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Agriculture News

Eldana challenge continues, bat study under way

By: Tracy Hancock     6th December 2019 Eldana remains one of the sugar industry’s major challenges, says South African Sugarcane Research Institute (SASRI) biosecurity manager Rowan Stranack. The African sugarcane borer is commonly found throughout the West, Central, East and Southern Africa. 

Local sugar industry critical, master plan being developed

By: Tracy Hancock     6th December 2019 The local sugar industry is in decline and could be described as “being in the intensive care unit”, says South African Sugar Association (SASA) executive director Trix Trikam. Subsequently, SASA is discussing the development of a sugar industry master plan with government and downstream users... 

Local sugar industry critical, master plan being developed
SWEET ESCAPE To ensure sustainable development of the sugarcane sector, there needs to be diversification into sugar ethanol fuel and other cane-derived products

Sugar giant transforming business amid turmoil

By: Tracy Hancock     6th December 2019 In addition to its plans to exit sugar farming in South Africa, embattled agroprocessing business Tongaat Hulett expects to conclude a transaction to establish a transformative milling, refining and sugar marketing business by the end of this year. The developments are part of a strategic review... 

Sugar giant transforming business amid turmoil
FELIXTON MILL The initial assets of Tongaat Hulett’s transformative milling, refining and sugar marketing business have an installed capacity to produce more than one-million tons of sugar a year

Industry 4.0 advancing in local sugar milling

By: Tracy Hancock     6th December 2019 All South Africa’s sugar mills are now using the near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) analytical technology developed by centralised scientific organisation Sugar Milling Research Institute NPC (SMRI), says SMRI research and development manager Steve Davis. The SMRI-NIRS technology – which SMRI... 

Industry 4.0 advancing in local sugar milling
SUGAR 4.0 The potential value derived from Sugar Milling Research Institute NPC’s near-infrared spectroscopy analytical technology is only just beginning to be explored

IFC launches study to improve water efficiency in agriculture sector 

By: Simone Liedtke     5th December 2019 To identify opportunities for water efficiency in the agricultural sector and analyse the barriers to improvement in this area, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) has launched a study as part of its Agroprocessing Resource Efficiency Programme. In partnership with IFC’s partner,... 

IFC launches study to improve water efficiency in agriculture sector
IFC manufacturing, agribusiness and services adviser Raymond Greig

Water, land reform concerns weigh on agriculture sector's confidence 

By: Simone Liedtke     5th December 2019 The Agricultural Business Chamber and the Industrial Development Corporation Agribusiness Confidence Index declined from 46 points in the third quarter of this year to 44 index points in the fourth quarter. This level below the 50-point neutral mark, Agbiz chief economist Wandile Sihlobo told... 

Water, land reform concerns weigh on agriculture sector's confidence
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Agbiz chief economist Wandile Sihlobo

Uganda's Grainpulse set for expansion with IFC support

5th December 2019 The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) will extend an $11-million loan to Ugandan agribusiness company Grainpulse to support its expansion and strengthen its farmer supply chain, increasing food production and economic growth in... 

Tongaat to pursue claims against former execs over ‘undesirable’ accounting practices 

By: Simone Liedtke     29th November 2019 Embattled agroprocessing business Tongaat Hulett said on Friday that a probe by advisory firm PwC into the company’s past financial activities had revealed that certain senior executives had initiated or participated in “undesirable accounting practices”. In turn, this resulted in revenue being... 

Industrial parks must focus on overcoming business constraints, says DTIC 

By: Simone Liedtke     29th November 2019 To drive industrialisation in South Africa and promote economic growth, Department of Trade, Industry and Competition industrial cluster development director Gavin Adams says an industrial park’s key objective must be a focus on overcoming the constraints of doing business within a constrained... 

Industrial parks must focus on overcoming business constraints, says DTIC
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Gavin Adams

L2D launches rooftop aquaponics farm at Eastgate shopping centre

By: Marleny Arnoldi     29th November 2019 Real estate investment trust Liberty Two Degrees (L2D) on Friday launched a rooftop aquaponics farm district at its Eastgate shopping centre, in Bedfordview. The farm is a first for the company’s shopping centres. It uses smart technology to provide sustainable food production solutions to... 

Partnerships help pull domestic cotton industry out of doldrums

By: Donna Slater     29th November 2019 The South African cotton industry was in decline, having reached crisis point in about 2013. On the verge of collapse, a chain of events from three seemingly unassuming roleplayers set off a chain reaction that resulted in explosive growth and substantial redevelopment for the sector into an... 

Partnerships help pull domestic cotton industry out of doldrums

Solaris-based biodiesel introduced to operations at OR Tambo

By: Simone Liedtke     28th November 2019 Various entities on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for Project Reya Foya, the follow up to Project Solaris, which will introduce Solaris-based biodiesel into the ground-handling operations at OR Tambo International Airport. Solaris is a nicotine-free tobacco plant used by... 

Solaris-based biodiesel introduced to operations at OR Tambo
A Solaris seed pod

'Perfect storm' awaits farming and fisheries if world doesn't curb emissions

By: Reuters     28th November 2019 The world needs to urgently cut its planet-warming greenhouse-gas emissions to avoid a "perfect storm" that will lead to simultaneous falls in food production from both farming and marine fisheries, researchers said. If emissions continue to rise rapidly, nearly "90% of the world's population ...... 

Invicta interim earnings, cash generation increase

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th November 2019 Investment holding and equipment distribution company Invicta on Monday reported a 1 046% year-on-year increase in basic earnings a share to 149c for the six months ended September 30. Headline earnings a share increased by 2 029% to 149c apiece. 

Making seeds to withstand climate change is getting harder

By: Bloomberg     25th November 2019 Global hunger and malnutrition are on the rise, as are temperatures and water shortages. Humanity must adapt crops to the changing climate by breeding hardier plants, but political and commercial interests continue to stymie those efforts. Sharing seeds is critical to the global food system. To... 

Citrus industry rakes in R20bn in exports, despite challenging events

By: Simone Liedtke     25th November 2019 South Africa, which has packed 126-million cartons of citrus fruit for export globally, remains the second-largest global exporter of citrus fruit and, despite events such as drought and container terminal delays, the industry continues to rake export revenue of R20-billion a year into the... 

Prolonged drought hits South African farmers’ resilience

By: Natasha Odendaal     22nd November 2019 Federation of agricultural organisations AgriSA outlines a dire picture of the impact the years-long drought has had on South Africa’s farming industry and its now-waning capacity to recover in the midst of a climatic shift. Over the past four years, the country has faced a drier climatic spell,... 

Gauteng outlines ambitions for climate change mitigation   

By: Natasha Odendaal     21st November 2019 After two years of development, gathering input, undertaking consultations and further refinements, the Gauteng City Region is preparing to implement an overarching Climate Change Response Strategy and Action Plan. Unveiled at the third Gauteng Climate Change Indaba, held in Pretoria, the plan... 

Gauteng outlines ambitions for climate change mitigation

South Africa must consider psychological, trade impact of Mozambique LNG projects

By: Simone Liedtke     21st November 2019 Mozambique is likely on the brink of an economic breakthrough, owing to significant volumes of gas becoming available in the region as the liquefied natural gas (LNG) export projects in northern Mozambique come on line, says Standard Bank oil and gas head for southern Africa Paul Eardley-Taylor. 

Angola considered an ‘excellent investment opportunity’

By: Simone Liedtke     20th November 2019 Angola faces considerable challenges as its economy evolves, but the focus must be on diversifying its economy, especially as it boasts “excellent investment opportunities in different sectors”, a panel of speakers agreed during a seminar hosted by law firm Webber Wentzel on Tuesday. Webber... 

SA parliament committee concerned over lack of 'tangible' drought strategy

By: African News Agency      20th November 2019 Parliament's select committee on cooperative governance and traditional affairs, water and sanitation says it is concerned at the lack of a tangible drought strategy to deal effectively with the challenges South Africa is currently facing. Last week commercial farmers said a ravaging drought had... 

SA parliament committee concerned over lack of 'tangible' drought strategy

Southern Africa drought to persist through March, FEWS NET says

By: Bloomberg     19th November 2019 Southern Africa faces further drought through March as land preparation and planting of summer crops gets underway, even after most parts of the region received near-normal rainfall through early November, according to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET). “Seasonal forecasts... 

Bidcorp continues positive performance in first months of financial year

By: Simone Liedtke     18th November 2019 International food, service and technology group Bidcorp CEO Bernard Benson on Monday said trading conditions in the four months to October 31 had continued to be positive and was broadly in line with the performances achieved in the 2019 financial year. During a webcast presentation on Monday,... 

Authentic storytelling will attract new tourists

15th November 2019 A powerful message emerged during a presentation on trends by more than 15 high-level expert speakers at the recent Wine & Food Tourism Conference. Held at Spier near Stellenbosch on September 18, consultant Flux Trends analyst Dion Chang led a discussion about the trends that are shaping tourism... 

Modular installation systems fitted in abattoir

By: Darren Parker     15th November 2019 Multinational construction services company Hilti designed and supplied the modular installation systems to support wet services for chicken producer Early Bird Farms, in Olifantsfontein. Early Bird Farms has been refurbishing and refitting its operations as part of Project Phoenix, which... 

Modular installation systems fitted in abattoir
CRIZETTE VAN DEN BERGH The modular installation system is beneficial in terms of maintenance because of reduced downtime

SA’s water shortages 

13th November 2019 Creamer Media’s Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Natasha Odendaal about the water supply challenges in South Africa, how government plans to address the situation and how the ongoing drought is affecting the agricultural sector.   

SA’s water shortages
SA’s water shortages

Prolonged drought hits South African farmers’ resilience 

By: Natasha Odendaal     12th November 2019 Federation of agricultural organisations AgriSA on Tuesday painted a dire picture of the impact the years-long drought has had on South Africa’s farming industry and its now-waning capacity to recover in the midst of a climatic shift. Over the past four years, the country has faced a drier... 

Prolonged drought hits South African farmers’ resilience

Forum expected to drive investment to improve regional integration in Africa

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th November 2019 This year's Africa Investment Forum (AIF) is focused on regional integration and accelerating investment accordingly, says African Development Bank (AfDB) president Akinwumi Adesina. Speaking on the first day of the forum, which is being held in Sandton, he noted that a lack of infrastructure,... 

Manufacturer targets product releases, skills development

By: Cameron Mackay     8th November 2019 Solar energy equipment supplier Microcare plans to share its local story of innovation, job creation and skills development next year during its thirtieth year of manufacturing in South Africa and aims to celebrate with product releases and support for even higher standards of solar equipment... 

Manufacturer targets product releases,  skills development
OFF THE GRID Microcare plans to share its local story of innovation, job creation and skills development next year during its 30th year of manufacturing in South Africa

Poultry master plan broadly accepted by industry

By: Simone Liedtke     7th November 2019 President Cyril Ramaphosa this week announced a new master plan for the poultry industry, which aims to put the industry back on a growth path. The plan, which has been broadly accepted by the poultry industry, was compiled by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) and brokered... 

Poultry master plan broadly accepted by industry

Next-generation protein could come from air, methane, volcanic springs

By: Reuters     6th November 2019 It may sound like science fiction, but in a few short years the family dinner table may be laden with steak from a printer and other proteins produced from air, methane or volcanic microbes. With the explosive success of vegan beef and burger substitutes developed by Beyond Meat and Impossible... 

New agricultural agency to facilitate investments worth R12.9bn  

By: Terence Creamer     6th November 2019 A new agricultural development agency will be launched in January to oversee 32 farming investments across South Africa collectively valued at R12.9-billion. Politician-turned-businessperson Roelf Meyer unveiled the venture, which has hitherto been pursued under the aegis of the Public Private... 

New agricultural agency to facilitate investments worth R12.9bn
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Roelf Meyer

Landmark deal to give Khoi and San benefit-sharing levy in Rooibos

By: African News Agency      1st November 2019 The Rooibos industry and the Khoi-Khoi and San have signed an access and benefit-sharing (ABS) agreement which will see the Khoi-Khoi and San communities benefit from the commercialisation of the indigenous herbal tea. A special ceremony to mark the historic occasion was held in !Khwa ttu, close... 

Maggot farmer to expand from Cape Town to California

By: Bloomberg     31st October 2019 The company behind the world’s first industrial-scale maggot farm based on organic waste plans to kick off its international expansion with a plant in California next year, taking advantage of two global problems: a shortage of protein and an abundance of trash. The plant in Jurupa Valley will be... 

Maggot farmer to expand from Cape Town to California
AgriProtein fly farming

Minister Didiza elected chair of AU committee on agriculture

By: African News Agency      25th October 2019 South Africa Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Thoko Didiza has been elected the chairperson of the African Union Specialised Technical Committee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment during the Committee’s meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In her... 

Minister Didiza elected chair of AU committee on agriculture
Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Thoko Didiza

ITC-SA puts dormancy on the backburner as it pursues new operating model

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     25th October 2019 The Institute for Timber Construction South Africa (ITC-SA) has reversed its resolution of dormancy following overwhelming feedback from various quarters of the structural timber industry, the full spectrum of its membership and government departments, on the critical role that the institute has... 

R50m emergency drought funding approved for Western Cape farms

By: African News Agency      24th October 2019 The Western Cape cabinet has approved the release of R50 million in emergency funding to assist farms severely affected by drought.  According to the province's MEC for finance and economic opportunities, David Maynier, the release of the funding was authorised on Tuesday.  

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