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Agriculture News

Headwinds mounting for world economy into final stretch of 2021

By: Bloomberg     4th October 2021 The global economy is entering the final quarter of 2021 with a mounting number of headwinds threatening to slow the recovery from the pandemic recession and prove policy makers’ benign views on inflation wrong. The spreading delta variant continues to disrupt schools and workplaces. US lawmakers... 

Unitrans Africa acquires crop-spraying drone fleet

By: Irma Venter     30th September 2021 Unitrans Africa has acquired a fleet of the world’s largest spraying drones. The seven Chinese-made DJI T30 Agras drones were developed at a cost of more than R400-million. The T30 drones are already in operation in Malawi and Mozambique, with results exceeding expectations in terms of spraying... 

Image of a DJI T30 Agras spraying drone
One of the DJI T30 Agras spraying drones

Barloworld reflects on resilient group performance

By: Schalk Burger     28th September 2021 JSE-listed equipment and services company Barloworld says the group achieved a resilient performance for the 11 months to August 31, in what remains a tough operating environment. The resilient performance was driven by a robust performance from industrial equipment, together with a substantial... 

York Timber swings to record Ebitda in FY21

By: Marleny Arnoldi     28th September 2021 JSE-listed integrated forestry company York Timber Holdings has managed to swing from a loss a share of 69c in the 2020 financial year to earnings a share of 44c in the financial year ended June 30. The company’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation improved by... 

Wood logs

Research body highlights surge in food inflation last month

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th September 2021 Last month saw higher food inflation than expected, the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) has reported. South African food inflation came to 6.9% in August (in year-on-year terms), continuing a rising trend that started in February. Last month’s food inflation was 0.2% higher than... 

Company highlights advantages of aluminium for industry

By: Anna Moross     24th September 2021 Water-jet cutting company MAXJET GLOBAL highlights why aluminium is becoming one of the main materials used in the aerospace, automotive and signage industry and the steps taken to process aluminium through water-jet cutting.  

An image of the water-jet cutting machinery
WATER-JET CUTTING When using precision water-jet cutting and profiling with aluminium, there are different steps in the process of implementation for different projects

Panel discusses ‘sustainable food’ in Africa 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     23rd September 2021 Africa’s food systems are at cross-roads, faced with the pressure of producing more for a growing population, while also tackling increasing levels of malnutrition. Taking place a few days before the United Nations Food Systems Summit as part of the Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable... 

Image of panel of speakers
Experts unpack hindrances to food security in Africa

Research group reports low level of market concentration in SA agriculture

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st September 2021 In a recent brief report, the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) pointed out that, according to the available data, the agricultural sector was one of the South African economy’s least concentrated sectors. And while agro-processing was much more concentrated that agriculture itself,... 

Refrigeration system to cut energy costs available

By: Halima Frost     17th September 2021 With South African retailers looking for ways of recovering from the latest lockdown, as well as the looting and vandalism, an opportunity to decrease costs on the system that comprises the bulk of their energy spend, which is refrigeration, has arisen. “All food retailers rely on refrigeration... 

A large solar installation on a clients roof installed by EP Refrigeration, which is grid-tied and decreases the clients reliance on grid power
LIGHT WORK Adding a solar installation to a company's refrigeration unit deceases the cost of running the unit off grid power alone

Global citrus demand increases refrigeration demand

By: Halima Frost     17th September 2021 A global increase in demand for South African-grown citrus, as well as more export regulations, has resulted in a substantial increase in demand for refrigeration capacity, says local refrigeration manufacturer EP Refrigeration business development head Dawie Kriel. “We not only need to add... 

A roof top refrigeration system installed by EP Refrigeration at a produce packing house
FRUITFUL SERVICES An increased need for refrigerated storage and transport capacity in the citrus sector is being addressed by EP Refrigeration

Opinion: Could South Africa’s logistics crisis derail the citrus sector’s stellar growth trajectory?

15th September 2021 In this opinion article, Nedbank head of agriculture John Hudson writes about how logistics constraints are hampering the growth of South Africa's citrus sector. 

A photo of a box of oranges

ACI falls eight points, but agriculture sector remains in good shape

By: Marleny Arnoldi     13th September 2021 The Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz)/Industrial Development Corporation Agribusiness Confidence Index (ACI) has contracted back to 67 points in the third quarter, after having surged to an all-time-high of 75 in the second quarter of the year. Still, the current level reflects favourable... 

ACI falls eight points, but agriculture sector remains in good shape

Ethiopian conflict hampering desert locust control, UN says

By: Bloomberg     9th September 2021 Desert locusts are breeding in Ethiopia’s northern regions unhindered due to ongoing conflict, threatening food production in other parts of the vast nation and in neighboring Eritrea, according the Food and Agriculture Organization. Bands are forming in Amhara, Afar and Tigray regions, the... 

Study confirms low enviro impact dairy farming equals higher profitability

By: Marleny Arnoldi     1st September 2021 Agricultural sustainability company Trace & Save has reaffirmed in a case study that a lower environmental impact is directly linked with higher profitability in the South African dairy farming industry. The company, in partnership with Nedbank and the World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa... 

Milk bottles

Doubling the sugar tax will result in thousands more rural job losses, report states

By: Simone Liedtke     1st September 2021 A report commissioned by the National Economic Development and Labour Council shows that, in the first year of the sugar tax’s implementation, there were 16 621 job losses across the industry, of which 9 000 job losses were in the cane growing sector alone. The South African (SA) Canegrowers... 

Pic/Image of Coke Can Lid.

South African minority investors to form activist group to take on Tongaat

By: Reuters     31st August 2021 A group of South African minority shareholders is coming together to press for change at debt-laden sugar producer Tongaat Hulett, its leader told Reuters, building on earlier efforts at Ascendis Health. The move signals the further rise of minority shareholder activism in South Africa, after... 

Women-developed products launched with the help of the Technology Innovation Agency

By: Donna Slater     30th August 2021 Five women-led products and innovations, developed with the assistance of the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), were launched and showcased to the market on August 30. The products include skincare products, a personal tracking device for children, an alternative to drinking yoghurt and a... 

Sea Harvest posts R323m interim profit

By: Marleny Arnoldi     30th August 2021 Seafood manufacturer Sea Harvest has achieved headline earnings growth of 19% year-on-year to R202-million for the six months ended June 30. This while earnings a share came in 27% higher year-on-year at 77.7c.  

Sea Harvest posts R323m interim profit

Agricultural employment probably stable, not increasing, despite StatsSA report

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th August 2021 The Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) has cautioned that the apparent increase in the number of agricultural jobs during the second quarter of this year (2Q21) in comparison to the first quarter (1Q21) might be illusory. According to the figures released by Statistics South Africa... 

Western Cape High Court reserves judgment in Vinpro court case

By: Simone Liedtke     26th August 2021 The Western Cape High Court has reserved judgement in the court case launched by agricultural association Vinpro over the approach towards liquor ban restrictions within the Disaster Management Act followed by the South African government. Following arguments from the legal representatives of... 

Association welcomes renewal of poultry anti-dumping duties 

By: Simone Liedtke     26th August 2021 The South African Poultry Association (Sapa) has welcomed the renewal of anti-dumping duties on imports of bone-in chicken from Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom (UK). The determination was issued by the independent International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa... 

South Africa crafts strategy for R28bn cannabis industry

By: Bloomberg     25th August 2021 South Africa’s government unveiled a master plan aimed at harnessing a R28-billion cannabis industry that could potentially create as many of 25 000 jobs and help attract foreign investment. The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development led a two-year process to craft a... 

Agri SA concerned about skilled workforce decline despite employment gains in Q2

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th August 2021 The agricultural sector was one of few that observed employment gains over the second quarter of this year, adding 69 000 people to its combined workforce, but industry body Agri SA remains concerned about a decline in the skilled workforce in the sector. The employment gains were recorded across... 

Land Bank makes another loss, debt plan not yet finalised

By: Reuters     24th August 2021 South Africa's Land Bank made another loss in the year to the end of March and is yet to finalise a debt restructuring plan, the bank said on Tuesday. The state-owned agricultural bank, which defaulted on its debt in April 2020 and missed a restructuring deadline in March 2021, is one of a... 

Western Cape rooibos industry receives a certificate for PDO in Europe

By: Yvonne Silaule     23rd August 2021 The European Union (EU) on August 23 handed over a certificate to the Western Cape Rooibos industry recognising its registration for Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) in the EU. Rooibos is now the first African product to receive PDO status from the EU. 

Minister, panel members agree that Eastern Cape holds great agriculture potential  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     20th August 2021 Although the Eastern Cape is a major source of primary agriculture and exports in the country, it is far from living up to its true productive and job-creation potential, Nascence Advisory and Research MD Xhanti Payi said on August 20. The consultancy hosted an Eastern Cape Agriculture Indaba,... 

Eastern Cape maize farm
Eastern Cape maize farm

Dust ramifications awareness needed

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     20th August 2021 "People should be aware of the ramifications of being exposed to dangerous fumes, chemicals and dust and the damage caused to mining and construction equipment by dust and other contaminants," says Trysome Auto Electrical Engineering key account manager Johan Momberg. The focus should be on... 

Picture of an excavator loading rubble into a dumb truck
COMBINED EFFORT Equipment or site owners should work together with solution providers to ensure that workers and equipment are protected

Aid supplied for food shortage

20th August 2021 After the recent devastation in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, engineering solutions provider BMG’s agricultural specialists are working even more closely with the agricultural community to help curtail the shortage of fresh produce in South Africa. “BMG’s agricultural team is well positioned to help... 

BMG drives for solar pumps on a farm
FULLY FUNCTIONAL BMG’s agricultural specialists are working even more closely with the agricultural community to help curtail the shortage of fresh produce in South Africa

Garden project boosts local nutrition

20th August 2021 Power tools and hardware wholesaler Matus South Africa’s premier garden brand Aquacraft partnered with Johannesburg-based nongovernmental organisation Siyakhana on an organic vegetable garden situated in Bezuidenhout Park, which supplies a range of fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs to local... 

gardening tools in garden soil among vegetation
GARDENING WITH A PURPOSE A portion of all Aquacraft sales will go towards the expansion of urban vegetable gardens across the country

Consultancy launches South Africa’s first carbon credit programme for the agri-sector

By: Marleny Arnoldi     18th August 2021 South Africa has launched its first internationally recognised carbon offset programme for the agricultural sector. Environmental consultant Climate Neutral Group (CNG), which successfully listed the programme under the Verra Carbon Standard, on August 18 advised that farmers practicing... 

Agbiz elects new CEO from within its own ranks

By: Simone Liedtke     18th August 2021 The Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) has designated Theo Boshoff, currently head of legal intelligence within Agbiz, to take over the reins as CEO from January 1, 2022. The current incumbent, Dr John Purchase, will retire at the end of December after more than 14 years of service to Agbiz. 

Sugarcane industry’s R84m loss from riots threatens thousands of rural jobs

By: Schalk Burger     17th August 2021 Industry body the South African Canegrowers Association (SA Canegrowers) is concerned about the impact of the recent unrest that swept through parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, on the sugar industry, with mills in KwaZulu-Natal having rejected 135 222 t of damaged cane valued at more than... 

Data is the key to the power of IoT, says industry council

By: Schalk Burger     17th August 2021 The Internet of Things (IoT) has been described as a disruptive technology, which has led to high expectations, but these expectations are realistic, owing to the technology's ability to unlock significant insights from seemingly insignificant data and to use these insights to save money and... 

Omnia firmly in a growth phase following restructuring – CEO 

By: Simone Liedtke     16th August 2021 Diversified chemical manufacturing company Omnia intends to “settle down” following the completion of its strategic restructuring, and to take some time to focus on its people, culture and setting a “firm foundation to grow from”. Omnia CEO Seelan Gobalsamy tells Engineering News the company is... 

Pic/Image of Omnia CEO Seelan Gobalsamy
Omnia CEO Seelan Gobalsamy speaks to Engineering News about the company's growth and strategy developments following its recent restructuring. Video: Recorded on Zoom. Editing: Creamer Media's Nicholas Boyd.

Unique regional status to South Africa's rooibos tea can turn fortunes for crop

By: Reuters     12th August 2021 Come December, when farmers near Cape Town harvest rooibos leaves, they will become the first generation to grow and sell a tea with a unique regional status, a designation awarded to other such products as French champagne or Irish whiskey. The rooibos tea, whose name means "red bush" in... 

Increased interest in temporary employment services

By: Darren Parker     6th August 2021 More of human capital solutions provider Workforce’s agricultural clients are agreeing to the value that Workforce Staffing – a temporary employment service provider subsidiary of Workforce – can bring to the table. Workforce Africa MD Darren Hollander tells Engineering News that compliance... 

A photograph of Workforce Africa MD Darren Hollander
DARREN HOLLANDER In the agriculture sector, which mostly requires unskilled labour, not enough is being done to upskill workers

Digital water-quality monitoring and reporting tool coming to market

By: Darren Parker     6th August 2021 Financial advisory firm Bosch Capital has been appointed by environmental and water governance, risk and compliance specialist Carin Bosman Sustainable Solutions (CBSS) to support the commercial development of the new Leguaan software-as-a-service (SaaS) water-quality monitoring, data... 

Photo of woman testing water quality
TESTING, TESTING Without the correct interpretation of testing results, it is impossible to make informed decisions about the management adjustments that are necessary
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