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Farming Economics News

Illovo, Jobs Fund project benefitting community  

23rd June 2021 Four years in, the Small-Scale Grower Cane Development project has recorded notable successes, with over 860 sustainable jobs created and 3 000 ha of cane developed on communal land owned by small-scale growers. Tasneem Bulbulia elaborates. 

Localisation of equipment promotes price stability

By: Nadine Ramdass     18th June 2021 Rand volatility has a big impact on projects that require imported biogas equipment ,however the localisation of some equipment can help the biogas industry gain some stability, says organic waste solutions company Logical Waste director Jason Gifford. It was a good time to import equipment over... 

Localisation of equipment promotes price stability
BIO-PELLETS FUEL IN A BOILER The right equipment is a key aspect for successful projects

Agri confidence reaches all time high of 75

By: Marleny Arnoldi     14th June 2021 It has been quite some time since South Africa’s agricultural sector has had as good a season as the current one, Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) states in the latest Agbiz/Industrial Development Corporation Agribusiness Confidence Index (ACI). The index reached a record high of 75 in the... 

Agri confidence reaches all time high of 75

Agriculture remains a star performer in the economy, but still needs govt support  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     3rd June 2021 Agriculture’s contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) and employment is often underrated in South Africa, which particularly came to the fore at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic last year, says Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP). During a Nedbank-hosted webinar on the... 

Agriculture remains a star performer in the economy, but still needs govt support
BFAP commodity markets manager Dr Tracy Davids discusses agri's performance in 2020

Sugar Masterplan starting to uplift industry – DTIC

By: Donna Slater     12th May 2021 The South African sugarcane industry has experienced a sharp decline in revenue and production in recent years, mainly as a result of cheap sugar imports that have flooded the local sugar market, as well as the Health Promotion Levy (HPL) or so-called sugar tax, that is threatening its future... 

Sugar Masterplan starting to uplift industry – DTIC

Potatoes South Africa calls for more partnerships between commercial, small-scale producers

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th May 2021 Despite having proved resilience last year by producing 2.6-million tonnes, the South African potato industry is appealing to stakeholders to form more partnerships to drive growth and transformation. Potatoes South Africa (PSA) CEO Willie Jacobs highlights that the potato helped ensure food... 

Potatoes South Africa calls for more partnerships between commercial, small-scale producers

Insurance programme for Madagascar farmers to help build resilience, productivity

By: Schalk Burger     5th May 2021 Madagascar’s farmers stand to build stronger climate resilience, increase productivity and more easily access financial services owing to an agricultural insurance programme announced on May 5 by international financial institution the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the government of... 

RMB concerned at rising food costs

By: Marleny Arnoldi     3rd May 2021 Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) says rapidly rising agricultural producer price inflation poses a conundrum for food manufacturers about whether to absorb these cost increases or pass them on to already financially constrained consumers. The bank’s commentary follows figures released in the Producer... 

No new outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influence, says association

By: Simone Liedtke     30th April 2021 Although no new outbreaks of avian influenza have been reported since the previously confirmed cases, South Africa’s poultry and ostrich industries remain under national high alert with strict biosecurity measures in place. An appeal has also been made to hobbyist keepers of any birds, including... 

Saai, Neasa ink partnership to improve labour relations in the agriculture sector

By: Simone Liedtke     22nd April 2021 Family farming organisation Saai and employers’ organisation the National Employers Association of South Africa (Neasa) on April 22 signed a partnership agreement to bridge labour issues in the agriculture sector and to assist farmers with labour problems, as well as influencing policy-making.... 

Saai, Neasa ink partnership to improve labour relations in the agriculture sector
Saai chairperson Dr Theo de Jager and Neasa CE Gerhard Papenfus

South Africa makes progress on geographical indications to support rural, agricultural development

By: Schalk Burger     20th April 2021 South Africa is making progress on developing legal and regulatory frameworks for geographical indications (GI), which are designations for products that are linked to a region of origin and that have associated qualities. GI has been proven to enable producers to secure better prices for... 

Two Wits students focus on agritech for cannabis industry

By: Creamer Media Reporter      1st April 2021 Two master’s students at the University of Witwatersrand (Wits), Constant Beckerling and Anlo van Wyk, are developing new technologies aimed at disrupting the booming cannabis, or so called ‘green gold’, industry. Their novel cannabis cultivation technologies, developed for the African climate,... 

Two Wits students focus on agritech for cannabis industry
Constant Beckerling and Anlo van Wyk

Biogas holds great power generation potential

By: Halima Frost     19th March 2021 South Africa has the potential to generate upwards of 10 000 MW of power if it were to harness and capitalise on all biogas opportunities, however, the greatest challenge is not a lack of capacity but more the lack of market opportunity, says Southern African Biogas Industry Association (Sabia)... 

Biogas holds great power generation potential
POWER-TENTIAL Biogas has the potential to contribute significantly to the power mix in South Africa and globally

South Africa launches fund to boost Black farming

By: Reuters     18th March 2021 South Africa has set up a R5-billion fund to help Black farmers gain access to capital and boost their role in commercial agriculture, state-owned Industrial Development Corporation and the government said on Thursday. The joint Agri-Industrial Fund is aimed at easing the funding constraints and... 

South Africa launches fund to boost Black farming

South Africa sets up R1bn fund to assist black farmers 

By: Bloomberg     18th March 2021 South Africa announced the establishment of a R1-billionfund to help small-scale Black farmers enter commercial agricultural production. The Department of Agriculture will provide money and it will be run by the Industrial Development Corp., a state-owned development bank. The IDC will also... 

Sugar Master Plan contributing to industry’s growth – Patel

By: Donna Slater     15th March 2021 Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel last week told farmers, millers, retailers, food producers and trade unions that the implementation of the Sugar Master Plan is resulting in signs of growth during a virtual briefing. Detailing the progress in implementing the master plan,... 

Motsepe Foundation's agricultural development project working towards sustainable land reform

By: Schalk Burger     12th March 2021 Sustainable agricultural development and land reform is hobbled because of the challenge to acquire and provide title deeds and other land security, which makes it difficult for banking and other financial institutions to partner, co-fund and finance agriculture and land reform projects, the... 

Amie says antidumping duties will cost consumers  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th March 2021 While many organisations have advocated for antidumping duties on chicken imported from certain countries, the Association of Meat Importers and Exporters (Amie) has questioned why the local industry pursues protectionism despite the increases in prices to the consumer. The association explains... 

Amie says antidumping duties will cost consumers

Resilience, natural resources become key as global food security deteriorates slightly

By: Schalk Burger     5th March 2021 The Global Food Security Index (GFSI) showed a deterioration for the second year in a row in 2020, with the affordability, quality and safety, and natural resources and resilience categories deteriorating, with only the availability category showing marginal improvement, says economic research... 

Poultry Master Plan benefiting industry, says Sapa

By: Donna Slater     26th February 2021 The Poultry Master Plan, as implemented by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC), is propelling new entrants and emerging role-players in the industry to build their businesses and expand markets, according to South African Poultry Association broiler organisation GM Isaak... 

R7bn allocated for Land Bank recapitalisation

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     24th February 2021 The Land and Agricultural Development Bank of South Africa (Land Bank), which defaulted on its debt obligations on April 1, 2020, and is renegotiating it repayment terms, will receive R7-billion in recapitalisation over the medium term to put it on a stable and sustainable development path, the... 

R7bn allocated for Land Bank recapitalisation

Solutions light up local lodge

By: Cameron Mackay     12th February 2021 Lighting products supplier BEKA Schréder has supplied exterior lighting solutions to Skukuza Safari Lodge, which was officially opened last November. Located in one of the largest game reserves in Africa, the Kruger National Park, the newly built lodge offers tourism facilities for local and... 

Solutions light up local lodge
LIGHTING THE WAY This solution includes BEKA LEDPOST installed throughout the lodge’s facilities and BEKA SERIES 30 installed at the back-of-house area

€3m loan to support South African blueberry industry

By: Simone Liedtke     28th January 2021 A €3-million loan to United Exports will help to support growth, exports and jobs in South Africa’s blueberry industry.  South Africa’s Western Cape Department of Agriculture estimates that the country’s blueberry sector employs 5 700 people. The fruit is an increasingly important product for... 

Land Bank posts a R172m interim loss for 2020

By: News24Wire      19th January 2021 The Land Bank has posted a R172-million loss from its continuing operations for the six months ended on 30 September as its interest income continued to decline while provision for bad debts grew. The state-owned lender, which finances approximately 27% of agricultural debt in SA and is the only... 

Agri SA bemoans Land Bank incompetence, as revealed by Auditor-General 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th January 2021 Industry organisation Agri SA has expressed concern about the status of the Land Bank’s financial sustainability, following a damning report published by the Auditor-General (AG) of South Africa Tsakani Maluleke. “Whoever was responsible for the financial loss of R2.8-billion must be held... 

Sugar growers expand buy local campaign to try and save a 'million livelihoods'

By: News24Wire      7th January 2021 The SA Canegrowers' Association has expanded its campaign aimed at raising awareness of the serious threats facing the local sugar industry. Chief among these is the significant share of the local market that cheap imports hold, the association said in a statement on Thursday. 

Locust prediction tool allows for early intervention in four African countries so far

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th January 2021 Pan-African marketplace Selina Wamucii has launched, on its platform, a free tool called Kuzi that can help farmers and pastoralists predict locust behaviour. The artificial intelligence-powered tool generates real-time heatmaps of locusts across Africa, showing all potential migration routes and... 

Implementation of Poultry Master Plan progressing, industry capacity increases

By: Simone Liedtke     8th December 2020 Progress has been made on the implementation of the Poultry Master Plan, in spite of a decline in chicken consumption during the initial lockdown period, the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) has said. Over the course of the past 12 months, a new tariff was introduced on... 

IBM launches support for digital agriculture in Africa initiative

By: Schalk Burger     7th December 2020 Information technology (IT) multinational IBM on December 7 announced its active support for the Digital4Agriculture Initiative (D4Ag), which aims to foster African startups in the agricultural sector and strengthen the long-term living conditions of local small-scale farmers by increasing... 

Sugar master plan signed and good to go

4th December 2020 The virtual signing of the much-anticipated Sugarcane Value Chain Master Plan 2030 has been welcomed by all stakeholders of the South African sugar industry, according to a statement issued by the South African Sugar Association (Sasa) last month. “This is a momentous occasion for the industry... 

Sugar master plan signed and good to go
Photo by Creamer Media
SWEET DEAL Local sugar producers will be supported and given greater preference through the newly minted sugar master plan

New female vice chairperson for sugar association

4th December 2020 The South African Farmers Development Association (Safda) said in statement issued last month that it “welcomes and congratulates” the appointment of new South African Sugar Association (Sasa) vice chairperson Joanmariae Fubbs. Fubbs was nominated by Safda and voted in at a special meeting of... 

Business restructuring anchors producer as sugar master plan gives hope

By: Darren Parker     4th December 2020 The business restructuring efforts of sugar producer Tongaat Hulett over the past few years have enabled it to enter the Covid-19 outbreak as a “leaner, fit-for-purpose organisation” better able to weather the pandemic, says Tongaat Hulett sugar operations MD Simon Harvey. “The Covid-19 pandemic... 

Business restructuring anchors producer as sugar master plan  gives hope
A NEW HORIZON The sugar master plan seeks to create a diversified and globally competitive, sustainable and transformed sugarcane-based value chain

Tough times ahead despite better yields

By: Darren Parker     4th December 2020 Data gathered by the South African Canegrowers Association (SA Canegrowers) indicate that sugar cane crop yields in the current season are expected to be an improvement on those of the past year, owing to “perfect” to weather to date. Moreover, canegrowers have also put much effort into... 

Tough times ahead despite better yields
ABUNDANT HARVEST A large yield and constrained sugar milling capacity means that some sugar cane will not be processed this year

Rail link planned for small-scale cane growers

By: Darren Parker     4th December 2020 Sugar producer Tongaat Hulett is partnering with the South African Farmers Development Association, and the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development to establish a sugar cane rail transport system, in KwaZulu-Natal, between Makhathini cane growers in northern Zululand and... 

Rail link planned for small-scale cane growers
LOWERED HAULAGE COSTS The project will result in a 50% reduction in transportation costs for growers

Digital agriculture to assist sugar growers

By: Darren Parker     4th December 2020 The South African Sugar Research Institute (Sasri), a division of the South African Sugar Association (Sasa), is focusing its research and technological development on digital agriculture to support canegrowers in decision-making, in their choice of cane varieties, to establish more accurate crop... 

Digital agriculture to assist sugar growers
PESKY PROBLEM The Eldana saccharina larvae bore into sugar cane and can ruin entire crops

Land Bank creditor urges South Africa to speed up rescue efforts

By: Bloomberg     3rd December 2020 South Africa’s National Treasury and the state-owned Land and Agricultural Development Bank are being accused of dragging their heels in negotiating a rescue package for the stricken lender, leaving creditors in the dark as debt repayments loom. Asset managers and other lenders are yet to receive... 

Agribusiness Confidence Index jumps to 61 in the fourth quarter  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     1st December 2020 The Agricultural Business Chamber/Industrial Development Corporation Agribusiness Confidence Index has rallied to 61 points in the fourth quarter – its highest level since the third quarter of 2014. This followed a notable recovery to 51 points in the third quarter of the year, implying that... 

Agribusiness Confidence Index jumps to 61 in the fourth quarter
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