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Agriculture News

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... 

Wine grape producers’ profitability improving, but some are still struggling

By: Marleny Arnoldi     10th February 2020 Industry body Vinpro says South African wine grape producers’ financial viability is improving, after a long downward cycle; however, there is still a long way towards sustainability. Vinpro conducted its Production Plan Survey among 260 wine grape producers, finding that 28% of respondents... 

'Drastic' fall in bumblebee populations shocks scientists

By: Reuters     7th February 2020 When scientist Peter Soroye first saw the figures showing estimated bumblebee populations in North America had fallen by nearly 50% in a single generation, he thought it must be a typo. He checked the numbers - the result of a long-term analysis of bumblebee populations published in the journal... 

'Drastic' fall in bumblebee populations shocks scientists

New forklift models for South African market

By: Darren Parker     7th February 2020 Local forklift and compressor distributor Avir is introducing four new Chinese JAC forklift models to South Africa this year. One of these new models is a special edition 3 t forklift for loading and offloading in steep-gradient conditions. 

New forklift models for South African market
RAISING THE BAR The new models of JAC forklifts will enter the South African market this year

Oil recycling foundation reaching out to farmers

By: Tracy Hancock     7th February 2020 The further farmers are from a town or city, the more likely they are to find it difficult to dispose of used oil responsibly, says nonprofit organisation Recycling Used Oil Saves the Environment Foundation CEO Bubele Nyiba. Although this is not an excuse, he emphasises that, as farmers live off... 

Oil recycling foundation reaching out to farmers
NO TOWN TOO SMALL Used oil collectors travel to various small towns throughout South Africa, where farmers can dispose of used oil at automotive workshops

Land Bank appoints new CFO

By: Simone Liedtke     6th February 2020 The Land and Agricultural Development Bank  of South Africa (Land Bank) has appointed Khensani Mukhari CFO, with effect from February 3. Mukhari is a qualified chartered accountant, holds a master’s degree in business leadership, and joins the Land Bank with over 20 years’ experience in various... 

Southern African association to co-chair World Citrus Organisation

By: Marleny Arnoldi     5th February 2020 The Citrus Growers’ Association of Southern Africa (CGASA) has been appointed a co-chair of the World Citrus Organisation (WCO). This was announced during the official founding of the WCO, at the international fresh produce trade show Fruit Logistica, in Berlin, on Tuesday.  

Company supplies motor units for German project

31st January 2020 Drive technology company SEW-Eurodrive supplied 64 Movigear servo motors from its Cape Town branch to a major original-equipment manufacturer (OEM). 

Company supplies motor units for German project
IDEAL SOLUTIONS The Movigear solution was ideal for this application owing to its 200:1 speed range

Conferences still vital despite tough trading conditions

By: Mc'Kyla Nortje     31st January 2020 Despite a challenging trading environment over the years, trade shows are well supported, which indicates their relevance across various industries, says event organiser Specialised Exhibitions MD Gary Corin. “Although exhibitors are cautious about the way in which they participate at... 

Company leverages off diverse industrial supplier’s strengths

31st January 2020 As part of automotive consumable products supplier Hudaco Group, Bearings International (BI) is able to leverage synergies across a broad range of companies, meaning it can offer a complete product basket across its branch network nationally. 

UK displays optimism about Africa’s future at summit

By: Rebecca Campbell     31st January 2020 January 20 saw the UK-Africa Investment Summit in London, attended by representatives of 21 African countries, including the Presidents of Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda and Uganda. That South African President Cyril Ramaphosa chose to pull out of the conference to focus on the country’s... 

Transnet sets new reefer loading record

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     29th January 2020 Transnet Port Terminals has broken an all-time record by loading 1 665 reefers of South African grapes, blueberries and plums destined for Europe, aboard the Santa Clara, owned by logistics company Maersk. A Cape Town Container Terminal team achieved the new record over the past week, surpassing... 

Venter to step down as AFGRI CEO

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     29th January 2020 Chris Venter will step down as CEO of AFGRI Group Holdings (AGH) after 11 years in the role and a total of 15 years’ service to the group in various capacities. Tinus Prinsloo has been appointed as his successor. 

Wine grape conditions improving this year

By: Marleny Arnoldi     27th January 2020 Wine producer association Vinpro says things are looking up in most regions for wine grape harvests in South Africa this year. “Sufficient water and a moderate ripening period contributed to expectations of a somewhat larger 2020 South African wine grape harvest compared to 2019; however, still... 

Wine grape conditions improving this year

South African wine industry bullish despite tough environment

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     24th January 2020 The South African wine industry expects 2020 to be a difficult year, but remains hopeful that it will be able to build on some of the momentum gained in 2019 to overcome major challenges.   

Demand increasing for boiler cleaning

By: Cameron Mackay     17th January 2020 There has been a signifiscant increase in demand for industrial and chemical cleaning solutions provider Gra-Tech’s chemical cleaning of package boilers, as industries in which package boilers are used are looking to optimise operational efficiencies and reduce costs. Package boilers are smaller... 

Demand increasing for boiler cleaning
SQUEAKY CLEAN Preoperational cleaning of boilers before commissioning require a 1% hydrofluoric acid solution to remove most mill scale and fabrication defects

Company to offer carbon tax consulting

By: Cameron Mackay     17th January 2020 Boiler and burner solutions provider Steam Generation is set to introduce Carbon Tax consulting services for its customers to add to its boiler financing services. This comes after the Carbon Tax Act was introduced in South Africa in June last year, which affects energy-intensive industrial... 

Company to offer carbon tax consulting
BOILER EFFICIENCY FOCUS Hlophe notes an increase in customers using coal-fired boilers that require automation to assist in monitoring and realising boiler efficiency, at a reasonable cost

Company expands into boiler manufacturing

By: Cameron Mackay     17th January 2020 Boiler management, consulting, engineering and quality-assurance services provider GM Boiler and Steam Consulting Engineering (GMB) will continue to expand its business this year to include the manufacturing of boilers and boiler components for plant and production industries. Last year, the... 

Company expands into boiler manufacturing
BOILER UPKEEP The company’s knowledge and expertise in refurbishment services has become vital for the maintenance of second- and third-hand boilers

Sydney Soundy appointed acting Land Bank CEO

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     15th January 2020 Sydney Soundy, who is the executive for strategy and communications at the Land Bank has been appointed as acting CEO with immediate effect. This follows the resignation of Kone Gugushe as acting CEO, with immediate effect, and chief risk officer, effective March 31. 

Global food prices jump to five-year high

By: Bloomberg     10th January 2020 Global food prices ended the year at the highest in half a decade, propelled by swine shortages and rising vegetable-oil demand across the world. The 13% annual gain in the United Nations’ food index marks a turnaround from recent years, when grocery bills were kept in check by surpluses of... 

South Africa has huge 'green fuels' potential. But it needs to act now

10th January 2020 In this opinion piece, first published in The Conversation, professors David Walwyn and Rod Crompton make the case for South Africa to pay greater research and development attention to the production of green hydrogen using a combination of wind and solar power and electrolysers. In addition,... 

South Africa has huge 'green fuels' potential. But it needs to act now

Cabinet rejects farm-size limits in land reforms

By: Bloomberg     20th December 2019 Cabinet rejected proposals to limit the size of farms and to establish a dedicated fund in the nation’s land-reform process, Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza said. An advisory panel set up by President Cyril Ramaphosa in July submitted a report containing 73... 

Cabinet rejects farm-size limits in land reforms

Lesotho wants to export its cannabis to the world

By: Bloomberg     20th December 2019 Kekeletso Lekaota spends her work days nurturing rows of cannabis plants for harvest. Pruning a few yellowed leaves from stems with thick, flowering heads, she says the job requires a soft touch and delicate hands. It’s a crop Lekaota had no experience with 18 months ago, when she saw an... 

Lesotho wants to export its cannabis to the world
A worker harvests plants at the MG Health Ltd. growing facility in Lesotho.

Farmers reeling from latest bout of load-shedding 

By: News24Wire      12th December 2019 Eskom's current load-shedding has struck in the middle of the Western Cape's fruit season, further hobbling a key industry that depends on a regular electricity supply, Geoff Jacobs, president of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said on Wednesday. The Western Cape fruit sector earns... 

 Farmers reeling from latest bout of load-shedding

Load-shedding threatens critical cold storage, water management in agri sector

By: Marleny Arnoldi     12th December 2019 Industry association Agri SA on Thursday shared its view on how load-shedding has impacted on the agricultural sector. Agri SA Centre of Excellence chairperson Nicol Jansen says Eskom’s implementation of Stage 6 load-shedding on Monday evening caught the South African economy off guard,... 

Load-shedding threatens critical cold storage, water management in agri sector

Sluggish economic growth affecting companies' hiring plans – survey

By: Simone Liedtke     10th December 2019 South African employers have reported soft hiring intentions for the first quarter of 2020. The latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey shows that while 10% of employers forecast an increase in payrolls, 8% anticipate a decrease and 81% expect to make no changes. 

Effective drones well received by farmers

By: Tracy Hancock     6th December 2019 Local sugarcane farmers have responded positively to South Africa’s first licensed crop-spraying drone at a time when the industry is tackling a significantly challenging financial climate, says farmer-owned organisation Precision Agricultural Systems (PACSys) CEO Tim Wise. “Unfortunately, the... 

Effective drones well received by farmers
ANALYSE THIS DJI and PACSys are undertaking research and development to integrate crop health and/or management analytics with drone spraying systems to allow for “spot-spraying” applications
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