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Agroprocessing News

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... 

Tech crucial to market sales in local industry

By: Cameron Mackay     14th August 2020 Automation solutions provider MACmobile MD Andrew Dawson stresses that technology that offers mobility, automation and the ability to engage customers while maintaining social distance will be crucial to driving market sales in the local industry. “The key technology at this stage is mobility –... 

Tech crucial to market sales in local industry
ANDREW DAWSON What’s important is enabling retailers, with their own methodology software-wise, to generate orders and use the call centres to create new sales and awareness

Mobile factories reduce time, costs

By: Cameron Mackay     7th August 2020 Agricultural processing equipment supplier Dryers for Africa supplies containerised processing factories fitted with agricultural dryer units which enable clients without access to a factory to buy a mobile factory with the required components and equipment prefitted, reducing installation costs... 

Mobile factories reduce time, costs
ACCESS TO INFRASTRUCTURE Small-scale farming can be encouraged to provide produce for the containerised factory, which comes prefitted with dryer units

Without infrastructure and manufacturing, AfCFTA will fall short – senior African policymaker  

By: Terence Creamer     28th July 2020 An Ethiopian senior minister and special adviser to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has cautioned that, without major infrastructure investment and the development of manufacturing capacity, African countries will not be in a position to take full advantage of the African Continental Free Trade... 

Without infrastructure and manufacturing, AfCFTA will fall short – senior African policymaker
Dr Arkebe Oqubay speaking during virtual TIPS 2020 Fourm meeting

TPT facilitates export of higher-than-expected volumes of citrus

By: Donna Slater     22nd July 2020 State-owned port operator Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) is tracking ahead of a planned 13% increase in citrus export volumes across four of its 19 terminals this year. In the face of Covid-19, actual citrus volumes are 29.4% higher across all terminals combined when compared with 2019 volumes.  

TPT facilitates export of higher-than-expected volumes of citrus
A forklift manoeuvres a reefer unit

Reduced agricultural budget compounds food insecurity in SA

By: African News Agency      22nd July 2020 The South African Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development received its budget allocation for the 2020/2021 financial year. This follows the national budget vote in February by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni. According to a statement issued on Tuesday, the received amount of... 

Reduced agricultural budget compounds food insecurity in SA
Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza

Study calls for extension of moratorium on transport height restrictions  

By: Irma Venter     21st July 2020 Many South African industries, especially the fruit industry, could suffer major financial losses if they are not allowed to transport their goods in high-cube containers beyond June, next year, indicates a new Master’s degree study. This is when government’s seven-year moratorium (running from... 

Study calls for extension of moratorium on transport height restrictions 
Tiffany Adams

Chicken producer lends support to food drive in Pretoria

By: Simone Liedtke     7th July 2020 A collaboration between the chicken industry and nonprofit organisations (NGOs) WeCan and Atterbury Trust has delivered hope to 222 vulnerable families in Pretoria in the form of food parcels. According to principal Erich Cloete, several of the families whose children attend Westerlig Primary... 

Chicken producer lends support to food drive in Pretoria

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... 

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