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Agriculture News

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... 

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... 

Lubrication solution more accessible for agriculture sector

By: Cameron Mackay     15th May 2020 Industrial lubrication solutions provider Lubrication Engineers (LE) South Africa is supplying its Monolec engine oils in 5 ℓ and 1 ℓ containers to accommodate the requirements of bakkies and small trucks in the local agriculture sector. LE South Africa national sales manager Llewellyn Owen says... 

Lubrication solution more accessible for agriculture sector
LLEWELLYN OWEN It was decided that the Monolec range would be made more accessible to all those in the whole spectrum of industry, and to those in the private markets

Sappi announces €250m senior notes offering

By: Donna Slater     14th May 2020 Pulp and paper company Sappi is offering €250-million of senior notes, due 2025. The notes will be issued by Sappi Papier Holding, a subsidiary of Sappi.  

Company joins distributor group as Southern Africa supplier

8th May 2020 Industrial equipment and tools supplier Industri Tools & Equipment has recently launched as, part of distributor and technical services solution provider Engineering Solutions Group, a subsidiary of investment holding and management company Invicta Holdings Limited to supply and support all... 

Company joins distributor group as Southern Africa supplier
KRIBAN GOVENDER It is critical for customers to have dependable support from a highly experienced team with combined technical skills and expertise

Next-generation machine tool introduced

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     8th May 2020 Automation company ABB has begun the introduction of its FlexLoader to the South African market. The FlexLoader, which next generation of machine tools, contains tending cells that are designed to feed machines and automate the handling of workpieces in production. 

Next-generation  machine tool introduced
TECHNOLOGICALLY ADVANCED All cells in the ABB FlexLoader range are standardised and built using the latest technology to meet the increasing requirements for flexible and cost-effective production

Company expands range to meet engineering demands

8th May 2020 With the growing trend for companies to move away from manual machine operation to specialised mechanisation as part of cost saving programmes, industrial equipment supplier BMG has made a substantial investment in expanding its product range to meet specific demand in economical and highly... 

Company expands  range to meet engineering demands
SPOILT FOR CHOICE The range of linear way products includes linear guides, runner blocks, rails, ball screws, bushings and shafts, designed for use in diverse applications

Tools supplier awarded tool kit contract

8th May 2020 The Colliery Training College (CTC) in Emalahleni has awarded industrial equipment and tools supplier Industri Tools & Equipment the 2020 contract to supply tool kits, which are used during mining- and engineering-related skills training. “The CTC, which was established in 1964 specifically for... 

Local energy not managed efficiently

By: Tracy Hancock     8th May 2020 South Africa is not using its world-class renewable energy resources to drive energy efficiency, says independent conservation organisation World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa (WWF-SA) urban futures project manager Louise Scholtz. “If we were, South Africa’s Integrated Resources Plan 2019... 

Local energy not managed efficiently
TRANSFORMATIVE DEVELOPMENTS The decreasing cost of renewable-energy technologies, such as rooftop solar photovoltaic, are one of the developments transforming South Africa’s energy market

Agritech solutions can help farmers offset Covid-19 risks, says Standard Bank

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th May 2020 Financial services provider Standard Bank says digital solutions can help farmers to keep operations functioning and efficiently so during times of uncertainty. Agribusiness head Nico Groenewald says the outbreak of Covid-19 across the globe is presenting a unique set of challenges to... 

Agritech solutions can help farmers offset Covid-19 risks, says Standard Bank

South Africa records stellar wine season – report

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     5th May 2020 South Africa’s 2020 wine grape crop will bring “exceptional” wines to consumers, following favourable conditions throughout the season, the South African wine industry’s yearly 'Wine Harvest Report 2020' shows. “Although it’s always important to take our diversity over ten wine grape growing... 

R307m Economic Transformation of Black Citrus Growers Programme launched

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     4th May 2020 Industry body, the Citrus Growers Association (CGA), has issued a call for applications for a R307-million Economic Transformation of Black Citrus Growers Programme that has been launched. The programme is expected to create an additional 1 726 permanent and seasonal jobs in the citrus industry. 

Tribunal approves consent agreement with fresh produce supplier

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     4th May 2020 A supplier of fresh produce in Kempton Park, Gauteng, has agreed to donate hand sanitisers to the Tembisa Provincial Hospital, after having been accused by the Competition Commission of charging excessive prices for hand sanitisers. In a consent agreement entered into with the commission,... 

Mulcher developed for S African conditions

1st May 2020 Local original-equipment manufacturer (OEM) Bell Equipment has developed the Bell M350 Mulcher, which caters to the forestry industry and has been specially geared for South Africa’s hot and dusty climate. This niche solution was developed in consultation with the company’s customer base. 

Mulcher developed for S African conditions
MULCH ADO The Bell M350 Mulcher is a niche solution developed in consultation with customers from the South African forestry industry

South African agriculture is dependent on imports for key inputs

By: Rebecca Campbell     1st May 2020 While South Africa was a net exporter of agricultural products, the country had to import a large proportion of the inputs required to produce this surplus, independent research body the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) has warned. In its latest brief report, The Use of Agricultural... 

Agricultural inputs supply chain likely to be tested by Covid-19

By: Rebecca Campbell     1st May 2020 Measures adopted by countries around the world to counter the Covid-19 pandemic had sent shockwaves across the global economy, triggering turmoil and volatility, noted independent South Africa research group the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) in its latest brief report, ‘The Use... 

Lockdown highlights food supply importance

By: Darren Parker     1st May 2020 The Covid-19 outbreak and consequent measures taken by government to combat its spread have highlighted the importance of food supply, says motors and drives company SEW Eurodrive MD Raymond Obermeyer. “We will ensure that we reconsider the areas that we believe will benefit the agriculture... 

Lockdown highlights food supply importance
RAYMOND OBERMEYER Throughout the lockdown, SEW Eurodrive has continued to assist the agriculture sector as crucial link in the food supply chain.

New tractor designed for African conditions

By: Darren Parker     1st May 2020 Original-equipment manufacturer John Deere received approval from the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications to market and sell its new 6B series of tractors in South Africa, following several years of extensive testing throughout Africa. “The 6B series was designed specifically with... 

New tractor designed for  African conditions
TRACTORS FOR AFRICA The new 6B tractors were designed specifically with Africa in mind

Agri hub units remain focus for supplier

By: Darren Parker     1st May 2020 Power transmission products distributor Bearings International (BI) is maintaining its focus on promoting its bearing hub units for agricultural applications this year. The BAA0005 is the latest in the series of specially designed, self-lubricating bearing hub units. It is a completely modular... 

Agri hub units remain focus for supplier
GERHARD PIENAAR Bearings International will continue to develop its special agri hub units in conjunction with its major original-equipment manufacturer clients

Good agricultural sales expected post lockdown

By: Darren Parker     1st May 2020 The outbreak of Covid-19 and the consequent initial 21-day national lockdown in South Africa, which has since been extended by two weeks, caused a slowdown in sales for almost every sector in South Africa, including the agricultural sector. Despite the lull, Pratley marketing director Eldon... 

Good agricultural sales expected post lockdown
DON’T BLOW A GASKET The new room temperature vulcanising silicone gasket maker compound is temperature resistant from -50 ºC to 300 ºC for short periods

Farmers urged to de-silt dams before dry season

1st May 2020 As the dry season approaches in many parts of South Africa, farmers need to ensure that silt is not limiting the volume of water that they can store, says specialist pump rental company Integrated Pump Rental MD Lee Vine. He notes that the progressive build-up of silt means that dams and ponds in... 

Farmers urged to de-silt dams before dry season
SUCK JOB A fit-for-purpose dewatering solution from Integrated Pump Rental is successfully desilting farm dams

KwaZulu-Natal vital for bearing distributor growth

By: Mamaili Mamaila     1st May 2020 Power transmission products distributor Bearings International (BI) has earmarked KwaZulu-Natal as a key growth area for its business going forward. 

KwaZulu-Natal vital for bearing distributor growth
POWERING ON Bearings International’s Durban branch stocks a range of bearings, electric motors, gearboxes, lubricants, seals, tools and power transmission products for several industries

Accelerated business activity could follow lockdown slowdown

By: Darren Parker     1st May 2020 Following a “drastic” slowdown in sales, rentals and aftermarket support in the agriculture sector during the Covid-19 lockdown in South Africa, equipment supplier Goscor Earthmoving (GEM) national sales manager Kevin Purcell expects that business will either return to normal in the sector once... 

Accelerated business activity could follow lockdown slowdown
AN ALLY IN THE TRENCHES The SY210 has many applications in agriculture

Agbiz launches food relief initiative for needy communities

By: Donna Slater     30th April 2020 Agricultural business chamber Agbiz has launched a food relief project for the most needy people in agricultural rural communities, which will receive food relief under the Agri Value Chain Relief Project – a project initiated and coordinated by Agbiz and in collaboration with Grain South... 

South Africa's blueberry production soars, strong future growth predicted

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     29th April 2020 Based on industry figures, South Africa’s blueberry production for 2019/20 increased to 18 000 t from 11 700 t the previous year, the South African Berry Producers Association (Sabpa) reports. It says this 53% year-on-year growth in production is a testament to the growing investment in, and... 

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