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Agriculture News

Wine grape harvest smaller than 2021, but above five-year average

By: Schalk Burger     29th March 2022 After a slow start, harvest time is well under way as more than half of South Africa's 2022 wine grape crop has already been taken in at cellars and, although estimated to be smaller than in 2021, the crop is larger than the five-year average, says wine industry organisation Vinpro. “The grape... 

Bell to shift ADT production to Germany, introduce new products to KZN plant  

By: Irma Venter     29th March 2022 As part of a growth strategy long in the making, Bell Equipment will increasingly shift articulated dump truck (ADT) production from its Richards Bay plant, in KwaZulu-Natal, to the northern hemisphere, says CEO Leon Goosen. The Bell ADT is the group’s high-volume product, with 80% of the world... 

Image of the Bell ADT
The Bell ADT

Agbiz says heavy rains had less of an impact on summer crop yields than expected

By: Marleny Arnoldi     29th March 2022 Industry body the Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) says South Africa’s summer crop has not been as bad as some feared at the start of the 2021/22 production season, when heavy rains threatened yields. For example, the Crop Estimates Committee estimates the maize harvest at 14.7-million... 


Competition Commission launches fresh produce market inquiry

By: Schalk Burger     28th March 2022 The Competition Commission has launched a public market inquiry into the fresh produce market to examine whether there are any features in its value chain which lessen, prevent or distort competitiveness. The terms of reference of the Fresh Produce Market Inquiry were published in the Government... 

Fresh produce in a grocery story

Pumps range being tested on grey water system

By: Halima Frost     25th March 2022 Pumps and irrigation supplier Stewarts & Lloyds has been exploring the use of their Salflo submersible dewatering pumps, namely the S and V series submersible pumps, in grey water systems for home, industrial and agricultural applications. The supplier’s Salfo range of submersible pumps would... 

Various green water tanks lined up inside a parking lot with flags waving behind at the Syewarts & Lloyds assembly plant
GREEN TO GREY The Stewarts & Lloyds grey water system allows homes and companies contribute to the environment by harvesting grey water

French companies announce R50bn in new South African investments

By: Schalk Burger     24th March 2022 French companies have announced R50-billion of new investments in South Africa in different sectors, including energy, health, tourism, mobility, retail, manufacturing and agro-industry, the French Embassy in South Africa said. The announcement was made at the 2022 South African Investment... 

ATF bemoans harsh impact of spiking food, agri input prices on South African farmers, society

By: Marleny Arnoldi     23rd March 2022 Socio-economic-focused nonprofit organistion Afrika Tikkun Foundation (ATF) has highlighted the need for South Africa to act urgently to prevent its poorest people from bearing the brunt of the impact of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Food supply shortages and commodity price hikes as a... 

Food aisle in supermarket

Nigerian billionaire Dangote launches $2.5-billion fertilizer plant as prices soar

By: Reuters     22nd March 2022 Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote opened a three-million-tonne fertiliser plant at a cost of $2.5-billion on Tuesday to target African and foreign markets even as the war in Ukraine has driven up prices for natural gas, a key ingredient for making urea. Dangote said exports from the plant will... 

Economic recovery from Covid-19 threatened by geopolitical tension surrounding Ukraine

By: Darren Parker     18th March 2022 Signs of a slow recovery in manufacturing so far this year – which were in part being driven by improvements in production in Europe and Asia – may now be threatened by escalating geopolitical tension in Europe on the back of the Russia-Ukraine conflict and a simultaneous resurgence of the... 

Africa could see a food crisis unfold as the world faces mounting transport, trade risks

By: Marleny Arnoldi     17th March 2022 The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) has assessed the potential impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on trade and development globally, finding it will worsen the outlook for the world economy. The negative impacts are underpinned by rising food, fuel and fertiliser... 


PepsiCo Kgodiso Development Fund to build South African sustainable food system

By: Schalk Burger     16th March 2022 Food and beverage company PepsiCo has launched the Kgodiso Development Fund – a five-year, R600-million investment to help transform the food system in South Africa. The fund will seek to create shared value solutions that help build a sustainable food system by creating local employment... 

IBM launches Client Engineering unit for Middle East and Africa

By: Schalk Burger     16th March 2022 Information technology multinational IBM has launched a Client Engineering business unit for the Middle East and Africa territories. The unit will consult and then work with clients to develop innovative, relevant solutions, while helping them to develop the skills needed to create direct,... 

Excessive rain, input costs weigh on Agribusiness Confidence Index

By: Marleny Arnoldi     15th March 2022 The Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz)/Industrial Development Corporation Agribusiness Confidence Index (ACI) decreased by 12 points quarter-on-quarter to 62 in the first quarter of this year. This follows the ACI’s second-highest level (74) on record in the fourth quarter of 2021, the... 


SupPlant raises $27m to advance smart irrigation tech, grow in South Africa

By: Marleny Arnoldi     15th March 2022 Israel-based precision agriculture company SupPlant has raised another $27-million to advance its technology and expansion in the digitalisation of irrigation space. The latest funding round brings SupPlant’s total funding to more than $46-million, and was led by Red Dot Capital Partners, a... 

SupPlant's plant sensors for informed irrigation
SupPlant's plant sensors for informed irrigation

Motor, agri industries urge govt to suspend fuel levy amid skyrocketing crude oil prices

By: Marleny Arnoldi     14th March 2022 Industry organisations the Motor Industry Staff Association (Misa) and Agri SA have strongly urged that government suspend fuel levies to relieve pressure on food and fuel prices, when it reviews the pricing methodology for petrol. Particularly, Misa asked to be included in the review process... 

Petrol pumps

Group stays afloat amid challenges

By: Sabrina Jardim     11th March 2022 Equipment distributor Capital Equipment Group (CEG) has maintained its success in the South African construction industry despite challenging economic conditions, global supply issues and escalating costs, which worsened because of Covid-19 and strike action. “In today’s challenging conditions,... 

Black and yellow Hyundai crawler excavator machine excavating earth
HPE AFRICA The HX220S crawler excavator is part of Hyundai’s HX series

Citrus association foresees further increases in fertiliser, fuel, chemical prices

By: Marleny Arnoldi     10th March 2022 With 14% of global fertiliser exports currently stuck in Russia and the price of oil and gas continuing to climb as a result of the current conflict, the Citrus Growers’ Association of Southern Africa (CGA) says South Africa can expect further increases in fertiliser, fuel and agrochemical... 

Forecast for South African agriculture this year: volumes down, revenues up

By: Rebecca Campbell     9th March 2022 The Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) has highlighted that the adverse impact of the excessive rains in November and December on South Africa’s summer crops has been significantly mitigated by increased warmth and dryness in January and February. “South Africa’s summer crops... 

Russia-Ukraine War driving up food and input costs but supporting South African farmers

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th March 2022 Research organisation the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) has warned that the Russo-Ukrainian War could drive up food costs around the world, including in South Africa, both directly and indirectly. On the other hand, it will provide price support for South African agriculture in... 

Western Cape worried about Ukraine conflict's impact on the agriculture sector

By: Yvonne Silaule     8th March 2022 The Western Cape Department of Agriculture intends to call on the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) to monitor the development of blockages in the Western Cape's agricultural value chain in terms of exports and imports following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Western Cape Minister of... 

Agroprocessors encouraged to apply for Chinese food fair participation

By: Marleny Arnoldi     4th March 2022 The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) has invited companies in the agroprocessing sector to apply for participation in Asia’s largest food fair, the SIAL China Food and Beverage Trade Fair, which will take place on May 18 to 20 in Shanghai. The closing date for applications... 

Agbiz says exports, imports will suffer knock-on impacts from Ukraine war

By: Marleny Arnoldi     4th March 2022 Industry body the Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) has voiced concern about the human loss and disruptions being experienced in the global supply chain, owing to the conflict prevailing in Ukraine. Both Russia and Ukraine are notable players in the global agricultural product and... 


Higher prices, budget strains to hit Africa from war in Ukraine

By: Bloomberg     4th March 2022 Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is likely to hurt Africa’s coronavirus-ravaged and fragile economies through fiscal constraints, weaker investment flows and higher commodity costs. The most pronounced challenge will be the surge in prices, particularly of oil and wheat, as these will have... 

Preparations under way for AfCFTA’s long implementation voyage

By: Nadine James     4th March 2022 The processes meant to facilitate the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement are gaining momentum, with African countries hoping to leverage the opportunities created by the emerging single market to drive their pandemic recoveries and enhance their growth.... 

Magazine cover image

Committee to oversee the development of a cannabis industry in KwaZulu-Natal

By: Yvonne Silaule     3rd March 2022 The KwaZulu-Natal executive council has approved the Provincial Cannabis Committee to oversee the development of the industry in the province. Premier Sihle Zikalala made the announcement on March 1. This follows shortly after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced during the State of the Nation... 

Organisations outraged about sugar tax hike

By: Marleny Arnoldi     24th February 2022 While Agri SA welcomes Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana’s prudent approach to the 2022 Budget for the most part, the industry body is concerned about a number of announcements that it believes will adversely affect the agricultural sector and its ability to create jobs. For example, the... 

pack of sugar

Africa-focused agribusiness firm AgDevCo raises $90m

By: Reuters     24th February 2022 AgDevCo, an investor in early-stage African agriculture businesses, said on Thursday it has raised $90-million from British, US and Norwegian funds to shore up investments that will help small farmers raise yields and reduce waste. Small scale farmers in sub-Saharan Africa lack credit for seed... 

Poultry industry improvements should alleviate challenges

By: Darren Parker     23rd February 2022 The South African Poultry Association (Sapa) has made some “decisive improvements” to the poultry sector after a difficult year, it said on February 22. The effects of these improvements were aimed at alleviating problems experienced throughout the entire poultry value chain by the industry over... 

A photo of lots of chickens

Ukraine crisis could drive up South African food prices, warns research group

By: Rebecca Campbell     22nd February 2022 The Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) on Tuesday warned that the Russia-Ukraine crisis could “substantially” drive up global and so local prices for maize, wheat and vegetable oils. Ukraine was the world’s number four maize exporter, with an about 15% share of global exports, and... 

SA Canegrowers calls for scrapping of sugar tax

By: Schalk Burger     22nd February 2022 Industry organisation the South Africa Cane Growers Association (SA Canegrowers) has called for the Health Promotion Levy, or sugar tax, to be scrapped to enable the industry to grow. It further warns that doubling the tax would threaten 21 805 jobs. 

Collaboration between public, private sectors contribute to record agricultural exports

By: Marleny Arnoldi     22nd February 2022 While the civil unrest of July last year, Covid-19, heavy rains and cyberattacks have contributed to backlogs at South Africa’s ports over the last two years, it has also brought about more collaboration between the public and private sectors and resulted in record exports. South Africa’s... 


Gauteng has gone from health crisis to economic crisis – Makhura highlights in SoPA 

By: Darren Parker     21st February 2022 Gauteng has moved from a  public health emergency to an economic and service delivery emergency, Gauteng Premier David Makhura said during his State of the Province Address, in Johannesburg, on February 21. “As we steadily work our way out of the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic, we should show... 

a photo of Gauteng Premier David Makhura waving
Photo by Creamer Media
Gauteng Premier David Makhura at the Gauteng SoPA on February 21

EIB Global commits €62m for six high-impact private-sector investment initiatives in Africa

By: Schalk Burger     18th February 2022 Private sector investment across Africa is essential to tackle the impact of Covid-19 and unlock sustainable growth and development finance institution the European Investment Bank (EIB) Global will provide €62-million as part of six new partnerships that will support targeted private sector... 

Smallholder farmers need support, better policies

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     18th February 2022 South Africa has large numbers of smallholders who farm for food, an income or owing to lack of other options; however, this sector is in dire need of more support and proper policies, it was noted during a mini symposium on the future of smallholder farming in South Africa, held by the... 

TPT unpacks challenges to fruit shipping this season

By: Marleny Arnoldi     17th February 2022 Deciduous fruit exports through the Cape Town Container Terminal are up 6% year-on-year so far for the season, despite inclement weather and shipping backlogs, says Transnet Port Terminals (TPT). The season has seen an average loss of 39 days in terms of shipping activity owing to fog, wind... 

apple crate in foreground, blurred truck in background

Vinpro calls on govt to avoid excessive tax hikes, says wine industry straining under costs

By: Schalk Burger     17th February 2022 The wine industry is calling on government to exercise sound judgment when announcing excise duties during the National Budget Speech on February 23. Wine industry organisation Vinpro says that, in what may be one of their most expensive production years yet, South African wine grape farmers' and... 

IFC, Zimbabwe regulator to develop agricultural insurance to protect smallholder farmers

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     15th February 2022 World Bank Group member the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Zimbabwean insurance regulator the Insurance and Pensions Commission (IPEC) have formed a partnership to create a market for agricultural insurance products in Zimbabwe to protect smallholder farmers from weather-related crop... 

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