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Agriculture News

Brexit concerning, but wine demand growing

By: Tracy Hancock     23rd August 2019 The consequences of Brexit remain a significant concern for South Africa’s wine producers, nonprofit industry organisation Wines of South Africa (WoSA) communications manager Maryna Calow tells Engineering News. This is owing to the uncertainty regarding future exports to the UK, which remains... 

JIT is key to optimising the FMCG supply chain

23rd August 2019 The ability to manufacture just enough stock to cover orders and deliver ‘just enough’ product to every retailer is the optimal supply chain scenario in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry, says supply chain software company MACMobile commercial director Andrew Dawson. 

JIT is key to optimising the FMCG supply chain
ANDREW DAWSON In an industry where all parties are fighting for every cent in the value chain, the ability to streamline and optimise processes is a huge competitive advantage

Agricultural initiative builds bridges between stakeholders

By: Marleny Arnoldi     22nd August 2019 A transformative and replicable broad-based initiative within the agricultural sector has come on-stream through the conclusion of a transaction between citrus and grape farmer Schoonbee Landgoed and black-owned company Thebe Investment Corporation. The initiative, called Project Change, has... 

Agricultural initiative builds bridges between stakeholders

South African blueberry industry sets its sights on key export markets

By: Simone Liedtke     22nd August 2019 The South African Berry Producers Association (Sabpa) expects South Africa’s blueberry production to reach a record high of 17 000 t this year, up from the 11 300 t produced in 2018. It expects production to increase further to 50 000 t/y by 2023 and says this will help to grow employment in the... 

South Africa’s wool industry has $325m question for China

By: Bloomberg     21st August 2019 South Africa’s wool industry is on tenterhooks as exporters seek clarity on a Chinese ban on imports of the fiber following an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease earlier this year in the world’s second-biggest producer. At issue is whether China has fully reversed rules governing shipments of... 

Land Bank funding model needs work

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     20th August 2019 While the Land Bank’s mandate is good in its current form, its funding model needs work if it is to provide adequate funding for black business in the agricultural sector, Land Bank strategy and communications executive manager Sydney Soundy said during a Black Business Council (BBC) roundtable... 

KAP lifts full-year revenue, but profit tracks lower

By: Schalk Burger     20th August 2019 Diversified industrial company KAP Industrial Holdings has grown its revenue for the financial year ended June 30 by 12% year-on-year to R25.6-billion, but operating profit decreased by 13% to R2.5-billion. In a SENS announcement that contained extracted financial information from the audited... 

Zoo farm conserves wildlife, breeds endangered species

By: Simone Liedtke     16th August 2019 The Johannesburg Zoo has set up 694 ha of arable land amid a World Heritage Site in the Free State to breed and conserve rare species of animals and pilot extensive crop farming systems. Named the Rietkuil Wildlife Conservation Farm, which was acquired in 2006 and is headed by Johannesburg City... 

Specialist moves to diversify into agriculture, food & bev

By: Nadine James     16th August 2019 Gauteng-based material transfer specialist Weba Chute Systems is diversifying its client base, officially venturing into the agricultural, food and beverage and paper and pulp industries, says Weba MD Mark Baller. He explains that while Weba had often received and acted on inquiries from... 

Specialist moves to diversify  into agriculture, food & bev
SMOOTH TRANSITION Weba Chute Systems is officially diversifying its client base, having infrequently participated in non-mining projects over the years

Legislation, waste diverting can drive biogas growth

By: Cameron Mackay     16th August 2019 Changing legislation and the continued strain on landfill space in South Africa is causing a significant drive in the country to divert waste, particularly organic waste, away from landfill sites. Alternative waste solutions provider GCX Zero Waste manager Hein Fourie says this can help to... 

Legislation, waste diverting can drive biogas growth
COMPLEX MARKETS Growth of the biofuels sector is slow, as the sector is slowly learning how to accommodate and adapt to South African market conditions

Broiler industry’s slow growth not a consequence of unfair foreign competition – economist

By: Nadine James     15th August 2019 A report commissioned by the European Union-South Africa Strategic Economic Partnership, shows that contrary to the local broiler industry’s assertions, the industry's slow growth was not caused by unfair offshore competition, says lead consultant and independent economist Mike de Klerk. De Klerk... 

Tetra Pak’s innovation engendering sustainability, efficiency in packaging industry

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     15th August 2019 With sustainability at the core of its business, processing and packaging solutions company Tetra Pak says it is implementing a number of technological innovations and solutions that engender the lowest carbon footprint and highest efficiency. Tetra Pak Southern African MD Stefan Fageräng,... 

Tetra Pak’s innovation engendering sustainability, efficiency in packaging industry
Stefan Fageräng

South African agriculture, with certain exceptions, faces slow growth in coming years 

By: Rebecca Campbell     14th August 2019 The Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP), a nonprofit organisation, has warned that it expects the gross value of South Africa's agricultural production this year to be similar, in real terms, to that of 2015. It stated this in its 'BFAP Baseline Agricultural Outlook 2019-2028' report,... 

South African agriculture, with certain exceptions, faces slow growth in coming years

Right choices essential for the future of South African agriculture

By: Rebecca Campbell     14th 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 on Wednesday. He was speaking at the launch of... 

Astral CEO to take leave of office

By: Simone Liedtke     14th August 2019 Poultry producer Astral Foods CEO Chris Schutte will be taking leave of office to recuperate from a cardiovascular surgery later this month. The date of his return to office will be announced at a later stage. 

Foskor board to finalise sustainability plan within six months  

By: Terence Creamer     13th August 2019 Foskor chairperson Bobby Godsell reported on Tuesday that the company’s board was conducting a comprehensive review of the group’s underperforming operations with the aim of developing a sustainability plan within the coming six months. Foskor, which mines phosphate rock and magnetite in Limpopo... 

Foskor board to finalise sustainability plan within six months
Foskor chairperson Bobby Godsell and IDC CEO TP Nchocho on prospects for turning around the company. Camera Work & Editing: Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 13.7.2019

Promising research progress on agrimats

By: Darren Parker     9th August 2019 Research is under way on new technology that aims to convert algae and any other biomass waste, such as bagasse, into organic fertiliser mats, or agrimats, Agricultural Research Council (ARC) senior researcher Dr Khumbulani Dhavu tells Engineering News. The agrimats are manufactured by pressing... 

Promising research progress on agrimats
MULCH PROGRESS BEING MADE The agrimats research project is testing the viability of sustainable organic mulch mat production for commercial use

Solar-powered irrigation requires greater subsidisation 

By: Darren Parker     9th August 2019 The high initial capital expenditure required for solar-powered irrigation systems (SPISes) makes it mostly an unviable option for small-scale farmers in South Africa, unless they receive heavy subsidisation, according to International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage president Felix... 

Solar-powered irrigation requires greater subsidisation
ICID president Felix Reinders discusses South Africa’s role in international irrigation concerns.

Ultrasonic dripline cleaner commercialised

By: Darren Parker     9th August 2019 Irrigation systems manufacturer Senter360 has partnered with local inventor and farmer Leon Lingnau to bring his proprietary ultrasonic dripline cleaning system Greendrum to the market on a commercial scale. The first co-manufactured unit was sold at this year’s NAMPO Harvest Day, in the Free... 

Ultrasonic dripline cleaner commercialised
SOUND TECHNOLOGY The Greendrum device can effectively clean driplines without the need for chemicals

Sappi Saiccor mill upgrade underpinned by ‘healthy’ dissolving wood pulp demand

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     9th August 2019 JSE-listed forest products group Sappi’s investment of R7.7-billion in its Saiccor mill – a two-part project called Project Vulindlela – in Umkomaas, south of Durban, has, since the announcement a year ago, been progressing apace and it is expected that the proposed completion date of the fourth... 

Sappi Saiccor mill upgrade underpinned by ‘healthy’ dissolving wood pulp demand

Agriculture sector driven to spend more upfront on innovation 

By: Darren Parker     9th August 2019 Amid current economic pressure, high energy costs and power grid uncertainty, the agriculture sector in South Africa is starting to favour higher capital expenditure on advanced technology because of the resulting long-term reductions in operating costs, says drive engineering company... 

Agriculture sector  driven to spend more upfront on innovation
SEW-Eurodrive sales manager Willem Strydom discusses the motors supplied to the 100 t/h Free State feed mill.

Improving efficiency, safety and profits with specialised equipment

By: Mamaili Mamaila     9th August 2019 There is a big opportunity to improve safety, efficiency and cost savings when it comes to kiln maintenance, says cement kiln equipment and bricking-machine manufacturer Bricking Solutions MD Heather Harding. 

Improving efficiency, safety and profits with specialised equipment
ACTION PLAN It is critical to implement a detailed and consistent plan of action, ensuring the safety of all persons during large, intricate, and complicated projects

UN report warns climate climate may lead to food shortages

By: Bloomberg     8th August 2019 Climate change is putting the world’s food supply at risk. With more extreme weather events, stable food production will increasingly be imperiled, threatening the poorest populations first, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said in a report Thursday. In addition, the push to use more... 

Absa optimistic about growing its agriloan footprint in Africa

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th August 2019 Absa Corporate and Investment Bank (CIB) plans to further grow its agriculture lending book in South Africa and other African markets where demand for funding is strong despite tough economic conditions. Absa CIB agriculture head Roux Wildenboer says agriculture is a key driver for economic... 

Sugar producer Tongaat to delist from LSE

By: Reuters     2nd August 2019 South African sugar producer Tongaat Hulett will delist its shares from the LSE to cut costs and streamline its shareholding structure amid low trading volumes in the London-listed stock, the company said on Friday. Tongaat, which said in April it would restate financial information after a... 

Major salmon-farming project launched in Lesotho

By: Rebecca Campbell     2nd August 2019 Fresh-water salmon fish-farming company Pure Salmon has announced a major investment in Lesotho, to establish a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) salmon farm in the country’s highland Butha-Buthe region. The project is worth $250-million and is being undertaken in partnership with the... 

SAB close to reaching 100% local sourcing of raw materials

By: African News Agency      1st August 2019 South African Breweries (SAB) says it is on its way to sourcing 100% of all its raw materials from local suppliers. SAB, a subsidiary of global brewer AB InBev, said this had been instrumental in the business achieving a Level 3 broad-based black-economic empowerment (BBBEE) status, up from... 

AB InBev empowers farmers across Africa through blockchain technology

By: African News Agency      31st July 2019 The world's largest brewer AB InBev said on Wednesday a partnership with US fintech company BanQu was giving smallholder African farmers in its supply chain the resources they needed to grow and prosper. AB InBev Africa is rolling out a blockchain solution developed by BanQu which enables farmers... 

Land reform panel recommends seizures without pay in certain circumstances

By: Reuters     29th July 2019 An advisory report on land reform in South Africa has recommended changing the constitution to allow the government to seize land without compensation but only in certain circumstances. The report by a presidential panel of experts, released on Sunday, poured water on wholesale land seizures... 

Land reform panel recommends seizures without pay in certain circumstances

Illovo collaborates with land rights NGO, UK’s DFID on land policy

By: African News Agency      26th July 2019 Illovo Sugar Africa said on Friday it had collaborated with land rights non-governmental organisation Landesa and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) to help the company implement its land rights policies and commitments. In a statement, it said the joint project had culminated... 

OPINION: Scourge of hunger rising in Africa

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     26th July 2019 In this opinion piece, Engineering News Senior Deputy Editor Martin Zhuwakinyu writes about the worsening global food security situation. Last week I wrote about an imminent dilemma that Africa faces: its farmers are old, aged 60 on average, and convincing their offspring to take over when they... 

OPINION: Scourge of hunger rising in Africa

Poultry importers, producers in standoff over proposed import tariffs  

By: Simone Liedtke     25th July 2019 The standoff between South African poultry producers and importers, about proposed import tariff increases continues. A decision to implement tariff increases of up to 82% on chicken imported from non-European Union (EU) and non-Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries could result... 

Poultry importers, producers in standoff over proposed import tariffs
Photo by Creamer Media's Simone Liedtke
AMIE CEO Paul Matthew

South Africa's 2019 maize output expected to shrink by 13%

By: Reuters     24th July 2019 South Africa's 2019 maize harvest forecast is expected to be reduced from previous estimates after harvests in the North West province pointed to lower yields, a Reuters poll showed on Wednesday. The government's Crop Estimates Committee, which will provide its sixth production forecast for the... 

South Africa's 2019 maize output expected to shrink by 13%

Major salmon-farming project announced for Lesotho

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd July 2019 Fresh-water salmon fish-farming company Pure Salmon has announced a major investment in Lesotho, to establish a recirculating aquaculture system salmon farm in the country’s highland Butha-Buthe region. The project is worth $250-million and is being undertaken in partnership with the Lesotho... 

OPINION: Making farming cool for youngsters

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     19th July 2019 In this opinion piece, Engineering News Senior Deputy Editor Martin Zhuwakinyu discusses the stigma in Africa that farming is synonymous with poverty.  

OPINION: Making farming cool for youngsters
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Engineering News Senior Deputy Editor Martin Zhuwakinyu

Feeding 10bn people will require genetically modified food

By: Bloomberg     17th July 2019 Like it or not, genetic modification is going to be an important tool to feed the planet’s growing population. If we want to feed ten-billion people by 2050, in a world beset by rising temperatures and scarcer water supplies, we will need to dramatically change the way we produce food. Increased... 

Didiza calls for conversation with land owners

By: African News Agency      16th July 2019 Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza on Tuesday called for dialogue with land owners as the department seeks to change historically skewed ownership demographics. Didiza said the department planned to "revitalise" land that was transferred through the state's... 

Didiza calls for conversation with land owners
Agriculture, Land Reform & Rural Development Thoko Didiza
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