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Agriculture News

Wine sector anticipates a sparkling 2003 harvest

9th May 2003 THE 2003 harvest is expected to deliver one of the finest vintages in several years says a report from Wines of South Africa (Wosa).?A 7,5% increase in total yield is forecast, equalling an estimated total of 1 160 715 t with all the major wine-growing regions contributing to the increase. 

Modern pet-food factory opens

By: Joanne Delaurentis     9th May 2003 International dog- and cat-food manufacturer Royal Canin has opened a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in North Riding, north-west of Johannesburg. 

Sappi earnings up, but predicts lower Q3

9th May 2003 Shares in South African pulp and paper giant Sappi fell yesterday after it reported a modest improvement in second-quarter earnings, but warned third quarter results would be lower because of currency volatility. 

Mondi’s KZN project given enviro approval

8th May 2003 The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Agriculture and Environmental Affairs has given approval for the expansion and modernisation of Mondi’s Richard’s Bay mill, following the completion of an environmental-impact assessment study. 

GM cotton gives more for less for local farmers

7th May 2003 Genetically modified crops have advocates and detractors, but for South African cotton farmer TJ Buthelezi, the technology is a godsend. 

SA grain sector works to avert state intervention

7th May 2003 Players in South Africa's grain trade are working to head off government plans to stockpile maize to be used to stabilise prices of the grain. 

West African cotton growers expect bigger crops

5th May 2003 Key West African cotton producers expect bigger harvests for the 2003/04 season, after a crop hampered by patches of drought and disruptions from a war in Ivory Coast, a Reuters survey showed last week. 

Sappi likely to report flat earnings

30th April 2003 The world's largest producer of fine paper, Sappi, is expected to post flat second-quarter earnings next week, with the outlook for 2003 still uncertain for the weak industry, analysts said yesterday. 

SA maize price climbs, but still set to fall

29th April 2003 South Africa's maize market rose yesterday in a technical move, but was still braced for a fall, with a production surplus due and prices sitting well above export parity. 

EU to draft GMO crop mix guidelines within months

28th April 2003 European farmers should see their first official guidance in a few months on how they might grow genetically modified (GM) crops alongside traditional plants in the future, the EU's farm chief said. 

Cheaper SA maize attractive to buyers – WFP

28th April 2003 Falling prices have made South Africa's white maize increasingly attractive for buyers at the UN's food agency, offering the country a possible outlet for an almost certain surplus in the current year. 

SADC beef exports threatened by Zimbabwe’s disregard for strict veterinary controls

By: Keith Campbell     25th April 2003 US Ambassador Cameron Hume warns that Southern Africa’s meat exports are threatened by Foot&Mouth in Zimbabwe & that SACU trade negotiators must also lobby US Conress. 

Few buyers for Zambia’s bumper winter crop

25th April 2003 Zambia's farmers have harvested 55 000 t of winter maize, up from 25 000 t last year, and are having trouble selling on a market overflowing with imports, the head of the country's commercial farmers union said this week. 

SA pegs maize crop at 8,97m tons

24th April 2003 South Africa will enjoy an 8.97 million-tonne maize crop in 2002/03, the country's national crop estimates committee said yesterday, upping its estimate for the harvest slightly from last month's figure. 

Angola: future imperfect

By: Zonika Botha     18th April 2003 With Angola’s 27-year civil war having finally come to an end in April last year with the signing of a ceasefire agreement between the Angolan government and the Unita armed force rebels, the powers that be now face the daunting task of not only rebuilding the country, but also maintaining... 

E Cape hemp pilot nears completion 

18th April 2003 The Port Elizabeth Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry reports that the Eastern Cape’s pilot hemp project is nearing completion. 

SA business weighs risks, rewards of Angola entry

By: Zonika Botha     18th April 2003 With Angola’s 27-year civil war having finally come to an end in April last year with the signing of a ceasefire agreement between the Angolan government and the Unita armed force rebels, the powers that be now face the daunting task of not only rebuilding the country, but also maintaining... 

SA biotech firm sets up venture with German leader

18th April 2003 A local biotechnology firm has set up a joint venture agreement with a German group to manufacture and supply specialty amino acids for pharmaceutical and human nutritional applications. 

Summit’s Tensile One floor a world first

18th April 2003 More than 36 000 old car and truck tyres were recycled and reprocessed to make up the 11 250 m2 floor base of the giant Ubuntu village tent, known as Tensile One, which was erected at the Wanderers Club to provide a venue for exhibitors aligned to the United Nations (UN) World Summit on... 

SA investigates fund’s maize trading losses

17th April 2003 South Africa's financial services watchdog said a pension fund it was investigating had lost one R1-billion ($130,4-million) in trading futures on the country's maize market. 

Rand/dollar rate sets pace for SA maize

8th April 2003 A stronger dollar set the pace for South Africa's maize market yesterday, and together with a bullish technical outlook the greenback's moves, looked set to dominate direction for the week, traders said. 

Forest privatisation bids to be submitted to Cabinet

By: Martin Czernowalow     8th April 2003 A shortlist of bidders vying for a major stake in Komatiland Forests is set to be approved by the South African government in May, Engineering News Online can report. 

Tractor suppliers ‘cautious’ about coming season

7th April 2003 The agricultural machinery industry is looking ahead at the next few months with caution, the South African Agricultural Machinery Association said last week. 

Applicator invention assists fertiliser project in going ahead

4th April 2003 Pump manufacturer Orbit Pump Manufacturing has assisted in the design of an applicator for accurate distribution of liquid organic fertiliser at a constant rate. 

Citrus waste-to-wealth project approved

By: Zonika Botha     4th April 2003 South Africa's only national chemical technology incubator, Chemin, has completed a feasibility study for Kat River Citrus Co-op project in Fort Beaufort, a deep-rural area in the Eastern Cape, in which it gives the green light for the project to go ahead. 

R800m to be procured in SA for R2bn KZN mill upgrade

By: Deborah Spicer     4th April 2003 Timber products beneficiator Mondi South Africa is merely waiting for approval from the departments of Agriculture and Environmental Affairs and Forestry before it proceeds with a R2-billion expansion at its Richards Bay mill, in Kwazulu-Natal. 

Maize price seen falling on supply, rand

1st April 2003 South Africa's maize market slid lower yesterday and looked set to extend a losing streak fuelled by oversupply and a strong rand during the week ahead, despite news of a relatively rare export order. 

Farmers strike ‘red gold’ in Namaqualand

By: Jill Stanford     28th March 2003 Fifty-five small-scale farmers have struck ‘red gold’ in Namaqualand in the Northern Cape Province. 

Africa pays for rich-country farm policies

28th March 2003 Agricultural trade reform, which leads to increased market access and the elimination of trade-distorting subsidies, would be central to Africa’s future economic development, a study conducted by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has confirmed. 

SA lags world in organic cotton farming

28th March 2003 With increasing awareness of the health and environmental benefits found in organic goods, it is surprising that there is not one kilogram of organically grown cotton in South Africa – despite a small but growing international market. 

Madinane appointed to Mondi board

28th March 2003 Wiseman Madinane (35) has been appointed as a non-executive director to the board of Mondi South Africa, with effect from March 1. 

Fitch upgrades Sappi’s ratings

28th March 2003 International rating agency Fitch Ratings has upgraded Sappi Limited's short- and long-term national ratings to 'F1+(zaf)' and 'AA-(zaf)' (AA minus) respectively. 

R22m farm-worker empowerment deal struck

27th March 2003 In a R22-million rand deal, farm workers of the Sun Orange Farms, in the Eastern Cape, are set to acquire a 40% stake to the value of R10-million in the company, following funding made available by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) through the risk capital facility (RCF). 

R2bn expansion of KZN pulp mill to proceed

By: Martin Czernowalow     26th March 2003 Natural resources giant Anglo American announced yesterday that its wholly-owned forest products subsidiary, Mondi South Africa, is to proceed with a R2-billion ($220-million) expansion and modernisation of its Richards Bay mill in KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, increasing capacity for bleached... 

Helicopter filters now used in ploughing farmlands

By: candice haase     21st March 2003 South African air-filter technology is making an impact on the locomotive industry both locally and overseas. 

EU, France dig in on farm subsidies

By: Keith Campbell     21st March 2003 IN the increasingly bitter international struggle over agricultural subsidies in the European Union (EU), US and Japan, the EU appears to be trying to drive a wedge between developing countries in order to undermine their joint assault on its Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). 

Plastics from maize? Isn’t it ama(i)zing!

By: Luxolo Tyali     21st March 2003 Engineering News was this week handed a small “plastic” container. Its appearance was so normal that it could well have passed for a conventional plastic bowl. But in actual fact it was not made from exhaustible crude oil at all but from renewable maize starch. 

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