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Agriculture News

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... 

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

Alternative agricultural resources grow interest

By: Darren Parker     6th August 2021 There has been a surge of interest during the past six months in alternative agricultural resources, such as growbags and capillary mats, geotextiles manufacturer Fibertex South Africa commercial executive Sefton Fripp tells Engineering News. He says although the first half of the year has been... 

A photo of a woman tending plants in a nursery.
MUTUAL GROWTH Fibertex works closely with farmers and horticulturalists globally to develop and manufacture ecofriendly plant care products

Control tower effectively monitors transport of chemicals

By: Halima Frost     6th August 2021 Specialist transport company Unitrans Supply Chain Solutions has noted a 42% improvement in driver awareness, while distracted driving incidents have decreased by 45%, since the launch of its centralised control tower in January 2017. The control tower manages Unitrans’ chemical, petrochemical,... 

An image of a large Unitrans truck bearing an abnormal loads sign
VANTAGE POINT Unitrans' new control tower uses new tech, trained staff and an aerial view of its yard to successfully dispatch its trucks throughout S. Africa

New agriculture machinery on offer from OEM

By: Darren Parker     6th August 2021 Agriculture machinery manufacturer AGCO Corporation has introduced a number of high technology products into the market with its German-engineered Fendt brand. “With a demand for high technology solutions and confidence in the coming season, farmers are already showing interest in our Fendt... 

A photo of AGCO Africa sales head Felix Seitz
FELIX SEITZ Planning and supply lines give AGCO a competitive advantage in the market

Sappi returns to profit in Q3 but expects $16m Ebitda impact from unrest for Q4

By: Chanel de Bruyn     5th August 2021 Pulp and paper producer Sappi has posted a profit of $18-million for the quarter ended June 30 – the third quarter of its 2021 financial year – compared with a loss of $73-million recorded in the third quarter of 2020. Earnings a share, excluding special items, were $0.05, compared with a loss a... 

Microsoft, IFC pilot small-scale farmer digital tools initiative

By: Marleny Arnoldi     3rd August 2021 Microsoft, through its 4Afrika initiative, has partnered with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to make digital tools and training resources more accessible to the small-scale agricultural sector. The partnership will leverage 4Afrika’s unique digital platforms and the IFC’s... 

Potatoes South Africa, McCain warn of looming potato dumping threat

By: Marleny Arnoldi     28th July 2021 Industry association Potatoes South Africa (PSA) has highlighted the imminent threat looming for the local potatoes industry, considering the recent lapse of antidumping duty protection. South Africa has long been considered a prime destination for dumping below-cost frozen processed potato... 

McCain Foods potatoes
McCain Foods potatoes

Biden revives Trump's Africa business initiative; focus on energy, health

By: Reuters     28th July 2021 The Biden administration on Tuesday announced a new push to expand business ties between US companies and Africa, with a focus on clean energy, health, agribusiness and transportation infrastructure on the continent. US industry executives welcomed the interest, but said dollar flows will lag... 

AfDB finances cross-country power initiative, youth development in Ethiopia

By: Marleny Arnoldi     23rd July 2021 The African Development Bank (AfDB) has signed two grant agreements for new projects with the Ethiopian government, which aims to boost youth employment and electricity trade between Ethiopia and Djibouti. The grants are grouped under the bank’s concessional lending window and will comprise... 

Project management firm upgrades sugar factory

23rd July 2021 Consulting engineering and project management solutions company Bosch Projects was appointed by wattle bark miller and sugar producer UCL Company to undertake three major projects for the recent expansion at its sugar factory in Dalton, KwaZulu-Natal. Bosch Projects is a member of the... 

Photo of long tube evaporator installed at sugar factory
LONG TUBE EVAPORATOR Bosch Projects team needed to be innovative and creative in its approach to detailed engineering solutions and the application of expertise

Hybrid solar installation completed in Zimbabwe

By: Halima Frost     23rd July 2021 The active partnership between South Africa-based solar solutions provider Blockpower SA and German-managed microgrid integrator Dhybrid has resulted in the completion of a 1.4 MWp, 1 MVA, 480 kWh hybrid solar system at an agriculture estate, in Zimbabwe. The Tanganda Tea Company, which operates... 

Large solar plant at an agriculture estate Zimbabwe
OFF GRID The hybrid solar installation installed by Blockpower SA and Dhybrid was tailor made for the client in Zimbabwe

Investment event targets S Africa and Germany

By: Halima Frost     23rd July 2021 The annual Africa Financial Services Investment Conference – Investing in Africa event, known as AFSIC, organised by hosting company Africa Events Limited, will be held in London, UK, on October 11 and 12. The event provides a forum for investors, business leaders and dealmakers to build... 

Panel discussion at AFSIC Investing in Africa event
SEATED DEBATE The forums and mini country-summits will focus on highlighting investment and business opportunities in Africa

Technology at the heart of insurance in the agri industry, says Santam

By: Marleny Arnoldi     21st July 2021 Optimism in South Africa’s agricultural value chain has reached a six-year high despite the setbacks brought about by Covid-19. Insurance company Santam business development manager Hanlie Kroese says this suggests that the agricultural industry is bouncing back, although the full impact of... 

Agri SA welcomes drought disaster declaration in Cape provinces

By: Marleny Arnoldi     21st July 2021 Industry organisation Agri South Africa (Agri SA) has welcomed the national drought disaster declaration published by National Disaster Management Centre director Dr Mmaphaka Tau on July 20. This follows urgent requests from farmers in drought-stricken areas of the Western, Northern and Eastern... 


ERG’s agriculture programme bears fruit for communities in the DRC

By: Marleny Arnoldi     20th July 2021 Communities near Eurasian Resources Group’s (ERG’s) Frontier mine, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), have been benefiting from the company’s agricultural development project called Chawama. The project involves equipping local farmers with the technical, business and marketing know-how... 

Vinpro confirms hearing date for interim interdict application after issues

By: Marleny Arnoldi     20th July 2021 Industry body Vinpro confirms that a court date has been set for July 21, in the Western Cape High Court, to hear its urgent interim interdict application. This follows various postponements and, most recently, Vinpro being notified that the court would not hear this application, owing to two... 

Association confirms unrest had little impact on citrus exports

By: Marleny Arnoldi     19th July 2021 Citrus growers in Mpumalanga and Limpopo have been diverting their fruit to other ports across the country in the wake of delays and disruption at the Durban port, as well as on routes in Gauteng, but the situation is normalising. While the citrus value chain has been impacted to some extent,... 


Agri SA says civil unrest threatens food security, exports 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     16th July 2021 Agri SA president Pierre Vercueil says the mass looting and general civil unrest prevailing in South Africa has affected the agricultural sector, particularly in KwaZulu-Natal. “Solutions can not take not take weeks, but must be implemented as soon as possible, because we have perishable... 

SIDS fast-tracks infrastructure- boosting projects

16th July 2021 As part of the Sustainable Infrastructure Development System (SIDS) methodology launched last year, the government announced 50 projects, along with 12 special projects, that the methodology has already been applied to. These projects were fast-tracked for implementation along with all regulatory... 

INTERCHANGE Transport sector has 15 SIDS projects across the country
INTERCHANGE Transport sector has 15 SIDS projects across the country

Various services available to sugar mills

16th July 2021 Engineering components company BMG is working closely with KwaZulu-Natal’s sugar mill engineers in the industry’s off-crop period to refurbish and replace worn components in preparation for high productivity in the upcoming season. Original-equipment manufacturer (OEM) Dorstener brand gearboxes... 

BMG has designed, fabricated and installed new carriers, reducing the normal 24-week delivery period to only four weeks
CARRY ON BMG has designed, fabricated and installed new carriers, reducing the normal 24-week delivery period to only four weeks

Draft mandate clarifies TWG’s directive

By: Nadine Ramdass     16th July 2021 The mandate document submitted by the agricultural and agroprocessing sector’s Technical Working Group (TWG), clarifies the core mandates of the sector’s group. This is in line with the Sustainable Infrastructure Development System (SIDS) objectives of facilitating sustainable development. The... 

Long-term sector growth can increase exports
LAUNCH OF GRAIN EXPORT Long-term sector growth can increase exports

IoT use in South Africa to grow by 14% a year to 2025

By: Schalk Burger     15th July 2021 The use of Internet of Things (IoT) in South Africa is expected to grow by 14% a year from 2020 to 2025, says information and communications technology market research firm IDC Middle East, Africa and Turkey associate VP for sub-Saharan Africa Mark Walker. He notes that IoT adoption is expected... 

Canegrowers call on government to declare a state of emergency

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     14th July 2021 Industry organisation the South African Canegrowers Association is calling on government to declare a state of emergency and to immediately deploy more South African National Defence Force troops to bring law and order in hotspot areas, following the outbreak of violence in KwaZulu-Natal and... 

United Nations’ agri fund zooms in on private sector SMEs in Africa

By: Marleny Arnoldi     14th July 2021 The United Nations’ International Fund for Agricultural Development (Ifad) has launched a new financing programme that will help aid rural businesses in the food systems of the world’s poorest countries. The Private Sector Financing Programme aims to spearhead an increase in much-needed private... 

South Africa unrest hits farming, threatens food supply

By: Reuters     13th July 2021 South African farmers have been hit by days of unrest and looting as trucks carrying produce are prevented from delivering to markets, threatening food supplies, industry officials said. Crowds have this week clashed with police and ransacked shopping malls, with dozens reported killed as... 

Tongaat progresses turnaround strategy, despite headwinds  

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     13th July 2021 JSE-listed Tongaat Hulett’s results for the year ended March 31 showed continued progress in the turnaround strategy, notwithstanding some headwinds along the way and a challenging trading environment arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, the company says. Revenue from continuing operations... 

Ivorian engineer wins Royal Academy award for biowaste innovation

By: Schalk Burger     9th July 2021 Côte d'Ivoire chemical engineer Noël N’guessan has won the Royal Academy of Engineering’s 2021 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation. He developed biowaste equipment for smallholder farmers in West Africa to efficiently manage and generate income from biowaste. 

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