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Agroprocessing News

South African wine industry resilient, adopting tools to be more sustainable, competitive

By: Schalk Burger     21st January 2022 The South African wine industry was hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic and will take a few years to fully recover, but wine businesses are changing the way they do business and the industry has fast-tracked tools aimed at becoming more robust, adaptable, competitive and sustainable, wine industry... 

Zimbabwe export farm's 510 kW solar PV and 1 MWh battery powering packhouse, cold storage

By: Schalk Burger     20th January 2022 A 510 kW and 1 MWh solar photovoltaic (PV) and battery storage installation to power the packhouse and cold store facilities of Zimbabwean agricultural company Nhimbe Fresh has started generating electricity. The $1.4-million project was funded through a crowd-sale completed by solar leasing... 

Tongaat defies small investors on R4bn rights issue

By: Bloomberg     19th January 2022 Tongaat Hulett won approval for a R4-billion rights issue to help keep the South African sugar maker afloat, in defiance of small investors who said the move hands too much power to a little-known new backer. The 132-year-old company secured the required support for the discounted fundraising... 

A generic image of sugar

Opinion: The ocean economy is integral to the revival of the Eastern Cape's habitability

12th January 2022 With its immense resource wealth and potential to boost economic growth, employment and innovation, the ocean in the Eastern Cape could become the new economic frontier, writes Nelson Mandela University Infrastructure Development & Engagement Unit associate Bongani Mankewu. 

Bongani Mankewu

AfDB approves $47m grant for Mozambique agro-industrial processing zone

By: Schalk Burger     5th January 2022 Development finance institution the African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a $47.09-million grant for the first phase of Mozambique’s Pemba-Lichinga Integrated Development Corridor, a special agro-industrial processing zone, the bank said on January 5. The grant, from the African... 

CHEP pallet rental solution reduces Clover's carbon emissions

By: Schalk Burger     14th December 2021 Supply chain solutions company CHEP rents out and reuses 345-million wooden pallets used in the transportation of goods, which reduce costs and minimise environmental impact. The reuse model makes business sense, said CHEP South Africa customer relationship manager Celeste Enoch. 

Godongwana appoints Land Bank chair, senior Finance Ministry execs

By: Schalk Burger     10th December 2021 Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana has appointed Thabi Nkosi as the nonexecutive chairperson of the Land and Agricultural Development Bank (Land Bank). He also appointed Pamela Mondliwa as his special adviser on economic policy and Nokwanda Mahori as the Parliamentary liaison to the Ministry of... 

Tongaat outlines unrest-related cost; reports interim net loss

By: Donna Slater     9th December 2021 JSE-listed sugarcane and maize producer Tongaat Hulett’s operating profit for the six months ended September 30 fell by 23% year-on-year to R1.3-billion. This movement mainly reflects the impact of lower sugar production in the company’s South African operation, increased expenses in Zimbabwe... 

An image of a Tongaat Hulett Sugar Cane Truck
A Tongaat Hulett sugar cane truck

First wine grape crop estimate for 2022 looks good – Vinpro

By: Simone Liedtke     7th December 2021 South African wine grape producers expect a good, but somewhat smaller, 2022 wine grape crop following a favourable and healthy season. This according to the first of four crop estimates to be issued by viticulturists and producer cellars, agricultural association Vinpro said on December 7. 

South African food security linked to innovation, improving productivity in agriculture 

By: Schalk Burger     2nd December 2021 South Africa's food security is linked to the competitiveness of its agricultural production. Therefore, improving productivity through innovation and global best practices will support food security amid challenges, including climate change, local electricity and water supply constraints, as... 

A farm in the Eastern Cape

CSIR's initial circular economy study shows potential to create economy-wide value

By: Schalk Burger     26th November 2021 The initial findings from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research's (CSIR's) Science, Technology and Innovation for a Circular Economy (STI4CE) study shows that transitioning to a more circular economy has the potential to create value across all sectors of the economy. There are also... 

Mahindra launches new tractor, farm equipment range in South Africa

By: Irma Venter     26th November 2021 Mahindra South Africa (SA) has launched a new range of tractors and farm equipment in the domestic market.  Mahindra SA says these products will be introduced in a phased manner.  

Image of Mahindra tractors

Green economy will drive inclusive economic growth, social upliftment – Nedbank

By: Schalk Burger     25th November 2021 Financial services company Nedbank on November 25 launched its revised corporate social investment (CSI) strategy, which will focus on the green economy elements of agriculture, water, energy and waste, in recognition that a green economy approach is a key enabler of economic growth, social... 

TWK to list shares on A2X

By: Schalk Burger     23rd November 2021 Cape Town Stock Exchange- (CTSE-) listed diversified agricultural and related industries company TWK Investments will also list its shares for trade on A2X Markets stock exchange. The collaboration between the CTSE and the A2X means that listed companies, for the first time, will be able to... 

Food price inflation moderates somewhat in October

By: Schalk Burger     19th November 2021 Inflation on food and non-alcoholic beverages (NAB) for October was 6.1%, a slight moderation from September levels. Among food categories that exhibited the most significant inflation, oils and fats increased by 20.9% year-on-year, meat by 9.1% and vegetables by 7.2%, mainly driven by high... 

Building climate resilience important for agriculture, forestry and land use sustainability

By: Schalk Burger     18th November 2021 Agriculture, forestry and other land use (Afolu) in South Africa is significantly threatened, with export earnings, farm and plantation workers' livelihoods and food availability at risk. This is particularly the case in the Western and Northern Cape, which are expected to face the worst water... 

Tongaat's shares fall on equity raise plans

By: Chanel de Bruyn     17th November 2021 JSE-listed Tongaat Hulett's share price fell by nearly 43% on Wednesday after it announced a proposed equity raise to reduce its debt to a more sustainable level. As part of the company's ongoing turnaround plans, it has already reduced its debt by 42% over the past two and a half years. 

Astral’s revenue increases on the back of improved poultry division sales

By: Donna Slater     15th November 2021 Poultry producer Astral Foods reports that, despite challenges, its revenue increased by 13.9% year-on-year to R15.9-billion for the year ended September 30, with its poultry division contributing 81%, its feed division 17% and its other Africa division 2% of overall external revenue. The higher... 

Agri SA hopes MTBPS will help address structural, SOE challenges

By: Schalk Burger     10th November 2021 Agricultural industry organisation Agri SA says the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) to be delivered by Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana on November 11 should address structural challenges, including sentiments around State-owned enterprises (SOEs) and if there are any unbudgeted... 

Sugar cane growers call for sugar tax to be scrapped

By: Schalk Burger     10th November 2021 Industry association the South African Canegrowers has called on Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana to scrap the Health Promotion Levy (HPL) – also called the sugar tax – to enable the Sugar Industry Value Chain Masterplan to succeed. In June 2021, a study commissioned by the the National Economic... 

Vinpro calls for growth-oriented policies for industry, economy to recover

By: Schalk Burger     5th November 2021 The South African wine industry is calling for conducive policy decisions that will create an enabling environment to achieve sustainable growth for South Africa and the wine industry. “Key for South Africa, and the wine industry, emerging from the precarious position it finds itself in lies in... 

Immediate power restoration to Joburg market critical for food safety, says Agri SA

By: Schalk Burger     29th October 2021 The lack of electricity at the Johannesburg market since October 26 owing to cable theft is having a disastrous impact on the quality and safety of agricultural products, agricultural industry organisation Agri SA executive director Christo van der Rheede said on October 29. “During power... 

Food inflation in September again higher than expected, reports research body

By: Rebecca Campbell     22nd October 2021 The Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) has reported that food inflation in South Africa last month was higher than expected, at 6.6% year-on-year. Food inflation contributed 1.1 percentage points to the consumer price index headline inflation figure of 5% for the month. On the other... 

Cotton farming provides diversification options for South African canegrowers

By: Creamer Media Reporter      14th October 2021 The SA Canegrowers Association will present the outcomes of a recently concluded cotton diversification pilot project to the Sugarcane Value Chain Masterplan Task Team on diversification. "These findings represent an exciting new avenue for the sugar industry to explore in pursuit of viable... 

Macadamia factory success is testament to what collaboration can achieve   

By: Marleny Arnoldi     5th October 2021 Macadamia farming is a sunrise industry, holding much promise for farmers, the economy and consumers alike, particularly as the market is experiencing exponential growth in demand, says Marquis Macadamias director Roelof van Rooyen. Discussing the inner workings of macadamia farming and... 

Marquis Macadamias Africa nut processing
Marquis Macadamias shares insight on the industry and company

Kaap Agri to dispose of TFC shares for R502m

By: Schalk Burger     4th October 2021 JSE-listed fuel and agricultural retail and trade company Kaap Agri will dispose of its share of fuel station property company TFC Properties for R502-million and will use the proceeds to reduce borrowings and provide dry powder for higher return generating acquisition opportunities, the company... 

Headwinds mounting for world economy into final stretch of 2021

By: Bloomberg     4th October 2021 The global economy is entering the final quarter of 2021 with a mounting number of headwinds threatening to slow the recovery from the pandemic recession and prove policy makers’ benign views on inflation wrong. The spreading delta variant continues to disrupt schools and workplaces. US lawmakers... 

Unitrans Africa acquires crop-spraying drone fleet

By: Irma Venter     30th September 2021 Unitrans Africa has acquired a fleet of the world’s largest spraying drones. The seven Chinese-made DJI T30 Agras drones were developed at a cost of more than R400-million. The T30 drones are already in operation in Malawi and Mozambique, with results exceeding expectations in terms of spraying... 

Image of a DJI T30 Agras spraying drone
One of the DJI T30 Agras spraying drones

Research body highlights surge in food inflation last month

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th September 2021 Last month saw higher food inflation than expected, the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) has reported. South African food inflation came to 6.9% in August (in year-on-year terms), continuing a rising trend that started in February. Last month’s food inflation was 0.2% higher than... 

Research group reports low level of market concentration in SA agriculture

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st September 2021 In a recent brief report, the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) pointed out that, according to the available data, the agricultural sector was one of the South African economy’s least concentrated sectors. And while agro-processing was much more concentrated that agriculture itself,... 

Refrigeration system to cut energy costs available

By: Halima Frost     17th September 2021 With South African retailers looking for ways of recovering from the latest lockdown, as well as the looting and vandalism, an opportunity to decrease costs on the system that comprises the bulk of their energy spend, which is refrigeration, has arisen. “All food retailers rely on refrigeration... 

A large solar installation on a clients roof installed by EP Refrigeration, which is grid-tied and decreases the clients reliance on grid power
LIGHT WORK Adding a solar installation to a company's refrigeration unit deceases the cost of running the unit off grid power alone

Global citrus demand increases refrigeration demand

By: Halima Frost     17th September 2021 A global increase in demand for South African-grown citrus, as well as more export regulations, has resulted in a substantial increase in demand for refrigeration capacity, says local refrigeration manufacturer EP Refrigeration business development head Dawie Kriel. “We not only need to add... 

A roof top refrigeration system installed by EP Refrigeration at a produce packing house
FRUITFUL SERVICES An increased need for refrigerated storage and transport capacity in the citrus sector is being addressed by EP Refrigeration

Opinion: Could South Africa’s logistics crisis derail the citrus sector’s stellar growth trajectory?

15th September 2021 In this opinion article, Nedbank head of agriculture John Hudson writes about how logistics constraints are hampering the growth of South Africa's citrus sector. 

A photo of a box of oranges

Ethiopian conflict hampering desert locust control, UN says

By: Bloomberg     9th September 2021 Desert locusts are breeding in Ethiopia’s northern regions unhindered due to ongoing conflict, threatening food production in other parts of the vast nation and in neighboring Eritrea, according the Food and Agriculture Organization. Bands are forming in Amhara, Afar and Tigray regions, the... 

Doubling the sugar tax will result in thousands more rural job losses, report states

By: Simone Liedtke     1st September 2021 A report commissioned by the National Economic Development and Labour Council shows that, in the first year of the sugar tax’s implementation, there were 16 621 job losses across the industry, of which 9 000 job losses were in the cane growing sector alone. The South African (SA) Canegrowers... 

Pic/Image of Coke Can Lid.

South African minority investors to form activist group to take on Tongaat

By: Reuters     31st August 2021 A group of South African minority shareholders is coming together to press for change at debt-laden sugar producer Tongaat Hulett, its leader told Reuters, building on earlier efforts at Ascendis Health. The move signals the further rise of minority shareholder activism in South Africa, after... 

Agricultural employment probably stable, not increasing, despite StatsSA report

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th August 2021 The Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) has cautioned that the apparent increase in the number of agricultural jobs during the second quarter of this year (2Q21) in comparison to the first quarter (1Q21) might be illusory. According to the figures released by Statistics South Africa... 

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