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Agroprocessing News

R7bn allocated for Land Bank recapitalisation

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     Updated 4 hours ago The Land and Agricultural Development Bank of South Africa (Land Bank), which defaulted on its debt obligations on April 1, 2020, and is renegotiating it repayment terms, will receive R7-billion in recapitalisation over the medium term to put it on a stable and sustainable development path, the... 

Africa's miners and winemakers toast China's row with Australia

By: Reuters     10th February 2021 For South African winemaker Vergenoegd Löw, the pandemic could have been a disaster but a bitter trade war between China and Australia has thrown the 325-year-old estate a lifeline. Bottles of its reds, whites and roses piled up when South Africa banned alcohol sales under a strict lockdown and... 

Chocolate war leaves world’s top cocoa producer stuck with beans 

By: Bloomberg     20th January 2021 Nobody is suffering more from a global chocolate standoff than the Côte d'Ivoire cocoa farmer. Less than two years after the top cocoa producer teamed up with neighboring Ghana to force companies from Hershey Co. to Nestle SA to pay more for their beans, the attempt to exert control over prices... 

South Africa’s 2020 wine exports reach 319-million litres despite market challenges

By: Simone Liedtke     20th January 2021 South Africa’s wine export volumes of 2020, which amount to 319.2-million litres, echo that of a challenging 2019, despite a five-week long ban on exports and challenges at the Cape Town Port terminal owing to Covid-19. This follows on from a good 2020 harvest and vineyard recovery following the... 

South Africa’s 2020 wine exports reach 319-million litres despite market challenges

Land Bank posts a R172m interim loss for 2020

By: News24Wire      19th January 2021 The Land Bank has posted a R172-million loss from its continuing operations for the six months ended on 30 September as its interest income continued to decline while provision for bad debts grew. The state-owned lender, which finances approximately 27% of agricultural debt in SA and is the only... 

EU food watchdog approves bugs for human consumption

By: Bloomberg     13th January 2021 Insects just moved a step closer to European dinner plates. Dried yellow mealworm, the larval form of the mealworm beetle, is safe for human consumption in both its whole form and as a powder additive, the European Union’s food watchdog said Wednesday. 

Agri SA bemoans Land Bank incompetence, as revealed by Auditor-General 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th January 2021 Industry organisation Agri SA has expressed concern about the status of the Land Bank’s financial sustainability, following a damning report published by the Auditor-General (AG) of South Africa Tsakani Maluleke. “Whoever was responsible for the financial loss of R2.8-billion must be held... 

Sugar growers expand buy local campaign to try and save a 'million livelihoods'

By: News24Wire      7th January 2021 The SA Canegrowers' Association has expanded its campaign aimed at raising awareness of the serious threats facing the local sugar industry. Chief among these is the significant share of the local market that cheap imports hold, the association said in a statement on Thursday. 

Locust prediction tool allows for early intervention in four African countries so far

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th January 2021 Pan-African marketplace Selina Wamucii has launched, on its platform, a free tool called Kuzi that can help farmers and pastoralists predict locust behaviour. The artificial intelligence-powered tool generates real-time heatmaps of locusts across Africa, showing all potential migration routes and... 

South Africa has 300m litres of unsold wine

By: News24Wire      14th December 2020 Ahead of the start of the new harvest next month, South African wine producers are still stuck with a massive glut of unsold wine in the country. The lengthy freeze on sales at home and ban on exporting during the first phase of lockdown, have left South African wine producers with surplus stock... 

Western Cape welcomes agriculture interns

By: Yvonne Silaule     11th December 2020 About 120 agricultural graduate interns took up their two-year internship within the Western Cape agriculture sector on December 9. Western Cape Agriculture Minister Ivan Meyer welcomed the placement of the interns, saying that the provincial department had prioritised the structuring of... 

Implementation of Poultry Master Plan progressing, industry capacity increases

By: Simone Liedtke     8th December 2020 Progress has been made on the implementation of the Poultry Master Plan, in spite of a decline in chicken consumption during the initial lockdown period, the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) has said. Over the course of the past 12 months, a new tariff was introduced on... 

IBM launches support for digital agriculture in Africa initiative

By: Schalk Burger     7th December 2020 Information technology (IT) multinational IBM on December 7 announced its active support for the Digital4Agriculture Initiative (D4Ag), which aims to foster African startups in the agricultural sector and strengthen the long-term living conditions of local small-scale farmers by increasing... 

Sugar master plan signed and good to go

4th December 2020 The virtual signing of the much-anticipated Sugarcane Value Chain Master Plan 2030 has been welcomed by all stakeholders of the South African sugar industry, according to a statement issued by the South African Sugar Association (Sasa) last month. “This is a momentous occasion for the industry... 

Sugar master plan signed and good to go
Photo by Creamer Media
SWEET DEAL Local sugar producers will be supported and given greater preference through the newly minted sugar master plan

New female vice chairperson for sugar association

4th December 2020 The South African Farmers Development Association (Safda) said in statement issued last month that it “welcomes and congratulates” the appointment of new South African Sugar Association (Sasa) vice chairperson Joanmariae Fubbs. Fubbs was nominated by Safda and voted in at a special meeting of... 

Business restructuring anchors producer as sugar master plan gives hope

By: Darren Parker     4th December 2020 The business restructuring efforts of sugar producer Tongaat Hulett over the past few years have enabled it to enter the Covid-19 outbreak as a “leaner, fit-for-purpose organisation” better able to weather the pandemic, says Tongaat Hulett sugar operations MD Simon Harvey. “The Covid-19 pandemic... 

Business restructuring anchors producer as sugar master plan  gives hope
A NEW HORIZON The sugar master plan seeks to create a diversified and globally competitive, sustainable and transformed sugarcane-based value chain

Tough times ahead despite better yields

By: Darren Parker     4th December 2020 Data gathered by the South African Canegrowers Association (SA Canegrowers) indicate that sugar cane crop yields in the current season are expected to be an improvement on those of the past year, owing to “perfect” to weather to date. Moreover, canegrowers have also put much effort into... 

Tough times ahead despite better yields
ABUNDANT HARVEST A large yield and constrained sugar milling capacity means that some sugar cane will not be processed this year

Rail link planned for small-scale cane growers

By: Darren Parker     4th December 2020 Sugar producer Tongaat Hulett is partnering with the South African Farmers Development Association, and the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development to establish a sugar cane rail transport system, in KwaZulu-Natal, between Makhathini cane growers in northern Zululand and... 

Rail link planned for small-scale cane growers
LOWERED HAULAGE COSTS The project will result in a 50% reduction in transportation costs for growers

Digital agriculture to assist sugar growers

By: Darren Parker     4th December 2020 The South African Sugar Research Institute (Sasri), a division of the South African Sugar Association (Sasa), is focusing its research and technological development on digital agriculture to support canegrowers in decision-making, in their choice of cane varieties, to establish more accurate crop... 

Digital agriculture to assist sugar growers
PESKY PROBLEM The Eldana saccharina larvae bore into sugar cane and can ruin entire crops

First group of Western Cape agriculture drone pilots receive their wings

By: Yvonne Silaule     27th November 2020 The first group of Western Cape Department of Agriculture drone pilots received their wings this week. The department assisted the group to successfully sit for the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) examination to obtain their remote pilot licences. Training was provided by Drone-X,... 

Awaiting South African bailout, land bank locks out farmers

By: Bloomberg     19th November 2020 One of the biggest lenders to South African farmers can’t take on new clients or meet half the needs of existing customers until it gets another government bailout to keep operating. The state-owned Land and Agricultural Development Bank has asked the National Treasury for R7-billion to ease its... 

IFC invests in Mali quicklime, agriculture lime producer

By: Creamer Media Reporter      17th November 2020 The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has invested in Malian quicklime and agriculture lime producer Carrières et Chaux du Mali (CCM) to help the company increase production of these products, which are essential inputs for the country's agriculture and... 

Govt, industry sign the sugar master plan

By: Creamer Media Reporter      17th November 2020 Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel, Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza and sugar industry stakeholders have signed the Sugar Industry Master Plan. As part of the master plan, industrial users and retailers have agreed to minimum offtake of... 

Govt, industry sign the sugar master plan
A sugarcane plantation

Sale of Tongaat's starch business to Barloworld subsidiary completed

By: Simone Liedtke     2nd November 2020 Tongaat Hulett Limited (THL) successfully disposed of its Starch business to Barloworld’s KLL Group on October 31, after KLL paid an initial amount of over R4.9-billion as the purchase consideration. About R4.5-billion of this amount has been paid to THL lenders to reduce its South African debt. 

The Wine Farmer project launched to combat damaging effects of lockdown on industry

By: Simone Liedtke     23rd October 2020 The Southern African Agri Initiative (Saai) has launched a new wine marketing project, The Wine Farmer, which is an online wine shop aimed at making family farm wines available to consumers across South Africa at cellar door prices. The project is based at the Marianne Wine Estate, in Stellenbosch. 

The Wine Farmer project launched to combat damaging effects of lockdown on industry

Furniture Industry Masterplan to be finalised in coming months – DTIC

By: Simone Liedtke     22nd October 2020 The Furniture Industry Masterplan (FIMP) has been submitted to all relevant stakeholders and will be finalised and implemented in the coming months, Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) agroprocessing and forestry-based industries chief director Ncumisa Mcata-Mhlauli confirms. The... 

South Africa moves to soothe investor fears over land grabs

By: Bloomberg     21st October 2020 As South Africa revises its legal framework to make it easier to take property without paying for it, the nation’s land minister has given assurances that the contentious process won’t degenerate into a free-for-all. The ruling African National Congress decided in December 2017 to change the... 

South Africa moves to soothe investor fears over land grabs
Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza

Africa’s economic recovery lies in agriculture – minister 

By: African News Agency      15th October 2020 South African Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Thoko Didiza said on Thursday that the agricultural sector should be at the centre of the country’s and Africa’s economic recovery post-Covid-19. Didiza was speaking during a virtual address, commemorating rural women in... 

Africa’s economic recovery lies in agriculture – minister
Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Thoko Didiza

Agricultural transformation a Presidential imperative, says Ramaphosa

By: Simone Liedtke     8th October 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa has highlighted access to agricultural land for subsistence farming and commercial production as a national priority, stating that the transformation of patterns of ownership “are fundamental in addressing not only food security, but also historical injustices”. In his... 

PE port loads last shipment of bumper 2020 citrus export season

By: Donna Slater     15th September 2020 The last official specialised reefer (refrigerated container) fruit vessel calling to load citrus from the Eastern Cape through the Port of Port Elizabeth's multi-purpose terminal, docked at the port this week. The MV Lady Rosebud docked at berth 10/11 on September 13 to discharge 45 empty... 

PE port loads last shipment of bumper 2020 citrus export season
MV Lady Rosebud loaded with the last South African citrus exports of the 2020 season

Master plan starts to encourage poultry sector expansion

By: Marleny Arnoldi     15th September 2020 South African poultry producers have pledged to invest R1.7-billion towards expansion and improvement of productive capacity in the country. Some investment projects have already been completed, including the expansion of a hatchery and processing facility which created 428 jobs.  

Master plan starts to encourage poultry sector expansion

Opinion: Building back better on food and agriculture

11th September 2020 In this opinion piece, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) director-general QU Dongyu writes about a comprehensive response and recovery programme to overcome the impacts of Covid-19 through up-scaled and robust international collaboration. As the impacts of Covid-19 take their... 

Opinion: Building back better on food and agriculture

Lesotho aims to ‘go big’ on agriculture amid Agoa textiles uncertainty 

By: Terence Creamer     4th September 2020 Lesotho Prime Minister Dr Moeketsi Majoro reports that the country aims to overhaul its underperforming agricultural sector with the objective of improving both food security and attracting export-oriented investment into the production of high-value crops, such as fruit, vegetables and... 

Lesotho aims to ‘go big’ on agriculture amid Agoa textiles uncertainty
Lesotho Prime Minister Dr Moeketsi Majoro

Opinion: When allocating fishing rights, govt should learn from the errors of 2016

28th August 2020 The 2016 allocation of rights to the hake inshore trawl fishery was a costly policy and administrative mistake that should not be repeated in the upcoming rights allocation, writes the South African Deep-Sea Trawling Industry Association (SADSTIA). The 2016 allocation of rights to the hake... 

Opinion: When allocating fishing rights, govt should learn from the errors of 2016

DTIC, Wesgro to host virtual wine mission to South Korea

By: Creamer Media Reporter      26th August 2020 To enhance bilateral trade and investment ties, the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) will, in collaboration with trade promotion agency Wesgro, host a virtual wine mission to South Korea. The event, to be held on August 27, will showcase ten wineries from the Western Cape region. 

Starbucks clients can now trace their coffee, and so can farmers

By: Bloomberg     26th August 2020 Starbucks Corp fans can now trace their coffee. And so can farmers, who will know for the first time where their beans end up. Starting Tuesday, customers buying coffee at Starbucks stores across the US will be able to use a code on the bags to find out where their beans came from, where they... 

FSCA orders Tongaat to pay R20m administrative penalty

By: Creamer Media Reporter      24th August 2020 Sugar producer Tongaat Hulett has been ordered by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) to pay a R20-million administrative penalty. The FSCA has concluded its investigation and determined that Tongaat had breached the provisions of Section 81 of the Financial Markets Act. The breach... 

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