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Agriculture News

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... 

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... 

Tongaat Hulett to sell eSwatini sugarcane estate

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     17th June 2020 JSE-listed Tongaat Hulett will sell its Tambankulu Estates asset in eSwatini to that country's Public Service Pensions Fund (PSPF) for R375-million. Tongaat Hulett CEO Gavin Hudson says the sale of Tambankulu is fully aligned with the company’s turnaround plan and will allow the group to further... 

Agribusiness confidence falls to the lowest level since the 2008/9 financial crisis

By: Simone Liedtke     15th June 2020 The Agricultural Business Chamber of South Africa (Agbiz)/Industrial Development Corporation Agribusiness Confidence Index (ACI) has fallen from the 50-point mark in the first quarter of the year to 39 index points in the second quarter. This marks the lowest level since the third quarter of... 

Agribusiness confidence falls to the lowest level since the 2008/9 financial crisis

Danakali bullish about sulphate of potash demand growth beyond Covid-19 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     15th June 2020 ASX- and LSE-listed Danakali is cautiously optimistic about the food markets globally, despite uncertainty owing to Covid-19, and thanks to the sector’s resilience to the crisis. CEO Niels Wage tells Mining Weekly that global food production prospects are positive, stocks are high,... 

Danakali bullish about sulphate of potash demand growth beyond Covid-19
Danakali CEO Niels Wage discusses sulphate of potash market prospects and the Colluli project

John Deere launches digital show in lieu of conferences

By: Marleny Arnoldi     12th June 2020 Agricultural equipment manufacturer John Deere sub-Saharan Africa has launched an online programme called Tech Terrain, which will bring industry experts together to share their insights on a weekly basis. This comes in light of many major agricultural shows having been postponed or cancelled... 

Tribunal approves GEPF's acquisition of minor stake in Alzu Agri

By: Marleny Arnoldi     12th June 2020 The Competition Tribunal has unconditionally approved the transaction whereby the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) will acquire a minority shareholding in Alzu Agri. Represented by the Public Investment Corporation, the GEPF administers pensions and other benefits on behalf of... 

Circular economy offers many benefits

By: Mc'Kyla Nortje     12th June 2020 The move towards a circular economy model away from the traditional linear approach can assist companies in reducing carbon emissions and other environmental impacts associated with their operations, says sustainability consulting firm The Green House director Brett Cohen. “A circular economy... 

Circular economy offers many benefits
BRETT COHEN A circular economy will, amongst other benefits, reduce the amount of raw material used and incorporate more recycled and reused products

Solidarity opposes retrenchments at Agricultural Research Council

By: Marleny Arnoldi     9th June 2020 Trade union Solidarity is in talks with the Agricultural Research Council (Arc) about the best possible solution around the council’s impending retrenchments, which the union believes could pose a direct threat to South Africa’s food security. This follows after the union received a letter from... 

AfDB launches programmes to bolster Africa's food security

By: Donna Slater     9th June 2020 The African Development Bank (AfDB) has unveiled a strategic roadmap of projects and programmes to assist African countries in tackling the nutrition and food security aspects of the Covid-19 crisis. The Feed Africa Response to Covid-19 (Farec) paves the way for a comprehensive intervention to... 

Uralkali commits support for African farmer aid initiative

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th June 2020 Russian potash mining company Uralkali has joined the Action Africa: Thriving Farms, Thriving Future initiative that is funded by Norwegian fertiliser producer Yara. The initiative is backed by the United Nations World Food Programme and is supported by a number of African industry associations... 

Uralkali commits support for African farmer aid initiative

Agri SA welcomes gov’s extended drought relief

By: Marleny Arnoldi     5th June 2020 Industry association Agri South Africa (Agri SA) has welcomed an announcement by Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma that the drought relief available for farmers will be extended for a further month. The industry made this request to the Minister... 

Sappi aligns to World Environment Day 2020 #ForNature theme

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     5th June 2020 Pulp and paper company Sappi says the lockdowns implemented across the world to help curb the spread of Covid-19 have brought to light the need to make 'Time for Nature’, which is also the theme for this year’s World Environment Day, on June 5. ‘Time for Nature’ focuses on the role nature plays... 

Oceana records solid interim results

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     4th June 2020 Fishing company Oceana Group delivered a resilient operating performance for the six months ended March 31. Group revenue was up 2% to R3.63-billion, primarily owing to a 3% increase in revenue by its African operations, an increase in cold storage occupancy levels and the favourable impact of... 

Oceana records solid interim results
Imraan Soomra

Agriculture to grow this year, but long-term market impact remains uncertain

By: Marleny Arnoldi     4th June 2020 Although South Africa has a resilient and robust agricultural system, Covid-19 has exposed some fault lines and vulnerabilities in certain value chains that need to be addressed, industry role-players say. Financial services provider Nedbank on June 4 hosted an agriculture webinar with experts... 

Agriculture to grow this year, but long-term market impact remains uncertain

Leasehold Programme can contribute to smallholder agricultural development after lockdown

By: Schalk Burger     29th May 2020 The Leasehold Programme – a collaborative partnership between the Jobs Fund, communities and sugar miller Tongaat Hulett – is expected to be able to support agricultural development of smallholder farmers. The 2014 Sugarcane Development Initiative, which is a public-private partnership between... 

R&D on hold to keep doors open

By: Tracy Hancock     29th May 2020 Stainless steel cylinder manufacturer Jooste Cylinder & Pump Company has implemented various measures, such as delaying research and development (R&D) projects, to assist staff as much as possible and “keep the doors open” amid the Covid-19 crisis. “Jooste re-invests much of its income in new... 

South African wine industry on its knees as lockdown set to ease

By: Reuters     28th May 2020 Two years ago, South Africa's first black female winemaker Ntsiki Biyela watched anxiously as the worst drought in a century scorched vineyards across Western Cape. After surviving that, Biyela's small business Aslina Wines recovered and was poised for growth this year - until the new coronavirus... 

AfCFTA to be continent’s main post-pandemic ‘stimulus’ lever  

By: Terence Creamer     25th May 2020 The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) represents the only realistic stimulus option available to resource-constrained African governments for reigniting growth in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, AfCFTA secretary-general Wamkele Mene avers. The global response to the virus had... 

AfCFTA to be continent’s main post-pandemic ‘stimulus’ lever
AfCFTA secretary-general Wamkele Mene on the impact of Covid-19 on the trade agreement and its role in reigniting growth across the continent. Camera Work: Kutlwano Matala. Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

African countries must strengthen their agricultural, especially food, production

By: Rebecca Campbell     25th May 2020 A recent two-day webinar hosted by the African Development Institute, a unit of the African Development Bank (AfDB), saw delegates call on African countries to put in place, and carry out, policies to strengthen their agricultural sectors. This would include agricultural processing, trade and... 

Can maggots fuel sports drinks? South African startup thinks so

By: Bloomberg     22nd May 2020 A South African startup aims to produce high-quality protein powder from maggots for use in food products and sports drinks by the end of the year. By doing so, it will become the first company in Africa to make insect protein for human consumption. South African rivals currently harvest larvae... 

Sector increasingly adopting digitalisation

By: Mamaili Mamaila     22nd May 2020 Technology provider ABB Southern Africa believes that digitalisation can address the production challenges of the sugar industry. 

Sector increasingly adopting digitalisation
JOHN MANUELL The full potential of sugar production processes lies in leveraging available data to drive the seamless interoperability among people, assets and production processes

Lifting of cigarette sale prohibition will improve tobacco farming economics

By: Donna Slater     21st May 2020 If the ban on cigarette sales is lifted, tobacco farmers supported by the Emerging Farmer Initiative will benefit enormously, enabling them to sell and duly process crops that have already been harvested, says agricultural services company Afgri. The organisation notes that permitting cigarettes... 

Afgri launches equipment rental facilitation platform

By: Marleny Arnoldi     20th May 2020 Agricultural services company Afgri Agri Services on May 20 unveiled its new agriculture technology platform called Axl, which is the first of its kind in South Africa. The online platform is designed to enable the convenient rental of farm equipment by facilitating the contract between the... 

Afgri launches equipment rental facilitation platform

Land Bank's liquidity position dire

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     20th May 2020 The State-owned Land Bank, which provides about 29% of South Africa's agricultural debt, has briefed the Standing Committee on Appropriations about the magnitude of liquidity challenges it is facing, the total value of its defaulted loans, the reasons for its current liquidity challenges and... 

Timber suitable to help address Covid-19 housing requirement

By: Donna Slater     19th May 2020 In response to government investigating alternative housing solutions for densely populated informal settlements during the Covid-19 pandemic, Sawmilling South Africa (SSA) and the Institute for Timber Construction South Africa (ITC-SA) have approached government with a proposal that timber be... 

Rhodes' interim performance buoyed by strong sales ahead of lockdown

By: Simone Liedtke     19th May 2020 JSE-listed Rhodes Food Group’s headline earnings a share for the six months ended March 29, 2020, decreased by 2.8% year-on-year to 31.2c, while its earnings a share decreased by 2.3% to 30.2c. Diluted headline earnings a share were down 3.1% at 31.1c. 

Digital solutions can assist agricultural export sector during Covid-19

By: Donna Slater     15th May 2020 Technology that can be used by the agricultural industry plays an increasingly important role as has recently become evident in the efficiencies it can drive in the food industry as Covid-19 disrupts various businesses, says start-up tech business Agrigate One CEO Greg Whitaker. He says the... 

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