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Agriculture News

Land redistribution experiment could provide a new model

By: Keith Campbell     29th November 2002 A Gauteng-based project and programme quality management and operational processes optimisation company has developed an economically viable model for land reform in South Africa. 

Small business shows resistance to technology

By: Deborah Spicer     29th November 2002 A study to measure the rate at which South Africans adopt new technology has shown that there is a significant difference between small and large businesses’ acceptance of new technologies. 

Cites should come down from ivory tower

By: Kelvin Kemm     29th November 2002 The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (Cites) has given South Africa permission to make a once-off sale of stockpiled ivory. 

Strong earnings from packaging group

29th November 2002 South Africa's largest packaging firm Nampak said yesterday that 2002 headline earnings per share rose 58% as the firm reaped the rewards of cost-cutting, and it forecast real earnings growth in the year ahead. 

Beekeeping to reduce rural poverty

28th November 2002 Thirty-five communities have become involved in an innovative rural poverty-alleviation project to introduce beekeeping. 

Agri trade talks enter difficult phase

28th November 2002 During a keynote address to the World Food and Farming Congress in London this week, World Trade Organisation (WTO) director general Supachai Panitchpakdi said it is critical that the Doha Development Agenda – the round of multilateral trade negotiations launched last year in Qatar –... 

Zim firm challenges state monopoly on maize

28th November 2002 Zimbabwe's Supreme Court has reserved judgement on a local company's challenge against the state Grain Marketing Board's (GMB) monopoly over all trade in the staple maize grain, state media reported yesterday. 

Restructuring expected to boost Nampak

27th November 2002 South African packaging group, Nampak, is likely to report a jump in 2002 headline earnings per share (EPS), boosted by a deep cost-cutting and restructuring exercise, analysts said. 

SA forecasts lower wheat harvest

22nd November 2002 South Africa's 2002/03 commercial wheat crop estimate fell by more than 200 000 t from the previous year due to dry weather, the national Crop Estimates Committee said this week. 

Farmers need to comply with global standards

22nd November 2002 THE imperatives of globalisation and access to foreign markets mean that South African farmers are being forced to comply with international standards, the most important being EurepGAP. 

SA farmers see new future in game park

20th November 2002 For rich people a beautiful landscape is something of value. For those falling on hard times, rolling hills and spectacular valleys are of less worth. 

SA plans farm insurance against disasters

15th November 2002 South Africa will establish an insurance scheme to protect farmers against disasters, including a brewing El Nino weather pattern that threatens to fuel a regional food crisis, the agriculture minister said on Wednesday. 

South Africa is plum agroprocessing investment site

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     15th November 2002 The thriving Spring Valley Foods fresh prepared-fruit operation, in Mpumalanga, epitomised the immense investment and export potential in South Africa’s agro-processing sector. 

World Summit budget exceeded by 13%

By: Irma Venter     15th November 2002 The World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) held earlier this year might cost the taxpayer more than anticipated. 

Paper giant awards industrial IT contract

11th November 2002 Leading power and automation technology group, ABB, will supply Sappi's Ngodwana Kraft Mill with Industrial IT Open Control, following the announcement of a contract valued at $2-million (R20-million) – the first of a four-phase project valued at $11-million. 

GM food in Africa: the debate rages

By: Deborah Spicer     8th November 2002 While some claim that subsistence farmers will be most hurt by genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), Monsanto sub-Saharan Africa area director Graham Leslie insists that non-commercial African farmers will be one of the groups that benefits most from GMOs. 

Mushroom-mining project set for growth 

By: Joanne Delaurentis     8th November 2002 The dewatering tunnel around Kimberley’s big hole is fertile ground for mushroom farming, currently producing 100 kg of oyster mushrooms a week, with production expected to increase fivefold in the future. 

Forest products firm optimistic about 2003

8th November 2002 South African pulp and paper giant, Sappi reported a 13% drop in full-year earnings yesterday, due to the global economic slowdown, but said it was positioned for profit growth in the year ahead. 

KZN vision to quadruple agri output

6th November 2002 KwaZulu-Natal’s Minister of Agriculture and Environmental Affairs, Narend Singh, called yesterday for a three-way partnership between government, the private sector and the farming communities, to affect a Green Revolution in the province. 

R230m table-grape empowerment deal announced

By: Terence Creamer     1st November 2002 An innovative R230-million table-grape empowerment project is to be developed on 500 ha along the Orange River, near Upington in the Northern Cape. 

Pressure to review amendments to GMO law

By: Deborah Spicer     1st November 2002 The Act governing genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) is likely to be reviewed due to pressure from parliament’s portfolio committee groups, as well as a drive to become compliant with the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. 

US says Zambia’s GM maize decision is regrettable

1st November 2002 The US said on Wednesday it deeply regretted Zambia's decision not to accept US genetically modified maize to feed millions of Zambians hit by the drought in southern Africa. 

Project to promote black farmer development

By: Martin Czernowalow     31st October 2002 A farmer development programme, that will assist black farmers to participate fully in the mainstream of economic activity in South Africa and promote black economic empowerment (BEE), will be launched by Grain South Africa, a significant stakeholder in the local grain production sector. 

Scorpions in illegal fishing sting

31st October 2002 The South African Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Valli Moosa, has praised the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT) and the Scorpions for once again cracking down on illegal fishing activities by seizing a fishing vessel, worth R6-million in Cape Town yesterday,... 

El Nino to hit Southern Africa’s agricultural sector

30th October 2002 Drought is always a fear for southern Africans, but this year farmers are keeping a close eye on a brewing El Nino weather pattern that looks likely to exacerbate regional food supply problems. 

Drought threat to maize crop in hungry Swaziland

30th October 2002 Swaziland will reach a critical point this week, for the planting of crops and food shortages threatening a quarter of the population are sure to worsen unless rains fall soon, farmers and officials said. 

Paper group’s 2002 earnings seen down on weak prices

29th October 2002 South African paper giant Sappi is likely to report 2002 headline earnings per share (EPS) down at least 11,5%, bruised by poor prices and the global economic slowdown, analysts said yesterday. 

Small firms among excellence-awards entrants

By: Deborah Spicer     25th October 2002 South Africa’s most competitive companies will be announced at a South African Excellence Foundation ceremony to be held next month. 

R230m table-grape empowerment deal

By: Terence Creamer     22nd October 2002 An innovative R230-million table-grape empowerment project is to be developed on 500 ha along the Orange River, near Upington in the Northern Cape. 

R1,2bn sugar mill proposed for KZN

21st October 2002 Several new investments, including a R1,2-billion sugar mill, are being considered for the Makhathini Flats, in the remote north-east of KwaZulu-Natal, according to the province’s Minister of Agriculture and Environmental Affairs, Narend Singh. 

Moderate El Nino dryness threatens crops

21st October 2002 A South African farmers' group said last week a dry spell was battering wheat plants and could affect the upcoming planting of maize critical to help feed southern Africa. 

Fruit producer is first to utilise weather derivative

21st October 2002 A Western Cape deciduous fruit producer is the first business in South Africa to use a weather derivative. 

Indigenous fruit farms could boost food security

By: Martin Czernowalow     18th October 2002 The Agricultural Research Council-Institute for Tropical and Subtropical Crops (ITSC) is currently conducting a study into the farming of indigenous fruit trees, as a way of creating food security in South Africa. 

Farm subsidies and globe-trotting cows

18th October 2002 At a briefing following the World Summit on Sustainable Development, Trade and Industry Minster Alec Erwin suggested that debate on trade subsidies had progressed to a point where it would be impossible for the European Union to attend another international event without having made substantial... 

Big agricultural plan for Makhathini Flats

18th October 2002 KwaZulu-Natal’s remote Makhathini Flats have the potential to produce food in quantities to make a significant impact on South African and international markets, according to a development plan that was released yesterday. 

Commercial hemp-farming trials begin this month

By: Deborah Spicer     16th October 2002 The next set of research and incubation trials for commercially-farmed hemp will start at 11 one-or-two-hectare sites in the Eastern Cape and five sites in the Western Cape from about the middle of this month, at the time of the first rains. 

South Africa moves ahead with biotech plans

16th October 2002 An emotive regional debate on the safety of genetically modified food aid has thrown a spotlight on South Africa's stance on biotechnology, exposing a lonely but unwavering policy. 

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