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Agriculture News

Land Bank confirms default it has been trying to avoid 

By: News24Wire      24th April 2020 The Land Bank has failed to stave off financial ruin after defaulting on debt that was due on Thursday. The default has now triggered cross default on certain other bonds – a clause that puts a borrower in default if they fail to honour their other debt obligations. "On 23 April 2020, the Land... 

Covid-19 lockdowns, rand depreciation set to accelerate food inflation

By: Rebecca Campbell     24th April 2020 The Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) has, in its latest brief report Food price outlook for Quarter 2 2020 and beyond, warned that food prices in South Africa are set to rise during this, second, quarter of the year. The country’s staple foods – maize, wheat and rice – would not be... 

Ramaphosa’s ‘new economy’ vision gains support from business 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd April 2020 Organised business and individual business leaders have expressed strong support for President’s Cyril Ramaphosa’s vision for using the Covid-19 recovery effort to “forge a new economy in a new global reality”, underpinned by a new social compact between business, labour, community and... 

Ramaphosa’s ‘new economy’ vision gains support from business
South Africa could use new social cohesion to turn its primary agricultural production competitive advantages to account

German supplier looks to further African expansion

By: Darren Parker     21st April 2020 German machining company BWS Technologie intends to expand its reach into Africa’s sugar industry through its Buckau-Wolf continuous centrifugals, batch-type centrifugals, and vacuum pans with honeycomb calandrias. The company also seeks to extend its reach into various industries across Africa... 

Sappi starts production of essential medical items, donates to Solidarity Fund

By: Donna Slater     20th April 2020 Pulp and paper producer Sappi Southern Africa has made available several donations of scarce items such as hand sanitiser, face masks, nutritional porridge and paper products, to reduce pressure on the national government’s resources, as well as to support the most vulnerable during the Covid-19... 

Sappi starts production of essential medical items, donates to Solidarity Fund

South Africa’s agricultural inputs supply chain likely to be stressed by Covid-19

By: Rebecca Campbell     17th April 2020 Measures adopted by countries around the world to counter the Covid-19 pandemic have sent shockwaves across the global economy, triggering turmoil and volatility, notes independent South Africa research group the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) in its latest brief report, 'The Use... 

Lockdown: agricultural sector identified as essential service

By: African News Agency      17th April 2020 The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the African Union and international partners have joined hands in efforts to mitigate the consequences of the coronavirus lockdown on Africa's most vulnerable.  Recently, the World Health Organization conveyed its concern about the... 

Lockdown: agricultural sector identified as essential service

Tool developed to ensure effective monitoring of local food supply chain

By: Rebecca Campbell     17th April 2020 The Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP), an independent research agency, has  developed a Web-based monitoring tool to allow key participants in the food value chain to report breakdowns and blockages within the chain. This will permit fast and applicable actions to deal with these... 

Calls for debt servicing standstill gain support

By: Simone Liedtke     16th April 2020 Given projections that Africa is likely to face its first recession in 25 years as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are supporting the call by Finance Ministers from across the continent, and their respective governments, for a debt... 

Calls for debt servicing standstill gain support

South African agriculture has an Achilles heel – its dependence on imported key inputs

By: Rebecca Campbell     16th April 2020 While South Africa is a net exporter of agricultural products, the country has to import a large proportion of the inputs it requires to produce this surplus, independent research body the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) warns. In its latest brief report, The Use of Agricultural... 

Sacci suggests phased, controlled return to work for some industries

By: Simone Liedtke     14th April 2020 With South Africa's national lockdown having been extended by a further two weeks, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) has suggested “a staggered return to business", starting with industries that can demonstrate high levels of physical distancing and health control, like... 

Half of South Africans in a ‘precarious nutrition situation’

By: Rebecca Campbell     10th April 2020 Independent research body the 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 a fall in their income or an increase in food prices, as a result of measures put in... 

South African production of key foods good to reasonable

By: Rebecca Campbell     10th April 2020 An independent research centre, the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP), has published an overview of five key foods produced in South Africa, as part of its analysis of the food and agricultural aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic crisis. The foods are chicken (meat), maize (grains),... 

Business is booming for supplier

By: Darren Parker     10th April 2020 Stainless steel vessels and tanks supplier Metal Tank Industries has noted a definite market upswing in the past eight months, particularly in the food and beverage sector, as well as in the industrial sector, in terms of mineral oils, petroleum oils, chemicals and agrochemicals production.... 

Business is booming for supplier
MAKING IT WORK Metal Tank Industries’ streamlined production processes has helped it become more competitive in terms of costing

African countries urged to increase response to Covid-19 pandemic − WHO

By: Simone Liedtke     9th April 2020 World Health Organisation (WHO) regional director for Africa Dr Matshidiso Moeti has urged countries across Africa to increase their response to mitigating the effects of the Covid-19 virus. While the economic impact of the pandemic is severe, she lamented that fragile economies – like found in... 

African countries urged to increase response to Covid-19 pandemic − WHO

Research group warns that South Africa is likely to see sharp rise in price of rice 

By: Rebecca Campbell     9th April 2020 Global trade has been severely disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic and the measures many governments have taken to contain the disease. In general, however, trade in food and associated essential goods had been given priority in order to maintain food security, the independent research group the... 

World Bank warns of big South Africa GDP slump and first SSA recession in 25 years as Covid-19 bites 

By: Terence Creamer     9th April 2020 The World Bank is forecasting that gross domestic product in South Africa could slump by between 6.9 percentage points and 8 percentage points in 2020 when compared with a base case that does not include the anticipated economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic. Similar contractions are... 

World Bank warns of big South Africa GDP slump and first SSA recession in 25 years as Covid-19 bites
World Bank Chief Economist for Africa Albert Zeufack

Covid-19 lockdowns, rand depreciation, set to drive up food, including staples, inflation

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th April 2020 The Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) has, in its latest brief report Food price outlook for Quarter 2 2020 and beyond, warned that food prices in South Africa were set to rise during this, second, quarter of the year. The country’s staple foods – maize, wheat and rice – would not be... 

Illovo Sugar reconfigures medical infrastructure to deal with potential Covid-19 infections

By: Simone Liedtke     7th April 2020 Sugar producer Illovo Sugar Africa is reconfiguring its medical infrastructure to deal directly with any potential Covid-19 infection within its own business, or the surrounding communities. In commemorating World Health Day on April 7, the producer explained how it had converted its existing... 

Independent research body highlights complexity of South Africa’s food chain

By: Rebecca Campbell     7th April 2020 Independent research agency the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) has highlighted that South Africa’s food supply chains are complex. “These supply chains are a web of formal and informal interactions between agricultural inputs, logistics, farmers, spazas [informal convenience... 

Research bureau develops tool to ensure effective monitoring of local food supply chain

By: Rebecca Campbell     6th April 2020 The Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP), an independent research agency, has  developed a web-based monitoring tool to allow key participants in the food value chain to report breakdowns and blockages within the chain. This will permit fast and applicable actions to deal with these... 

Didiza unveils R1.2bn fund to support small-scale farmers

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th April 2020 Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza on April 6 said agricultural production continued to ensure food security in South Africa and reiterated that there was no need for panic buying as it only served to create shortages in the food supply chain and result in... 

Didiza unveils R1.2bn fund to support small-scale farmers
Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza

Wine industry in bittersweet situation with harvesting allowed, but exports denied

By: Marleny Arnoldi     3rd April 2020 South Africa’s 2020 wine grape crop will still yield exceptional wines despite uncertainty at first considering South Africa’s lockdown practices, says industry body Vinpro. The industry is harvesting the last few thousand tonnes of crops across ten wine regions in the country, owing to a... 

Wine industry in bittersweet situation with harvesting allowed, but exports denied

Research group reports that South Africa has ample food supplies

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd April 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 Policy (BFAP), a Pretoria/Tshwane-based nonprofit organisation (created in 2004 to carry out scientifically rigorous... 

Agri-fintech company moves to provide digital support for small-scale farmers

By: Schalk Burger     3rd April 2020 Agri-fintech company eSus Africa is supporting small-scale and emerging farmers by gathering and using data. Its onsite system enables farmers to gather machine and sensor data, monitor inputs and feeds from weather and agriculture agencies for planning and decisions, as well as record yields,... 

Food security identified as great Covid-19 concern in Southern Africa

By: Simone Liedtke     2nd April 2020 Food security has been identified as one of the biggest concerns in Southern Africa amid the Covid-19 outbreak and ensuing lockdowns in countries across the continent. In a webinar on April 2, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) said that, as most countries have... 

Food security identified as great Covid-19 concern in Southern Africa

Fruit SA appoints acting CEO

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     31st March 2020 Nonprofit umbrella body Fruit South Africa (SA) has appointed Fhumulani Ratshitanga acting CEO with effect from April 1. This following the resignation of Dr Konanani Liphadzi, after a six-year tenure as the first CEO of Fruit SA. 

South African production of key foods largely reassuring in face of crisis

By: Rebecca Campbell     30th March 2020 An independent research centre, the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP), has published an overview of five key foods produced in South Africa, as part of its analysis of food and agricultural aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic crisis. The foods are chicken (meat), maize (grains), soybean... 

Agri movement during lockdown is a privilege, should be treated as such - organisations

By: Marleny Arnoldi     30th March 2020 Industry organisation Agri South Africa (Agri SA), as part of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries’ Covid-19 task force, has been working closely with government to determine appropriate movement of essential goods related to the agriculture industry, which is a privilege the... 

Agri movement during lockdown is a privilege, should be treated as such - organisations

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%
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