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Agriculture News

New water-level station introduced

By: Tracy Hancock     11th October 2019 The HOBO MicroRX water-level station, which can monitor water levels in the harshest conditions, is the “perfect solution” to South Africa’s current economic and environmental challenges, says local technology integrator Euca Technologies. South Africa has fast become a water-conscious country,... 

Agri SA, Minister agree on need for partnerships to advance growth 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     10th October 2019 With stagnant economic growth and an unemployment rate of about 29%, the pressure is increasing on the agricultural sector to contribute more to gross domestic product (GDP) and live up to its potential in the country. However, the sector is facing its own challenges, including policy... 

Agri SA, Minister agree on need for partnerships to advance growth
Agriculture Minister Thoko Didiza discusses what the sector needs to grow and Agri SA president Dan Kriek shares his view on land reform policy

Drought conditions persist in some parts of the country – Agriculture dept

By: African News Agency      9th October 2019 Below normal rainfall is anticipated over the central and south-eastern parts of South Africa during late spring, while above normal rainfall is expected during early summer to mid-summer in the central and eastern regions, the department of agriculture, forestry and fisheries said on Wednesday,... 

Drought conditions persist in some parts of the country – Agriculture dept

Gauteng prioritises agriculture, township economy, manufacturing growth 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th October 2019 Gauteng economic development, agriculture and environment MEC Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa on Tuesday said the province continued to experience pressure for further economic development, owing to about 4 000 people moving to the province each week in the hopes of gaining access to better... 

Gauteng prioritises agriculture, township economy, manufacturing growth
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Dr Kgotsientso Ramokgopa

Tongaat again delays publication of full-year results

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     8th October 2019 Sugar producer Tongaat Hulett will not publish its results for the 2019 financial year on October 31 as previously planned. The company in May announced that there would be a delay in publishing the results for the financial year ended March 31 and that it would have to restate its results for... 

Land reform, climate change, cheap imports pose risks to agriculture in KZN – FNB

By: African News Agency      7th October 2019 Agriculture in KwaZulu-Natal is growing at around 12 percent per annum, driven by diversification, but there are risks to the sector posed by land expropriation, climate change and cheaper imports, First National Bank said on Monday. KwaZulu-Natal is recovering from a severe drought with... 

AgriSeta, Citrus Growers Association, RCL Foods partner on skills development

By: Marleny Arnoldi     7th October 2019 The Agricultural Sector Education Training Authority (AgriSeta) has partnered with the Citrus Growers Association and RCL Foods to collaborate in various matters including land reform, rural development and economic transformation in the agricultural economy through skills development. “The... 

Panel systems order fast-tracked for Zimbabwe delivery

By: Darren Parker     4th October 2019 Local industrial component supplier ElectroMechanica delivered pre-assembled irrigation pump panel systems for use in agricultural applications last month. The panels are scheduled for installation and commissioning, in Zimbabwe, by the end of this month. 

Panel systems order fast-tracked for Zimbabwe delivery
OPEN AND SHUT CASE The pump panels were assembled, wired and packaged in seven days

Drought relief for Karoo sheep farmers

By: Darren Parker     4th October 2019 Pump manufacturer Grundfos, in association with humanitarian organisation Gift of the Givers, is assisting nonprofit organisation Save the Sheep in providing relief for drought-stricken sheep farmers in Sutherland, in the Northern Cape. Borehole water in the area is usually lifted using wind... 

Drought relief for Karoo sheep farmers
SILENCE OF THE LAMBS The ongoing drought in Sutherland is killing the livelihoods of the sheep farmers in the region

Pumps supplied to Zambian project

By: Darren Parker     4th October 2019 Local pumps manufacturer Brehnor Pumps has been contracted to supply axial flow pumps for a bulkwater application at the Chiansi Irrigation Infrastructure project, in Zambia. The project is situated on the Kafue river, 45 km from Lusaka. 

South Africa should identify ‘low hanging fruits’ in tradable sectors – panel

By: Simone Liedtke     2nd October 2019 South Africa should identify the “low hanging fruits” it has in growing the country’s mining, manufacturing, agriculture and tourism sectors, economist Thabi Leoka says, dubbing these as “tradable sectors” that can help the economy grow. However, she laments that South Africa is “nearing that... 

South Africa should identify ‘low hanging fruits’ in tradable sectors – panel

John Deere invites third-party providers to join its digital platform 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     2nd October 2019 Agricultural equipment supplier John Deere sub-Saharan Africa (JD SA) on Tuesday hosted a technology day, inviting 18 solutions providers to learn more about the company’s Operations Centre (OC) platform. The OC platform comprises digital innovations to manage farming operations. 

John Deere invites third-party providers to join its digital platform
John Deere's Wayne Spaumer tells Engineering News Online about the plans for its Operations Centre offering. Video: Kutlwano Matlala; Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Strikes characterise difficult trading period for York Timbers

By: Simone Liedtke     30th September 2019 Integrated forestry company York Timbers on Monday reported that its performance in the financial year ended June 30 had been significantly impacted on by strikes, result in 239 lost production days. The company also lost plywood export contracts as a result of the strikes, with operational... 

Water security a concern for the global mining industry, says Moody’s 

By: Simone Liedtke     27th September 2019 Securing reliable sources of water is becoming a challenge for mining companies globally, says ratings agency Moody’s. It notes that water is not only a vital resource in the mining process, but mines also use a significant amount of water in a variety of ways. Water is used for processing ore,... 

Water security a concern for the global mining industry, says Moody’s

Versatile drives ideal for HVAC industry

By: Cameron Mackay     20th September 2019 Many features of the variable-speed drive (VSD) solutions provided by drive technology provider SEW-Eurodrive can be applied to projects in the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) industries, says SEW-Eurodrive mechatronic sales engineer Paul Strzalkowski. He states that here VSDs... 

Versatile drives ideal  for HVAC industry
MIXING CONVEYORS The conveyor system consists of a central conveyor that is fed by eight smaller conveyors, each of which contain various frozen-food products to be mixed

Glencore joins agriculture majors in technology initiative

By: Bloomberg     19th September 2019 Glencore’s agriculture unit has become the latest trading house to join an initiative to modernize the way grain and oilseed transactions are handled. The group, which includes Archer-Daniels-Midland, Bunge, Cargill, Louis Dreyfus and Cofco International, is working on a new platform in an effort... 

Namibian economy contracts for fourth consecutive quarter

By: Bloomberg     19th September 2019 Namibia’s economy contracted for the fourth consecutive quarter in the three months through June, dragged down by mining and agriculture. Gross domestic product shrank by 2.6% from a year earlier, compared with a revised 2.9% decrease in the first quarter, Statistician General Alex Shimuafeni... 

Poultry producers positive about engagement with Patel

By: Simone Liedtke     19th September 2019 Following a recent meeting with the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition and other stakeholders, the South African Poultry Association on Wednesday said it was feeling “positive” about the progress made in addressing the crisis threatening the industry. Trade and Industry Minister... 

Poultry producers positive about engagement with Patel

From farm to cup, big coffee taps blockchain to lure Millennials

By: Bloomberg     18th September 2019 Sustainability-minded millennials are increasingly demanding to know where their morning cup of joe comes from, and some of the world’s top coffee companies are turning to technology for help. Roasters including JM Smucker and Jacob Douwe Egberts are joining a blockchain initiative by Farmer... 

From farm to cup, big coffee taps blockchain to lure Millennials

Tongaat Hulett announces its project with Zimbabwe is on track

By: African News Agency      18th September 2019 KwaZulu-Natal based agroprocessing business Tongaat Hulett on Tuesday announced that Project Kilimanjaro, which will result in the development of a significant portion of land to sugarcane, is on track.  The project, which is supported by the government of Zimbabwe and a consortium of banks led... 

Nigeria’s biggest tomato facility idle again as farmers dump crop

By: Bloomberg     16th September 2019 Nigeria’s biggest tomato plant is counting on the government’s restriction of food imports to sustain operations after going idle again six months after it resumed operations from an almost three-year shut down. When Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, decided to set up the plant, it was with... 

Nigeria’s biggest tomato facility idle again as farmers dump crop

Policy uncertainty continues to subdue agri-sector confidence

By: Marleny Arnoldi     16th September 2019 The Agbiz/Industrial Development Corporation Agribusiness Confidence Index marginally improved to 46 points during the third quarter of the year, compared with 44 points in the second quarter. However, with the level remaining below the neutral 50-point mark, Agbiz says agribusinesses are still... 

Policy uncertainty continues to subdue agri-sector confidence
Photo by Creamer Media's Simone Liedtke
Agbiz chief economist Wandile Sihlobo

Pan-African conference seeks to bolster OHS on the continent

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     13th September 2019 OSHAfrica’s inaugural Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Conference – triennial conferences that will be held across the African continent – is a Pan-African, collaborative endeavour that is aimed at bringing together stakeholders from South Africa, the rest of Africa and beyond to discuss the... 

Pan-African conference seeks to bolster OHS on the continent
Photo by Creamer Media's Tasneem Bulbulia
Thuthula Balfour

Land Bank posts healthy results for agriculture sector, despite difficult times

By: Schalk Burger     13th September 2019 State-owned development finance institution the Land and Agricultural Development Bank of South Africa (Land Bank) grew its transformational loans to R7.9-billion and maintained a strong balance sheet in the 2018/19 financial year, despite challenging conditions in the agricultural sector, Land... 

Land Bank posts healthy results during difficult times in agriculture sector 

By: Schalk Burger     2nd September 2019 State-owned development finance institution (DFI), the Land and Agricultural Development Bank of South Africa (Land Bank), grew its transformational loans to R7.9-billion in the 2018/19 financial year. Transformational loans as a percentage of the total loan book increased from 12% in 2017/18 to... 

Grindrod sells NWK stake for R204m

By: Marleny Arnoldi     2nd September 2019 JSE-listed freight and logistics company Grindrod on Monday signed an agreement to sell its 20.3% stake in grain services provider NWK Limited to NWK Holdings Limited for R204-million. The transaction is expected to be finalised by the end of this month. 

Tereos Commodities to shut sugar operations in Kenya, South Africa

By: Reuters     30th August 2019 French sugar maker Tereos said on Thursday Tereos Commodities would close its offices and halt sugar trading in Kenya and South Africa by the end of March 2020 as part of a global review of its strategy. Tereos, which has reported a sharp drop in profits in the last fiscal year due mainly to a... 

SA agriculture needs the right decisions, actions and plans to grow

By: Rebecca Campbell     30th August 2019 The future of the South African agricultural sector is dependent on the country and industry making the right policy and investment choices. So cautioned Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) Board of Directors member Professor Ferdi Meyer, speaking recently at the launch of the “BFAP... 

Post-harvest tech expands to fire sector

By: Cameron Mackay     30th August 2019 While on-site industrial gas generation solutions provider Gas at Site has traditionally focused on the post-harvest sector using technology – referred to as controlled atmosphere – that controls the concentration of atmospheric gases to store fruit at low oxygen levels, this technology can also... 

Post-harvest tech  expands to fire sector
FIRE SUPPRESSION ACCEPTANCE The challenge lies in presenting this solution, which cannot be seen, compared to solutions which can be physically seen such as foam or sprinkler systems

Namibia’s central bank forecasts deeper economic contraction in 2019

By: Reuters     28th August 2019 The Bank of Namibia said on Tuesday it expected the domestic economy to fall into a deeper contraction of 1.7% during 2019, down from its initial estimate of 0.3% positive growth in April. The central bank said the economy was expected to recover to positive growth of 0.8% and 1.2% in 2020 and... 

AGH appoints new Agri Services CEO

By: Simone Liedtke     27th August 2019 Investment holdings company Afgri Group Holdings (AGH) CEO Chris Venter on Tuesday announced the appointment of Jacob de Villiers as the new CEO of Afgri Agri Services, following the retirement of the division’s former CEO, Tinus Prinsloo, at the end of July. De Villiers, most recently acted in a... 

Trade Deputy Minister hears emerging farmers' concerns

By: Marleny Arnoldi     27th August 2019 The red meat value chain had the potential to unlock employment and entrepreneurial opportunities, Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Nomalungelo Gina told farmers at the Uthukela Beef Value Chain workshop, in Estcourt, KwaZulu-Natal, earlier this week. The workshop was held to assist emerging... 

Trade Deputy Minister hears emerging farmers' concerns

Zambia introduces maize price cap to keep it affordable

By: Reuters     26th August 2019 Zambia has introduced a cap on the price of maize to keep the staple food affordable, sparking protest from commercial farmers who accused the government of bringing back price controls. Agriculture Minister Michael Katambo said on Sunday that millers, stockfeed manufacturers, chain stores and... 

Task team assembled to tackle swine flu

By: News24Wire      26th August 2019 The Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, along with MECs of three affected provinces, has set up a task team to urgently address the spread of African swine flu among pig stocks, the ministry said on Saturday. Since April, there have been outbreaks of swine flu in North... 

Bread industry campaign to increase S Africa’s fibre consumption

By: Tracy Hancock     23rd August 2019 Nonprofit industry association the South African Chamber of Baking is working on a joint campaign with the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa and the Department of Health (DoH) to encourage South Africans to consume more fibre as part of a healthy eating plan. South African Chamber of Baking... 

Bread industry campaign to increase S Africa’s  fibre consumption
WHITE OR BROWN? The chamber is working on a campaign to increase local consumption of brown and whole-wheat bread by South African consumers

Interest growing in cultivation of plant-based protein alternatives

By: Tracy Hancock     23rd August 2019 Plant-based food is the new hi-tech agritech, with research and development investment in plant-based protein alternatives at a high, while infotech and biotech are leading the future advancements of food production and farming, says Tzaneen-based multi-accredited tree nursery Red Sun Hortitech... 

Interest growing in cultivation of plant-based protein alternatives
FARM SMARTER, NOT BIGGER South Africa needs agriculture centres of excellence through which business, government and tertiary institutions collaborate on world-leading innovations in food production

Artisanal cheesemaking tough sector, says award winning cheesemaker

By: Tracy Hancock     23rd August 2019 There is a constant flow of new entrants in the local artisanal cheesemaking sector, but it is a tough world that requires much dedication, fortitude and courage, says Gauteng-based Belnori Boutique Cheesery co-owner Rina Belcher. “Owing to this, growth is really slow as many new cheesemakers... 

Artisanal cheesemaking tough sector, says award winning cheesemaker
BIG CHEESE Belnori Boutique Cheesery’s St Francis of Ashisi cheese was named South Africa’s 2019 Dairy Product of the Year in March
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