiative to develop farmers by providing technical skills and private-sector financial support and linking the farmers into supply chains to ensure... 

Newly launched agency plans to drive agricultural development, ensure successful land reform

Sea Harvest expects higher headline earnings

By: Marleny Arnoldi     18th February 2020 JSE-listed Sea Harvest says its South African fishing operation and its Ladismith Cheese operation made solid contributions to the group’s overall financial performance for the year ended December 31. It, therefore, expects headline earnings a share for the year to be between 28% and 37% higher... 

Sea Harvest expects higher headline earnings

Poultry association looking forward to tariff confirmation soon

By: Simone Liedtke     17th February 2020 The South African Poultry Association (Sapa) has welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement during his State of the Nation Address (SoNA) last week that the new tariffs on imported chicken to curb the unfair component of international trade, will be set within two weeks. Sapa GM Izaak... 

Land Bank appoints CEO

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     17th February 2020 The Land Bank has appointed Ayanda Kanana as CEO, effective March 1. This follows the recent appointment of Khensani Mukhari as CFO, effective February 3. 

Digital transformation initiative for smallholder farmers

By: Schalk Burger     14th February 2020 The Eswatini Water and Agricultural Development Enterprise (ESWADE), in partnership with network operator Eswatini Mobile and South African agri-fintech company eSusFarm Africa, will use the eSusFarm Africa platform to provide information and services for 10 000 farmers on small-holdings. ESWADE... 

TPT boosts equipment capabilities with R2bn investment

By: Simone Liedtke     13th February 2020 Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) has already invested R2-billion to replace ageing equipment during the 2020 calendar year in response to industry calls for equipment that will improve performance across its operations. The investment included the acquisition of two mobile harbour cranes for the... 

Tongaat mulls sale of its starch division

By: Simone Liedtke     13th February 2020 JSE-listed sugar producer Tongaat Hulett has entered into negotiations with regard to the potential sale of Tongaat Hulett Starch. The division is Africa’s largest producer of starch, glucose and related products. It converts more than 670 000 t/y of bought-in maize into starch and starch-based... 

TLU SA objects to forced, costly water meters for irrigation farmers

By: African News Agency      12th February 2020 In an official letter to the Minister of Water Affairs and Sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu, TLU SA on Tuesday strongly objected to an announcement on the installation of obligatory water measuring devices for irrigation farmers. According to a notice published in the Government Gazette on 17 January,... 

Smart drones to be tested in battle against East Africa locust swarms

By: Reuters     11th February 2020 The United Nations (UN) is to test drones equipped with mapping sensors and atomizers to spray pesticides in parts of east Africa battling an invasion of desert locusts that are ravaging crops and exacerbating a hunger crisis. Hundreds of millions of the voracious insects have swept across... 

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