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Agroprocessing News

Labat Africa reports investor interest as South Africa publishes medical cannabis notice

By: Schalk Burger     29th June 2020 JSE-listed medical cannabis investment holding company Labat Africa on June 29 said South Africa’s changing cannabis regulation was helping it to attract investor interest. "In another clear indication that the South African government views the emerging cannabis sector as a priority, Notice R586... 

Land Bank to get additional R3bn in extra budget, nothing for other SOEs

By: African News Agency      24th June 2020 South Africa's National Treasury on Wednesday said it would allocate an additional R3-billion to the recapitalise the Land Bank, but said no other in-year spending adjustments were proposed for state-owned companies in budget adjustments related to the Covid-19 crisis. In a supplementary budget... 

Agribusiness confidence falls to the lowest level since the 2008/9 financial crisis

By: Simone Liedtke     15th June 2020 The Agricultural Business Chamber of South Africa (Agbiz)/Industrial Development Corporation Agribusiness Confidence Index (ACI) has fallen from the 50-point mark in the first quarter of the year to 39 index points in the second quarter. This marks the lowest level since the third quarter of... 

Agribusiness confidence falls to the lowest level since the 2008/9 financial crisis

AfDB launches programmes to bolster Africa's food security

By: Donna Slater     9th June 2020 The African Development Bank (AfDB) has unveiled a strategic roadmap of projects and programmes to assist African countries in tackling the nutrition and food security aspects of the Covid-19 crisis. The Feed Africa Response to Covid-19 (Farec) paves the way for a comprehensive intervention to... 

Agriculture to grow this year, but long-term market impact remains uncertain

By: Marleny Arnoldi     4th June 2020 Although South Africa has a resilient and robust agricultural system, Covid-19 has exposed some fault lines and vulnerabilities in certain value chains that need to be addressed, industry role-players say. Financial services provider Nedbank on June 4 hosted an agriculture webinar with experts... 

Agriculture to grow this year, but long-term market impact remains uncertain

Leasehold Programme can contribute to smallholder agricultural development after lockdown

By: Schalk Burger     29th May 2020 The Leasehold Programme – a collaborative partnership between the Jobs Fund, communities and sugar miller Tongaat Hulett – is expected to be able to support agricultural development of smallholder farmers. The 2014 Sugarcane Development Initiative, which is a public-private partnership between... 

South African wine industry on its knees as lockdown set to ease

By: Reuters     28th May 2020 Two years ago, South Africa's first black female winemaker Ntsiki Biyela watched anxiously as the worst drought in a century scorched vineyards across Western Cape. After surviving that, Biyela's small business Aslina Wines recovered and was poised for growth this year - until the new coronavirus... 

AfCFTA to be continent’s main post-pandemic ‘stimulus’ lever  

By: Terence Creamer     25th May 2020 The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) represents the only realistic stimulus option available to resource-constrained African governments for reigniting growth in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, AfCFTA secretary-general Wamkele Mene avers. The global response to the virus had... 

AfCFTA to be continent’s main post-pandemic ‘stimulus’ lever
AfCFTA secretary-general Wamkele Mene on the impact of Covid-19 on the trade agreement and its role in reigniting growth across the continent. Camera Work: Kutlwano Matala. Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

African countries must strengthen their agricultural, especially food, production

By: Rebecca Campbell     25th May 2020 A recent two-day webinar hosted by the African Development Institute, a unit of the African Development Bank (AfDB), saw delegates call on African countries to put in place, and carry out, policies to strengthen their agricultural sectors. This would include agricultural processing, trade and... 

Can maggots fuel sports drinks? South African startup thinks so

By: Bloomberg     22nd May 2020 A South African startup aims to produce high-quality protein powder from maggots for use in food products and sports drinks by the end of the year. By doing so, it will become the first company in Africa to make insect protein for human consumption. South African rivals currently harvest larvae... 

Sector increasingly adopting digitalisation

By: Mamaili Mamaila     22nd May 2020 Technology provider ABB Southern Africa believes that digitalisation can address the production challenges of the sugar industry. 

Sector increasingly adopting digitalisation
JOHN MANUELL The full potential of sugar production processes lies in leveraging available data to drive the seamless interoperability among people, assets and production processes

Lifting of cigarette sale prohibition will improve tobacco farming economics

By: Donna Slater     21st May 2020 If the ban on cigarette sales is lifted, tobacco farmers supported by the Emerging Farmer Initiative will benefit enormously, enabling them to sell and duly process crops that have already been harvested, says agricultural services company Afgri. The organisation notes that permitting cigarettes... 

Digital solutions can assist agricultural export sector during Covid-19

By: Donna Slater     15th May 2020 Technology that can be used by the agricultural industry plays an increasingly important role as has recently become evident in the efficiencies it can drive in the food industry as Covid-19 disrupts various businesses, says start-up tech business Agrigate One CEO Greg Whitaker. He says the... 

Local energy not managed efficiently

By: Tracy Hancock     8th May 2020 South Africa is not using its world-class renewable energy resources to drive energy efficiency, says independent conservation organisation World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa (WWF-SA) urban futures project manager Louise Scholtz. “If we were, South Africa’s Integrated Resources Plan 2019... 

Local energy not managed efficiently
TRANSFORMATIVE DEVELOPMENTS The decreasing cost of renewable-energy technologies, such as rooftop solar photovoltaic, are one of the developments transforming South Africa’s energy market

South African agriculture is dependent on imports for key inputs

By: Rebecca Campbell     1st May 2020 While South Africa was a net exporter of agricultural products, the country had to import a large proportion of the inputs required to produce this surplus, independent research body the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) has warned. In its latest brief report, The Use of Agricultural... 

Agricultural inputs supply chain likely to be tested by Covid-19

By: Rebecca Campbell     1st May 2020 Measures adopted by countries around the world to counter the Covid-19 pandemic had sent shockwaves across the global economy, triggering turmoil and volatility, noted independent South Africa research group the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) in its latest brief report, ‘The Use... 

Lockdown highlights food supply importance

By: Darren Parker     1st May 2020 The Covid-19 outbreak and consequent measures taken by government to combat its spread have highlighted the importance of food supply, says motors and drives company SEW Eurodrive MD Raymond Obermeyer. “We will ensure that we reconsider the areas that we believe will benefit the agriculture... 

Lockdown highlights food supply importance
RAYMOND OBERMEYER Throughout the lockdown, SEW Eurodrive has continued to assist the agriculture sector as crucial link in the food supply chain.

Good agricultural sales expected post lockdown

By: Darren Parker     1st May 2020 The outbreak of Covid-19 and the consequent initial 21-day national lockdown in South Africa, which has since been extended by two weeks, caused a slowdown in sales for almost every sector in South Africa, including the agricultural sector. Despite the lull, Pratley marketing director Eldon... 

Good agricultural sales expected post lockdown
DON’T BLOW A GASKET The new room temperature vulcanising silicone gasket maker compound is temperature resistant from -50 ºC to 300 ºC for short periods

Agbiz launches food relief initiative for needy communities

By: Donna Slater     30th April 2020 Agricultural business chamber Agbiz has launched a food relief project for the most needy people in agricultural rural communities, which will receive food relief under the Agri Value Chain Relief Project – a project initiated and coordinated by Agbiz and in collaboration with Grain South... 

Land Bank confirms default it has been trying to avoid 

By: News24Wire      24th April 2020 The Land Bank has failed to stave off financial ruin after defaulting on debt that was due on Thursday. The default has now triggered cross default on certain other bonds – a clause that puts a borrower in default if they fail to honour their other debt obligations. "On 23 April 2020, the Land... 

 Land Bank confirms default it has been trying to avoid

Covid-19 lockdowns, rand depreciation set to accelerate food inflation

By: Rebecca Campbell     24th April 2020 The Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) has, in its latest brief report Food price outlook for Quarter 2 2020 and beyond, warned that food prices in South Africa are set to rise during this, second, quarter of the year. The country’s staple foods – maize, wheat and rice – would not be... 

South Africa’s agricultural inputs supply chain likely to be stressed by Covid-19

By: Rebecca Campbell     17th April 2020 Measures adopted by countries around the world to counter the Covid-19 pandemic have sent shockwaves across the global economy, triggering turmoil and volatility, notes independent South Africa research group the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) in its latest brief report, 'The Use... 

Lockdown: agricultural sector identified as essential service

By: African News Agency      17th April 2020 The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the African Union and international partners have joined hands in efforts to mitigate the consequences of the coronavirus lockdown on Africa's most vulnerable.  Recently, the World Health Organization conveyed its concern about the... 

Lockdown: agricultural sector identified as essential service

Calls for debt servicing standstill gain support

By: Simone Liedtke     16th April 2020 Given projections that Africa is likely to face its first recession in 25 years as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are supporting the call by Finance Ministers from across the continent, and their respective governments, for a debt... 

Calls for debt servicing standstill gain support

South African agriculture has an Achilles heel – its dependence on imported key inputs

By: Rebecca Campbell     16th April 2020 While South Africa is a net exporter of agricultural products, the country has to import a large proportion of the inputs it requires to produce this surplus, independent research body the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) warns. In its latest brief report, The Use of Agricultural... 

Half of South Africans in a ‘precarious nutrition situation’

By: Rebecca Campbell     10th April 2020 Independent research body the 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 a fall in their income or an increase in food prices, as a result of measures put in... 

South African production of key foods good to reasonable

By: Rebecca Campbell     10th April 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 the food and agricultural aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic crisis. The foods are chicken (meat), maize (grains),... 

Business is booming for supplier

By: Darren Parker     10th April 2020 Stainless steel vessels and tanks supplier Metal Tank Industries has noted a definite market upswing in the past eight months, particularly in the food and beverage sector, as well as in the industrial sector, in terms of mineral oils, petroleum oils, chemicals and agrochemicals production.... 

Business is booming for supplier
MAKING IT WORK Metal Tank Industries’ streamlined production processes has helped it become more competitive in terms of costing

African countries urged to increase response to Covid-19 pandemic − WHO

By: Simone Liedtke     9th April 2020 World Health Organisation (WHO) regional director for Africa Dr Matshidiso Moeti has urged countries across Africa to increase their response to mitigating the effects of the Covid-19 virus. While the economic impact of the pandemic is severe, she lamented that fragile economies – like found in... 

African countries urged to increase response to Covid-19 pandemic − WHO

Research group warns that South Africa is likely to see sharp rise in price of rice 

By: Rebecca Campbell     9th April 2020 Global trade has been severely disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic and the measures many governments have taken to contain the disease. In general, however, trade in food and associated essential goods had been given priority in order to maintain food security, the independent research group the... 

World Bank warns of big South Africa GDP slump and first SSA recession in 25 years as Covid-19 bites 

By: Terence Creamer     9th April 2020 The World Bank is forecasting that gross domestic product in South Africa could slump by between 6.9 percentage points and 8 percentage points in 2020 when compared with a base case that does not include the anticipated economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic. Similar contractions are... 

World Bank warns of big South Africa GDP slump and first SSA recession in 25 years as Covid-19 bites
World Bank Chief Economist for Africa Albert Zeufack

Covid-19 lockdowns, rand depreciation, set to drive up food, including staples, inflation

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th April 2020 The Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) has, in its latest brief report Food price outlook for Quarter 2 2020 and beyond, warned that food prices in South Africa were set to rise during this, second, quarter of the year. The country’s staple foods – maize, wheat and rice – would not be... 

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... 

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