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Agriculture News

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... 

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

Tongaat CEO seeking to freeze payments on R11bn of debt 

By: Bloomberg     16th July 2019 Tongaat Hulett is asking ten lenders for a break from payments on as much as R11-billion of debt so it can recover from the impact of having to restate accounts, according to CEO Gavin Hudson. The embattled South African sugar maker is spending about R1-billion a year servicing the borrowings and... 

Climate change takes priority in Creecy’s budget vote debate  

By: Nadine James     12th July 2019 Newly appointed Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Barbara Creecy delivered her R7.5-billion budget vote statement in the National Assembly on Thursday, emphasising the socioeconomic threat of climate change, as more than two-million South Africans are directly dependent on the... 

Chicken import tariff increases will not solve industry problems – association

By: Marleny Arnoldi     10th July 2019 The Emerging Black Importers and Exports South Africa (Ebiesa) has called on government to stop an application launched by the South African Poultry Association (Sapa) to increase import tariffs on chicken to 82%. Ebiesa stated that Sapa’s rationale for seeking the tariff increases was that... 

Gauteng macroeconomic model to be ready in next 100 days, says Ramokgopa

By: Simone Liedtke     5th July 2019 Gauteng Economic Development, Agriculture and Environment MEC Dr Kgosientso Ramokgopa on Friday told media that a provincial macroeconomic model will be developed and finalised within the next 100 days. The model would help to address Gauteng’s disproportionate share of responsibilities and would... 

Gauteng macroeconomic model to be ready in next 100 days, says Ramokgopa
Photo by Creamer Media's Simone Liedtke
Gauteng Economic Development, Agriculture and Environment MEC Dr Kgosientso Ramokgopa

Sappi becomes international stakeholder member of the PEFC

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     1st July 2019 JSE-listed paper and pulp producer Sappi has become an International Stakeholder member of the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). This membership aligns with Sappi’s focus on sustainable forest management and responsible procurement throughout its supply and value chains. 

Former Tongaat official scrutinised in echo of Steinhoff scandal 

By: Bloomberg     27th June 2019 Tongaat Hulett said South African police are investigating an unnamed former executive for his role in an accounting scandal that’s forced the sugar maker to restate financials and ask for its shares to be suspended. A criminal case has been opened against the individual, Tongaat said, without... 

Omnia to restructure as it seeks to reduce overextended balance sheet 

By: Schalk Burger     25th June 2019 Diversified chemicals group Omnia will, over the next two years, focus on improving the profit margins of its companies’ services and products, ensuring that its assets and investments deliver value, as well as on pursuing international expansion of intellectual property-based businesses that... 

Extreme weather is shaking up Africa's corn trade

By: Bloomberg     25th June 2019 At least three African nations will need to import more corn this year after extreme weather from cyclones to drought devastated crops, sparking some unusual trade flows. Corn is a staple grain across much of sub-Saharan Africa, where it’s milled and cooked with water to form a porridge or stiff... 

DTI forges ahead with product standardisation task

By: Mamaili Mamaila     14th June 2019 Following Mining Charter III’s call to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to develop a “Standardised Coding and Product Identification System in the Mining Supply Chain” whereby products can be identified using a unique name and code, the department has established a multistakeholder... 

DTI forges ahead with product standardisation task
INDUSTRY GROWTH The DTI looks forward to exchanging lessons and experiences to unpack challenges and identify solutions for growth across the manufacturing sector

Agribusiness confidence remains subdued

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th June 2019 The Agbiz/Industrial Development Corporation Agribusiness Confidence Index (ACI) weakened to 44 in the second quarter. This followed a marginal improvement to 46 in the first quarter.  

Agribusiness confidence remains subdued

Mondi simplification still expected to be completed this year

By: Simone Liedtke     7th June 2019 LSE- and JSE-listed packaging and paper group Mondi on Friday confirmed that “good progress” was being made in simplifying the company’s corporate structure. This included the processes to obtain the necessary regulatory consents, Mondi said in a statement. 

Winetech Pitching Den entry deadline extended to June 28

By: Creamer Media Reporter      5th June 2019 Winetech and the South African Innovation Summit have extended the deadline for the Winetech Pitching Den entries to June 28. This is to enable more entrepreneurs to compete and showcase their agritech innovations to the South African wine industry. 

Tongaat’s shares fall as it announces plans to restate 2018 financial statements  

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     31st May 2019 JSE-listed Tongaat Hulett's share price on the JSE fell by nearly 10% on Friday afternoon after it announced that it would have to restate its financial statements for the financial year ended March 31, 2018, as a strategic and financial review had revealed “past practices which are of... 

Global innovation challenge launched to tackle irrigation water loss

By: Simone Liedtke     29th May 2019 As part of its commitment to reducing its environment footprint, global sugar producer AB Sugar has opened a call for ideas to tackle irrigation water loss through the Innovate Irrigation Challenge, an initiative launched in partnership with WaterAid and the Centre for Industrial Sustainability... 

Lekwa municipality water supply problems hit Astral Foods poultry processing plant

By: African News Agency      28th May 2019 Integrated poultry producer Astral Foods said on Tuesday the water supply constraints stemming from the deterioration of infrastructure in the Lekwa municipality which supplies its processing plant in Standerton were having significant cost implications for the company. In its recently reported... 

Land Bank economist warns of increasing risk of African swine fever

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     24th May 2019 South African meat producers are likely to continue facing challenges this year, says Land Bank agricultural economist Karabo Takadi. One of the biggest likely challenges is that the risk profile for the outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) was increasing, posing a potential risk to stakeholders... 

Habasit presents range of timing belts for drive technology

24th May 2019 Last month, conveyor and processing belts manufacturer Habasit presented its complete timing belt portfolio at leading trade fair for integrated automation, motion and drives Hannover Messe Fair. The range of applications for timing belts in drive technology and intralogistics is significant. The... 

Habasit presents range  of timing belts for  drive technology
HIGH-PERFORMANCE BELTS These Flex belts are ideal for transporting heavy loads and are therefore suitable for use in high-performance conveyor systems

BMG extends supply of gearboxes and variators

24th May 2019 Engineering consumables and components distributor Bearing Man Group (BMG), as exclusive distributors for gears and drives manufacturer Varvel Group in sub-Saharan Africa for more than 40 years, has extended the supply of Varvel gearboxes and variators for small- and medium-power applications.... 

BMG extends supply of  gearboxes and variators
TRACKING THE SUN BMG’s Varvel worm gearboxes are installed on solar panels to ensure that they are in an ideal position to track the sun

Vert supplies Leroy-Somer motors in Southern Africa

24th May 2019 Electric power generation solutions provider Vert Energy is the sole supplier of electric motors manufacturer Leroy-Somer in Southern Africa. Vert Energy supplies the entire Leroy-Somer (LS) range, including standard and adapted ac and dc motors, geared and brake motors, variable speed drives... 

Vert supplies Leroy-Somer motors in Southern Africa
SAFETY IN EXTREME CONDITIONS The range is ideal for pump, ventilation, agitator and mixed applications in refineries, pipelines, petrochemicals and food industries

New VSD software offers energy savings

By: Cameron Mackay     24th May 2019 Electrical and energy solutions provider Zest WEG Group is deploying a new plug-and-play variable speed drive (VSD) software solution that achieves automatic energy savings when used with any standard electric motor. The solution was developed by WEG Group software engineers in Brazil. 

New VSD software offers energy savings
LIGHTEN THE LOAD While there are a variety of different sized motors that will have different efficiencies, energy savings increase exponentially as the load decreases

Tongaat Hulett, lenders to consider standstill agreement

By: Reuters     16th May 2019 Tongaat Hulett said on Thursday it was looking to negotiate a standstill agreement with its lenders, which had already agreed to waive some of their rights related to their loans to the troubled sugar producer. The news supported Tongaat shares, which have been under pressure since it issued a... 

Court action suspended, parties agree on more transparency in chicken industry

By: African News Agency      15th May 2019 The Association of Meat Importers and Exporters (AMIE) and the South African Poultry Association (SAPA) have agreed to lift the veil of secrecy on "confidential" documents on which the protectionist application on chicken imports is based. In a statement in Wednesday AMIE, which had launched the... 

Rise in unemployment rate a call for government to revisit policies

By: African News Agency      15th May 2019 The rise in unemployment levels in South Africa, especially in agriculture, is a major concern and deserves the immediate attention of President Cyril Ramaphosa in his new tenure, Agri SA said on Wednesday. South Africa's unemployment rate has risen to its highest level since the third quarter of... 

Rise in unemployment rate a call for government to revisit policies

South African student named among winning wood scientists in global competition

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     15th May 2019 The International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA) on Tuesday announced the three global winners of its 2018/19 Blue Sky Young Researchers and Innovation Award.  University of Pretoria (UP) Masters student Martin Wierzbicki was selected as a winner along with Elina Pääkkönen, from... 

Davies approves revised guidelines for aquaculture programme

By: African News Agency      14th May 2019 Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies has approved the revised guidelines of South Africa's Aquaculture Development and Enhancement Programme (ADEP), with implementation effective from April 1, his department said on Tuesday. Aquaculture is the farming of aquatic organisms including fish,... 

Davies approves Bojanala SEZ recommendation

By: Simone Liedtke     13th May 2019 Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies on Monday notified the public and interested parties of his intention to designate the Bojanala Special Economic Zone. The public and interested parties will have 30 days from the date of the publication of the notice in the Government Gazette to support... 

Working group meeting to address impact of neonicotinoids in Africa

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     10th May 2019 The potential risk of neonicotinoids in Africa will be assessed at a working group meeting hosted by the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, in Nairobi, Kenya, from May 13 to 15. The working group meeting follows on a workshop held in... 

Grain recovery offsets Kaap Agri’s drought-related challenges

By: Marleny Arnoldi     10th May 2019 JSE-listed agricultural retailer Kaap Agri reported a solid set of results for the six months ended March 31, on the back of revenue growth in its Wesgraan grain handling and storage division. Wesgraan’s revenue grew by 26.6% year-on-year on the back of improved wheat harvests in the Western... 

Grain recovery offsets Kaap Agri’s drought-related challenges

Mahindra South Africa unveils comprehensive farming equipment range  

By: Irma Venter     10th May 2019 Mahindra has opened its fourth business in South Africa. The India-based conglomerate will now add farming equipment to its product line-up in the domestic market, along with vehicles, generators and construction equipment. 

 Mahindra South Africa unveils comprehensive farming equipment range
Mahindra has entered the farming equipment business in South Africa

Polymer bushings used in unsuitable environments

By: Halima Frost     10th May 2019 Polymer bushing manufacturer Vesconite Bearings says its polymer bushings are suited to the South African agriculture sector because of their ability to remain efficient even in less than optimal conditions. Vesconite Bearings’ polymer bushings are manufactured from vesconite – a specialised... 

Polymer bushings used in unsuitable environments
MANUFACTURING MARVEL Parts manufactured for planters and harvesters from vesconite polymers

Larger stands, more technology on display at Nampo

By: Halima Frost     10th May 2019 Agriculture supply manufacturer John Deere has increased its number of stands from three – in previous years – to five this year, totalling an unrivalled display area of 3 000 m2 at the 2019 Grain SA Nampo Harvest Day, which will be held from May 14 to 17 near Bothaville, in the Free State. John... 

Larger stands,  more technology  on display at Nampo
TRACTOR TRACKER Satellites in farming are now a reality
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