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Agroprocessing News

Independent research body highlights complexity of South Africa’s food chain

By: Rebecca Campbell     7th April 2020 Independent research agency the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) has highlighted that South Africa’s food supply chains are complex. “These supply chains are a web of formal and informal interactions between agricultural inputs, logistics, farmers, spazas [informal convenience... 

Research bureau develops tool to ensure effective monitoring of local food supply chain

By: Rebecca Campbell     6th April 2020 The Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP), an independent research agency, has  developed a web-based monitoring tool to allow key participants in the food value chain to report breakdowns and blockages within the chain. This will permit fast and applicable actions to deal with these... 

Didiza unveils R1.2bn fund to support small-scale farmers

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th April 2020 Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza on April 6 said agricultural production continued to ensure food security in South Africa and reiterated that there was no need for panic buying as it only served to create shortages in the food supply chain and result in... 

Didiza unveils R1.2bn fund to support small-scale farmers
Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza

Wine industry in bittersweet situation with harvesting allowed, but exports denied

By: Marleny Arnoldi     3rd April 2020 South Africa’s 2020 wine grape crop will still yield exceptional wines despite uncertainty at first considering South Africa’s lockdown practices, says industry body Vinpro. The industry is harvesting the last few thousand tonnes of crops across ten wine regions in the country, owing to a... 

Wine industry in bittersweet situation with harvesting allowed, but exports denied

Research group reports that South Africa has ample food supplies

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd April 2020 South Africans should not be concerned about the availability of food during the current Covid-19 pandemic. This assurance has been given by the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP), a Pretoria/Tshwane-based nonprofit organisation (created in 2004 to carry out scientifically rigorous... 

South African production of key foods largely reassuring in face of crisis

By: Rebecca Campbell     30th March 2020 An independent research centre, the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP), has published an overview of five key foods produced in South Africa, as part of its analysis of food and agricultural aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic crisis. The foods are chicken (meat), maize (grains), soybean... 

Food research group warns on precarious nutrition situation of 50% of South Africans

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th March 2020 The independent research Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) has warned that poorer households in South Africa would be put at risk, in terms of both their nutrition and health, if they suffer from a fall in their income or an increase in food prices, because  measures to counter, or... 

Distributor’s experience makes for sweeter projects supply

By: Mamaili Mamaila     27th March 2020 With more than 60 years of servicing the sugar industry, power transmission products distributor Bearings International (BI) has gained meaningful expertise, which enables the company to continue being a “dependable supplier” in the industry. 

Distributor’s experience makes for sweeter projects supply
SWEET RIDE Bearings International supplies the complete drive chain – from the feeder tables where the sugar cane arrives from the farm to the pack house where the product gets distributed

Equipment design vital for sugar industry

By: Mamaili Mamaila     27th March 2020 A critical aspect of servicing the sugar industry is equipment design, says integrated engineering technology and project management company Bosch Projects sugar sector director Steve Rosettenstein. 

Equipment design vital for sugar industry
DIVERSE OFFERING For the sugar industry, Bosch Projects provides front-end cane offloading, cane preparation, juice extraction, sugar processing, sugar drying and refining equipment

Mechanised systems gaining momentum

By: Mamaili Mamaila     27th March 2020 Manual harvesting currently dominates sugarcane harvesting operations. 

Mechanised systems gaining momentum
CANE MECHANISATION Any change towards a fully mechanised harvesting system involves many disciplines and affects all aspects of cane production

Components provider extends offering for sugar industry

By: Mamaili Mamaila     27th March 2020 Engineering components provider BMG has extended its range of power transmission components to include its recently upgraded Fenagrid Premium range. 

Components provider extends offering for sugar industry
SOAKING UP BMG’s new Fenagrid Premium taper grid steel flexible couplings absorb considerable torque overloads, achieving smoother running, with consequent reduction of wear and tear on machinery

Mill equipment advances essential for industry

By: Mamaili Mamaila     27th March 2020 With the local sugar industry being more than 150 years old, advances in equipment critical to the milling process add “immense value”, as they improve the operational efficiency potential of the sugar mills, says industrial equipment supplier Verder Pumps MD Darryl Macdougall. 

Mill equipment advances essential for industry
ALLEVIATING THE DEFECTS Sucrose losses can be significantly reduced – if not mitigated altogether – if the correct advanced and integrated pumping solution is used

Company transforming amid difficulties

By: Mamaili Mamaila     27th March 2020 JSE-listed sugar producer Tongaat Hulett is striving to reconstruct its business to be innovative, resilient and cost effective. 

Company transforming  amid difficulties
TRANSFORMATION IN SIGHT The three main shareholders in Uzinzo hold 65%

Mill closures, continued market decline a concern for growers

By: Mamaili Mamaila     27th March 2020 With two sugar mills closing down and being mothballed for the 2020/21 season, growers are concerned that the remaining 12 mills might potentially struggle to successfully complete this season’s harvest, says the South African Canegrowers’ Association (SA Canegrowers). 

Mill closures, continued market decline a concern for growers
THE NUMBERS GAME The South African cane-growing sector comprises 21 500 cane growers – of which 20 200 are small-scale growers, producing about 20% of the 19-million tons of cane a year

Research group assures South Africans that the country has ample food supplies

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd March 2020 South Africans should not be concerned about the availability of food during the current Covid-19 pandemic. This assurance has been given by the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Production (BFAP), a Pretoria/Tshwane-based nonprofit organisation (created in 2004 to carry out scientifically... 

Research group assures South Africans that the country has ample food supplies
Photo by Bloomberg
South Africa is expected to have a bumper maize crop this year

An arid future arrives early in South Africa’s farm country

By: Bloomberg     9th March 2020 Ben Brynard’s family has been farming sheep in northwest South Africa since 1923, and for the past 66 years has kept records on annual rainfall in the nearby town of Calvinia. In all that time, the three inches of rain he measured for 2019 was the least they’d ever gotten. Brynard looked at... 

South African economy enters recession as Q4 GDP contracts 1.4% 

By: Reuters     3rd March 2020 South Africa’s gross domestic product contracted 1.4% in the fourth quarter of 2019, following a revised 0.8% contraction in the third quarter, data from Statistics South Africa showed on Tuesday. Economists polled by Reuters had predicted a contraction of 0.1% in quarter-on-quarter and... 

South African economy enters recession as Q4 GDP contracts 1.4%

Tongaat Hulett to sell starch division to Barloworld for R5.35bn

By: Creamer Media Reporter      28th February 2020 JSE-listed Tongaat Hulett will sell its starch business to Barloworld for an enterprise value of R5.35-billion. Tongaat will use the proceeds to reduce its debt. 

Old wine in new cans? South African startup sniffs new export opportunity

By: Reuters     26th February 2020 A South African startup is hoping to cash in on a growing global taste for canned wines as a lighter, more convenient alternative to bottles. Canned wines are already on sale in the United States, parts of Europe and elsewhere, but they are a novelty in South Africa, which is one of the world's... 

Deere taps tractor-hailing tech in bid to break ground in Africa

By: Reuters     25th February 2020 It's ride-hailing, farm style. Deere & Co is teaming up with the "Uber of tractors" in Africa and betting on a future where farmers summon machines with the touch of a button. The world's leading farm equipment maker is outfitting its tractors with startup Hello Tractor's technology, which allows... 

South Africa confirms locust outbreak in Namibia, Karoo region

By: Bloomberg     25th February 2020 A locust outbreak in Namibia and South Africa’s northwestern Karoo region may pose a threat to grazing lands in a region that’s already prone to droughts. South Africa’s Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries confirmed the outbreak of brown locusts in a newsletter published on its... 

Constitutional amendment only unlikely to deliver success, warns land panel 

By: Irma Venter     20th February 2020 South Africa had to put in place a 50- to 100-year food security plan, and then walk backwards to see what it can do to make that happen, says former Afrgri CEO Chris Venter. “However, this is not happening. We are not looking at the areas becoming increasingly drier in our country to see what we... 

Constitutional amendment only unlikely to deliver success, warns land panel

Newly launched agency plans to drive agricultural development, ensure successful land reform

By: Schalk Burger     18th February 2020 The nonprofit Agricultural Development Agency, launched on Tuesday, in Pretoria, is a cross-sector, government-supported and private-sector led initiative to develop farmers by providing technical skills and private-sector financial support and linking the farmers into supply chains to ensure... 

Newly launched agency plans to drive agricultural development, ensure successful land reform

Tongaat mulls sale of its starch division

By: Simone Liedtke     13th February 2020 JSE-listed sugar producer Tongaat Hulett has entered into negotiations with regard to the potential sale of Tongaat Hulett Starch. The division is Africa’s largest producer of starch, glucose and related products. It converts more than 670 000 t/y of bought-in maize into starch and starch-based... 

TLU SA objects to forced, costly water meters for irrigation farmers

By: African News Agency      12th February 2020 In an official letter to the Minister of Water Affairs and Sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu, TLU SA on Tuesday strongly objected to an announcement on the installation of obligatory water measuring devices for irrigation farmers. According to a notice published in the Government Gazette on 17 January,... 

Smart drones to be tested in battle against East Africa locust swarms

By: Reuters     11th February 2020 The United Nations (UN) is to test drones equipped with mapping sensors and atomizers to spray pesticides in parts of east Africa battling an invasion of desert locusts that are ravaging crops and exacerbating a hunger crisis. Hundreds of millions of the voracious insects have swept across... 

'Drastic' fall in bumblebee populations shocks scientists

By: Reuters     7th February 2020 When scientist Peter Soroye first saw the figures showing estimated bumblebee populations in North America had fallen by nearly 50% in a single generation, he thought it must be a typo. He checked the numbers - the result of a long-term analysis of bumblebee populations published in the journal... 

'Drastic' fall in bumblebee populations shocks scientists

Wine grape conditions improving this year

By: Marleny Arnoldi     27th January 2020 Wine producer association Vinpro says things are looking up in most regions for wine grape harvests in South Africa this year. “Sufficient water and a moderate ripening period contributed to expectations of a somewhat larger 2020 South African wine grape harvest compared to 2019; however, still... 

Wine grape conditions improving this year

Global food prices jump to five-year high

By: Bloomberg     10th January 2020 Global food prices ended the year at the highest in half a decade, propelled by swine shortages and rising vegetable-oil demand across the world. The 13% annual gain in the United Nations’ food index marks a turnaround from recent years, when grocery bills were kept in check by surpluses of... 

Cabinet rejects farm-size limits in land reforms

By: Bloomberg     20th December 2019 Cabinet rejected proposals to limit the size of farms and to establish a dedicated fund in the nation’s land-reform process, Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza said. An advisory panel set up by President Cyril Ramaphosa in July submitted a report containing 73... 

Cabinet rejects farm-size limits in land reforms

Lesotho wants to export its cannabis to the world

By: Bloomberg     20th December 2019 Kekeletso Lekaota spends her work days nurturing rows of cannabis plants for harvest. Pruning a few yellowed leaves from stems with thick, flowering heads, she says the job requires a soft touch and delicate hands. It’s a crop Lekaota had no experience with 18 months ago, when she saw an... 

Lesotho wants to export its cannabis to the world
A worker harvests plants at the MG Health Ltd. growing facility in Lesotho.

Farmers reeling from latest bout of load-shedding 

By: News24Wire      12th December 2019 Eskom's current load-shedding has struck in the middle of the Western Cape's fruit season, further hobbling a key industry that depends on a regular electricity supply, Geoff Jacobs, president of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said on Wednesday. The Western Cape fruit sector earns... 

 Farmers reeling from latest bout of load-shedding

Sluggish economic growth affecting companies' hiring plans – survey

By: Simone Liedtke     10th December 2019 South African employers have reported soft hiring intentions for the first quarter of 2020. The latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey shows that while 10% of employers forecast an increase in payrolls, 8% anticipate a decrease and 81% expect to make no changes. 

Industry 4.0 advancing in local sugar milling

By: Tracy Hancock     6th December 2019 All South Africa’s sugar mills are now using the near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) analytical technology developed by centralised scientific organisation Sugar Milling Research Institute NPC (SMRI), says SMRI research and development manager Steve Davis. The SMRI-NIRS technology – which SMRI... 

Industry 4.0 advancing in local sugar milling
SUGAR 4.0 The potential value derived from Sugar Milling Research Institute NPC’s near-infrared spectroscopy analytical technology is only just beginning to be explored

Local sugar industry critical, master plan being developed

By: Tracy Hancock     6th December 2019 The local sugar industry is in decline and could be described as “being in the intensive care unit”, says South African Sugar Association (SASA) executive director Trix Trikam. Subsequently, SASA is discussing the development of a sugar industry master plan with government and downstream users... 

Local sugar industry critical, master plan being developed
SWEET ESCAPE To ensure sustainable development of the sugarcane sector, there needs to be diversification into sugar ethanol fuel and other cane-derived products

Sugar giant transforming business amid turmoil

By: Tracy Hancock     6th December 2019 In addition to its plans to exit sugar farming in South Africa, embattled agroprocessing business Tongaat Hulett expects to conclude a transaction to establish a transformative milling, refining and sugar marketing business by the end of this year. The developments are part of a strategic review... 

Sugar giant transforming business amid turmoil
FELIXTON MILL The initial assets of Tongaat Hulett’s transformative milling, refining and sugar marketing business have an installed capacity to produce more than one-million tons of sugar a year

IFC launches study to improve water efficiency in agriculture sector 

By: Simone Liedtke     5th December 2019 To identify opportunities for water efficiency in the agricultural sector and analyse the barriers to improvement in this area, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) has launched a study as part of its Agroprocessing Resource Efficiency Programme. In partnership with IFC’s partner,... 

IFC launches study to improve water efficiency in agriculture sector
IFC manufacturing, agribusiness and services adviser Raymond Greig
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