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Agroprocessing News

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... 

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... 

SWEET ESCAPE
To ensure sustainable development of the sugarcane sector, there needs to be diversification into sugar ethanol fuel and other cane-derived products
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... 

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
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 manufacturing, agribusiness and services adviser Raymond Greig
IFC manufacturing, agribusiness and services adviser Raymond Greig

Water, land reform concerns weigh on agriculture sector's confidence 

By: Simone Liedtke     5th December 2019 The Agricultural Business Chamber and the Industrial Development Corporation Agribusiness Confidence Index declined from 46 points in the third quarter of this year to 44 index points in the fourth quarter. This level below the 50-point neutral mark, Agbiz chief economist Wandile Sihlobo told... 

Agbiz chief economist Wandile Sihlobo
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Agbiz chief economist Wandile Sihlobo

Uganda's Grainpulse set for expansion with IFC support

5th December 2019 The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) will extend an $11-million loan to Ugandan agribusiness company Grainpulse to support its expansion and strengthen its farmer supply chain, increasing food production and economic growth in... 

Tongaat to pursue claims against former execs over ‘undesirable’ accounting practices 

By: Simone Liedtke     29th November 2019 Embattled agroprocessing business Tongaat Hulett said on Friday that a probe by advisory firm PwC into the company’s past financial activities had revealed that certain senior executives had initiated or participated in “undesirable accounting practices”. In turn, this resulted in revenue being... 

L2D launches rooftop aquaponics farm at Eastgate shopping centre

By: Marleny Arnoldi     29th November 2019 Real estate investment trust Liberty Two Degrees (L2D) on Friday launched a rooftop aquaponics farm district at its Eastgate shopping centre, in Bedfordview. The farm is a first for the company’s shopping centres. It uses smart technology to provide sustainable food production solutions to... 

Partnerships help pull domestic cotton industry out of doldrums

By: Donna Slater     29th November 2019 The South African cotton industry was in decline, having reached crisis point in about 2013. On the verge of collapse, a chain of events from three seemingly unassuming roleplayers set off a chain reaction that resulted in explosive growth and substantial redevelopment for the sector into an... 

Partnerships help pull domestic cotton industry out of doldrums

'Perfect storm' awaits farming and fisheries if world doesn't curb emissions

By: Reuters     28th November 2019 The world needs to urgently cut its planet-warming greenhouse-gas emissions to avoid a "perfect storm" that will lead to simultaneous falls in food production from both farming and marine fisheries, researchers said. If emissions continue to rise rapidly, nearly "90% of the world's population ...... 

Making seeds to withstand climate change is getting harder

By: Bloomberg     25th November 2019 Global hunger and malnutrition are on the rise, as are temperatures and water shortages. Humanity must adapt crops to the changing climate by breeding hardier plants, but political and commercial interests continue to stymie those efforts. Sharing seeds is critical to the global food system. To... 

Gauteng outlines ambitions for climate change mitigation   

By: Natasha Odendaal     21st November 2019 After two years of development, gathering input, undertaking consultations and further refinements, the Gauteng City Region is preparing to implement an overarching Climate Change Response Strategy and Action Plan. Unveiled at the third Gauteng Climate Change Indaba, held in Pretoria, the plan... 

Gauteng outlines ambitions for climate change mitigation

Southern Africa drought to persist through March, FEWS NET says

By: Bloomberg     19th November 2019 Southern Africa faces further drought through March as land preparation and planting of summer crops gets underway, even after most parts of the region received near-normal rainfall through early November, according to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET). “Seasonal forecasts... 

Authentic storytelling will attract new tourists

15th November 2019 A powerful message emerged during a presentation on trends by more than 15 high-level expert speakers at the recent Wine & Food Tourism Conference. Held at Spier near Stellenbosch on September 18, consultant Flux Trends analyst Dion Chang led a discussion about the trends that are shaping tourism... 

Modular installation systems fitted in abattoir

By: Darren Parker     15th November 2019 Multinational construction services company Hilti designed and supplied the modular installation systems to support wet services for chicken producer Early Bird Farms, in Olifantsfontein. Early Bird Farms has been refurbishing and refitting its operations as part of Project Phoenix, which... 

CRIZETTE VAN DEN BERGH
The modular installation system is beneficial in terms of maintenance because of reduced downtime
CRIZETTE VAN DEN BERGH The modular installation system is beneficial in terms of maintenance because of reduced downtime

Forum expected to drive investment to improve regional integration in Africa

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th November 2019 This year's Africa Investment Forum (AIF) is focused on regional integration and accelerating investment accordingly, says African Development Bank (AfDB) president Akinwumi Adesina. Speaking on the first day of the forum, which is being held in Sandton, he noted that a lack of infrastructure,... 

Next-generation protein could come from air, methane, volcanic springs

By: Reuters     6th November 2019 It may sound like science fiction, but in a few short years the family dinner table may be laden with steak from a printer and other proteins produced from air, methane or volcanic microbes. With the explosive success of vegan beef and burger substitutes developed by Beyond Meat and Impossible... 

New agricultural agency to facilitate investments worth R12.9bn  

By: Terence Creamer     6th November 2019 A new agricultural development agency will be launched in January to oversee 32 farming investments across South Africa collectively valued at R12.9-billion. Politician-turned-businessperson Roelf Meyer unveiled the venture, which has hitherto been pursued under the aegis of the Public Private... 

Roelf Meyer
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Roelf Meyer

Landmark deal to give Khoi and San benefit-sharing levy in Rooibos

By: African News Agency      1st November 2019 The Rooibos industry and the Khoi-Khoi and San have signed an access and benefit-sharing (ABS) agreement which will see the Khoi-Khoi and San communities benefit from the commercialisation of the indigenous herbal tea. A special ceremony to mark the historic occasion was held in !Khwa ttu, close... 

R50m emergency drought funding approved for Western Cape farms

By: African News Agency      24th October 2019 The Western Cape cabinet has approved the release of R50 million in emergency funding to assist farms severely affected by drought.  According to the province's MEC for finance and economic opportunities, David Maynier, the release of the funding was authorised on Tuesday.  

South African organisation helps to launch World Citrus Organisation

By: Marleny Arnoldi     24th October 2019 A first of its kind World Citrus Organisation (WCO) was launched, in Madrid, Spain, this week. The organisation places citrus fruit at the same level of coordination worldwide as other fruit categories with global platforms – such as pears and apples, kiwis, avocado or red fruit. 

How to halt global warming for $300bn

By: Bloomberg     23rd October 2019 $300-billion. That’s the money needed to stop the rise in greenhouse gases and buy up to 20 years of time to fix global warming, according to United Nations climate scientists. It’s the gross domestic product of Chile, or the world’s military spending every 60 days. The sum is not to fund green... 

Ethiopia probes possible theft of funds for sugar expansion

By: Bloomberg     23rd October 2019 Ethiopia is investigating possible misappropriation of funds meant for the expansion of ten State-owned sugar factories that are part of the industry now slated for privatization. The planned sale of factories now run by Ethiopian Sugar Corp. is part of a drive by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s... 

World’s second-biggest mohair industry restarts as monopoly ends

By: Bloomberg     21st October 2019 Mohair sales in Lesotho, which produces a fifth of the world’s supply of the luxury fiber, have restarted after the government buckled to pressure from farmers and ended a controversial monopoly handed to a Chinese entrepreneur. The first auction conducted by locally-owned Maluti Wool and Mohair... 

Omnia seeks to reset course as it emerges from financial distress

By: Terence Creamer     11th October 2019 JSE-listed Omnia, best known for the production of fertilisers, explosives and specialty chemicals, expects a strategic review of the business to be completed during the first quarter of 2020. The outcome of the review could result in the sale of certain product lines or units, as well as the... 

Omnia CEO Seelan Gobalsamy
Omnia CEO Seelan Gobalsamy

Chamber involved in sustainable, job-creating initiatives

By: Cameron Mackay     11th October 2019 The Italian-South African Chamber of Trade and Industries is engaging in the planning of two significant initiatives to support Italian small, medium-sized and microenterprises (SMMEs) to create jobs and make rehabilitated land previously used for mining available to establish commercial farming.... 

PAMINA BOHRER

The Smile initiative seeks to create a directory for Italian SMMEs and encourage economic activity and interaction among these business communities
PAMINA BOHRER The Smile initiative seeks to create a directory for Italian SMMEs and encourage economic activity and interaction among these business communities

Drought conditions persist in some parts of the country – Agriculture dept

By: African News Agency      9th October 2019 Below normal rainfall is anticipated over the central and south-eastern parts of South Africa during late spring, while above normal rainfall is expected during early summer to mid-summer in the central and eastern regions, the department of agriculture, forestry and fisheries said on Wednesday,... 

Drought conditions persist in some parts of the country – Agriculture dept

Gauteng prioritises agriculture, township economy, manufacturing growth 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th October 2019 Gauteng economic development, agriculture and environment MEC Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa on Tuesday said the province continued to experience pressure for further economic development, owing to about 4 000 people moving to the province each week in the hopes of gaining access to better... 

Dr Kgotsientso Ramokgopa
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Dr Kgotsientso Ramokgopa

Tongaat again delays publication of full-year results

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     8th October 2019 Sugar producer Tongaat Hulett will not publish its results for the 2019 financial year on October 31 as previously planned. The company in May announced that there would be a delay in publishing the results for the financial year ended March 31 and that it would have to restate its results for... 

Land reform, climate change, cheap imports pose risks to agriculture in KZN – FNB

By: African News Agency      7th October 2019 Agriculture in KwaZulu-Natal is growing at around 12 percent per annum, driven by diversification, but there are risks to the sector posed by land expropriation, climate change and cheaper imports, First National Bank said on Monday. KwaZulu-Natal is recovering from a severe drought with... 

South Africa should identify ‘low hanging fruits’ in tradable sectors – panel

By: Simone Liedtke     2nd October 2019 South Africa should identify the “low hanging fruits” it has in growing the country’s mining, manufacturing, agriculture and tourism sectors, economist Thabi Leoka says, dubbing these as “tradable sectors” that can help the economy grow. However, she laments that South Africa is “nearing that... 

South Africa should identify ‘low hanging fruits’ in tradable sectors – panel

John Deere invites third-party providers to join its digital platform 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     2nd October 2019 Agricultural equipment supplier John Deere sub-Saharan Africa (JD SA) on Tuesday hosted a technology day, inviting 18 solutions providers to learn more about the company’s Operations Centre (OC) platform. The OC platform comprises digital innovations to manage farming operations. 

John Deere invites third-party providers to join its digital platform
John Deere's Wayne Spaumer tells Engineering News Online about the plans for its Operations Centre offering. Video: Kutlwano Matlala; Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Glencore joins agriculture majors in technology initiative

By: Bloomberg     19th September 2019 Glencore’s agriculture unit has become the latest trading house to join an initiative to modernize the way grain and oilseed transactions are handled. The group, which includes Archer-Daniels-Midland, Bunge, Cargill, Louis Dreyfus and Cofco International, is working on a new platform in an effort... 

Namibian economy contracts for fourth consecutive quarter

By: Bloomberg     19th September 2019 Namibia’s economy contracted for the fourth consecutive quarter in the three months through June, dragged down by mining and agriculture. Gross domestic product shrank by 2.6% from a year earlier, compared with a revised 2.9% decrease in the first quarter, Statistician General Alex Shimuafeni... 

Poultry producers positive about engagement with Patel

By: Simone Liedtke     19th September 2019 Following a recent meeting with the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition and other stakeholders, the South African Poultry Association on Wednesday said it was feeling “positive” about the progress made in addressing the crisis threatening the industry. Trade and Industry Minister... 

Poultry producers positive about engagement with Patel

From farm to cup, big coffee taps blockchain to lure Millennials

By: Bloomberg     18th September 2019 Sustainability-minded millennials are increasingly demanding to know where their morning cup of joe comes from, and some of the world’s top coffee companies are turning to technology for help. Roasters including JM Smucker and Jacob Douwe Egberts are joining a blockchain initiative by Farmer... 

From farm to cup, big coffee taps blockchain to lure Millennials

Tongaat Hulett announces its project with Zimbabwe is on track

By: African News Agency      18th September 2019 KwaZulu-Natal based agroprocessing business Tongaat Hulett on Tuesday announced that Project Kilimanjaro, which will result in the development of a significant portion of land to sugarcane, is on track.  The project, which is supported by the government of Zimbabwe and a consortium of banks led... 

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