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Agriculture News

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. 

Aid irrelevant unless rich countries cut subsidies – World Bank

15th October 2002 Efforts by institutions such as the World Bank to tackle poverty are irrelevant unless wealthy countries cut farm subsidies, Agence France-Presse and Lib 

Abalone exemption issued to subsistence fishers

15th October 2002 The South African Government has announced that it will issue the first abalone exemptions to subsistence fishers in the Eastern Cape this week. 

133 abalone permits issued to subsistence fishers

15th October 2002 The South African Government today launched National Marine Week in Hamburg in the Eastern Cape, issuing more than 130 abalone exemptions to subsistence fishers and launching the first South African Fisheries transformation milestone report. 

Funds set aside for ‘backyard’ farming

14th October 2002 The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Agriculture and Environmental Affairs has made available R1-million for a Backyard Farming Campaign and challenges the private sector and donor agencies to match it. 

Millers urge SA to speed maize tariff cuts

14th October 2002 South Africa's National Chamber of Milling urged the government last week to remove import duty on maize – and quickly. 

Submersible pump to enable irrigation

11th October 2002 Close-coupled submersible pumps are proving popular with the farming community to pump water out of dams or canals for irrigation. 

Commercial hemp-farming trials begin this month 

By: Deborah Spicer     11th 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. 

Less downtime with sanitary pump

11th October 2002 East Rand-based Letaba Industrial Pumps markets the US-manufactured Wilden range of pumps. 

EU’s African fishing policy slammed

10th October 2002 Conservation group WWF International slammed the European Union on Tuesday for buying fishing rights from poor African countries like Angola, saying it was depleting stocks vital to poor coastal communities. 

Indigenous fruit farms could boost food security

By: Martin Czernowalow     8th October 2002 The ARC-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. 

SA tractor sales rise nearly 50%

7th October 2002 High yields and crop prices are encouraging South African tractor sales, which rose almost 50% in the year to September, the country's agricultural machinery association SAAMA said last week. 

State backs N Cape paprika expansion

By: Deborah Spicer     4th October 2002 Paprika spice and oleoresin (paprika oil) manufacturer Nocal is due to have its upgraded and improved oleoresin-processing plant erected in Springbok in the Northern Cape this week. 

KZN plans to offer farm start-up packs

4th October 2002 The KwaZulu-Natal Government plans to issue start-up packs to needy communities, so they can begin growing their own food in response to rocketing prices. 

An alliance for sustainable progress

By: Keith Campbell     4th October 2002 Arguably the most respected and successful of the world’s conservation organisations, with its combination of extensive field work and policy advocacy, the WWF is forging alliances with international business and mutlilateral lending institutions to conserve endangered ecosystems and... 

Environmental activism or ecoterrorism?

By: Irma Venter     4th October 2002 A Chilean environmentalist tells Engineering News about his life’s work, and and why he believes privatisation is not neccesarily the answer to a developing country’s economic woes. 

WTO to probe Brazil complaint on agri subsidies

3rd October 2002 Brazil has filed suit against the European Union's (EU) and the US's agricultural subsidies at the World Trade Organisation (WTO), reports La Tribune. 

SA to cut maize tariffs in two weeks

2nd October 2002 South Africa said on Monday it would cut imported maize tariffs within two weeks, bringing relief to importers suffering the double blow of high international prices and import duties. 

El Nino could dry southern Africa

2nd October 2002 Southern African rains look likely to dry up in a growing El Nino phenomenon, weather forecasters said on Monday, but South African farmers said winter rains had set them in good stead for the dry spell. 

Karoo builds new ostrich abattoir

27th September 2002 The Klein Karoo Cooperative has started construction of its third export-class ostrich abattoir in Swellendam, in the Western Cape. 

SA mulls indigenous fruit-tree farming plan

27th September 2002 Researchers are investigating the commercial farming of indigenous fruit trees to help improve food security, create jobs and also save South Africa’s natural bio-diversity. 

Air-conditioning, the ozone layer and sustainable development

27th September 2002 Refrigeration was one of the topics discussed at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), held in Johannesburg earlier this month. 

SA raises white maize acreage

23rd September 2002 South Africa has raised the acreage set aside for white maize in its 2002/03 season to take advantage of rising prices, as a regional food shortage squeezes supplies, the Crop Estimate's Committee said. 

Engineering for sustainable development in Africa

By: Zonika Botha     23rd September 2002 During the recent World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) high-level decision-makers and politicians from around the world converged in Johannesburg to thrash out policy issues surrounding water, energy, health, agriculture and biodiversity. 

Environmentalists slam SA’s renewable energy plan

23rd September 2002 Environmental groups have slammed government’s recently-released White Paper on the Promotion of Renewable Energy and Clean Energy Development, describing the targets set as ‘pathetic’ and out of step with the stated intent of policy. 

Making the case for biotech in SA

By: Zonika Botha     20th September 2002 What information technology (IT) has been to the world over the last 20 years, biotechnology is going to be to the world over the next 20 years. 

Maize-product firm pursues new niches

By: Joanne Delaurentis     20th September 2002 Toothpaste, soups, sweets, paper, board, braai briquettes, textiles, beer, spices, beverages, glue, intravenous drips and sweeteners are only a few of the industries currently making use of the products and co-products produced by South Africa’s African Products. 

The right to say 'no' to GM food aid

By: Seeraj Mohamed     20th September 2002 I am offended by people who say that Zambia should accept genetically modified food aid or starve. 

SA mulls indigenous fruit-tree farming plan

20th September 2002 Researchers are investigating the commercial farming of indigenous fruit trees to help improve food security, create jobs and also save South Africa’s natural bio-diversity. 

Instant experts abound

By: Kelvin Kemm     20th September 2002 Well, the main hype of the World Summit on Sustainable Development is now past, but the ripples will continue for some time yet. 

The unofficial guide to the Joburg Summit

By: Terry Mackenzie-hoy     20th September 2002 There is a song called The Joburg talking blues. It goes “Jus’ got into Joburg town/people drifting ‘round and around/people seem in such a flash and a flurry”. 

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