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Farming Economics News

Need for fire-related event realised

By: Halima Frost     20th May 2022 Event organisers Specialised Exhibitions’ inaugural Firexpo South Africa 2022 will highlight the services and products of local suppliers in the fire prevention and protection sector to visitors. The event will be hosted from May 31 to June 2 at the Gallagher Convention Centre, in Midrand, Gauteng. 

Land Bank's 2-year lending drought to farmers to end by September, Parliament hears

By: News24Wire      18th May 2022 The Land Bank on Tuesday told Parliament that it would resolve the default on its debt by the end of September, ending a period of two years in which it has not been able to lend to farmers. The "liability solution" – which is the offer it will make to institutions that still hold its listed... 

South African farmland

Small-scale farming collaborative gains momentum

By: Donna Slater     17th May 2022 The rethinking of food systems for South Africa needs to start with individual food producers on the ground and expand from there – as laid out in a project called “Towards recalibrating food systems during and beyond the Covid-19 pandemic”, which started in October 2020. Funded by the World... 

Technology assists agriculture sector

By: Anna Moross     13th May 2022 Agriculture input prices have risen by about 100%, but using technology provides farmers with an opportunity to save on costs, such as fuel and downtime issues, says agricultural equipment manufacturer and distributor AGCO Africa field service manager Zack Janse van Rensburg. 

Smart logistics required for efficient movement of goods

By: Anna Moross     13th May 2022 To ensure the efficient and effective movement of goods in the agriculture sector, the implementation of technology, such as SMART logistics, is imperative, says South African Association of Freight Forwarders CEO Dr Juanita Maree. 

Ukraine war fuels food crisis in distant Africa

By: Reuters     11th May 2022 Zimbabwean security guard Edwin Dapi was already struggling to provide for his wife and four children before a conflict 11 000 km away in Ukraine sent global prices for grains, cooking oils, fuel and fertilizer soaring. Now his monthly pay of 18 000 Zimbabwe dollars, worth roughly $55 at the... 

SA Canegrowers assists 21 000 small-scale sugar growers as industry faces headwinds

By: Donna Slater     10th May 2022 Contributions by sugarcane organisation the South African (SA) Canegrowers made up a significant portion of R225-million that was distributed to small-scale growers in January, after funds were distributed to help combat severe challenges that continue to plague the industry, including cheap... 

Nigeria buys emergency Canadian potash to replace lost Russian supply

By: Reuters     3rd May 2022 Nigeria had to buy emergency supplies of Canadian potash in April after the country was unable to import the key fertilizer from Russia due to the impact of Western sanctions, the head of Nigeria's sovereign investment authority NSIA said. Uche Orji, the head of NSIA, declined to comment on... 

Africa must prepare for inevitable global food crisis – AfDB

By: Schalk Burger     25th April 2022 Development finance institution the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group president Dr Akinwumi Adesina has called for an increased sense of urgency as a once-in-a-century convergence of global challenges for Africa mean the continent "must prepare for the inevitability of a global food crisis".... 

Proposed EU pest regulations to hurt domestic citrus exports, says association

By: Donna Slater     25th April 2022 Newly proposed European Union (EU) regulations threaten the export of oranges from the Southern African region to Europe, according to Citrus Growers’ Association (CGA) of South Africa special envoy to market access and EU matter representative Deon Joubert.   Earlier in April, the EU’s Standing... 

Removal of poultry import tariffs will destroy domestic jobs, says SAPA 

By: Donna Slater     22nd April 2022 Requests by the Association of Meat Importers and Exporters (AMIE) to suspend existing tariffs on the import of chicken in South Africa, and not impose any new tariffs for the next three years, is “superficially appealing, but economically dangerous”, says broiler organisation South African... 

Sugarcane farmers report extensive damage, AgriSA calls for road repairs as a priority

By: Schalk Burger     20th April 2022 Sugarcane farming industry body South African Cane Growers (SA Canegrowers) says preliminary results from a survey of KwaZulu-Natal cane growers reveal extensive damage from the recent flooding to cane fields, farm infrastructure and access routes to deliver cane to mills. By the afternoon of... 

A cane field in South Africa

Opinion: A revolution in African farming

By: Creamer Media Reporter      19th April 2022 In this article, African Climate Foundation agriculture researcher Malik Dasoo writes about the benefits of regenerative agriculture and how it can transform farming in Africa. 

Opinion: A revolution in African farming

Drop tariffs, VAT to ensure low-income earners are able to access poultry, AMIE urges govt

By: Donna Slater     11th April 2022 Without interventions, financially-constrained South African poultry consumers will increasingly not be able to afford chicken products, according to the South African Association of Meat Importers and Exporters (AMIE). To address multiple factors that will soon drive up the cost of chicken,... 

Damaged roads compromise billions of rands of fresh produce every year, says AgriSA  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     5th April 2022 The poor state of roads in South Africa is adding to the many challenges faced by farmers and industry organisation Agri SA says deteriorating roads are costing the agricultural industry billions of rands every year. It also threatens the food security of communities and the country. 

Photo of a road in South Africa

Agriculture continues to outperform nearly all other sectors of South Africa’s economy

By: Rebecca Campbell     1st April 2022 Over the past two years the agriculture sector has been one of the few very stars in the firmament of the South African economy. In 2020 and 2021, agriculture was one of only four sectors of the economy to register growth, the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) has pointed out. Last... 

Engineering News and Mining Weekly cover image

Food inflation accelerates again, and could get much worse, warns research group

By: Rebecca Campbell     31st March 2022 Food inflation in South Africa continues to accelerate, the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) has reported. In its 'Food Inflation Brief' for February, released on Wednesday, it notes that, last month, South African food prices rose 0.9% in month-on-month terms and by 6.4% in... 

Competition Commission launches fresh produce market inquiry

By: Schalk Burger     28th March 2022 The Competition Commission has launched a public market inquiry into the fresh produce market to examine whether there are any features in its value chain which lessen, prevent or distort competitiveness. The terms of reference of the Fresh Produce Market Inquiry were published in the Government... 

Fresh produce in a grocery story

Economic recovery from Covid-19 threatened by geopolitical tension surrounding Ukraine

By: Darren Parker     18th March 2022 Signs of a slow recovery in manufacturing so far this year – which were in part being driven by improvements in production in Europe and Asia – may now be threatened by escalating geopolitical tension in Europe on the back of the Russia-Ukraine conflict and a simultaneous resurgence of the... 

Forecast for South African agriculture this year: volumes down, revenues up

By: Rebecca Campbell     9th March 2022 The Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) has highlighted that the adverse impact of the excessive rains in November and December on South Africa’s summer crops has been significantly mitigated by increased warmth and dryness in January and February. “South Africa’s summer crops... 

Higher prices, budget strains to hit Africa from war in Ukraine

By: Bloomberg     4th March 2022 Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is likely to hurt Africa’s coronavirus-ravaged and fragile economies through fiscal constraints, weaker investment flows and higher commodity costs. The most pronounced challenge will be the surge in prices, particularly of oil and wheat, as these will have... 

Poultry industry improvements should alleviate challenges

By: Darren Parker     23rd February 2022 The South African Poultry Association (Sapa) has made some “decisive improvements” to the poultry sector after a difficult year, it said on February 22. The effects of these improvements were aimed at alleviating problems experienced throughout the entire poultry value chain by the industry over... 

A photo of lots of chickens

Land Bank seeks to exit default by end-March

By: Bloomberg     8th February 2022 South Africa’s largest lender to farmers is seeking to exit default on its debt by the end of March, potentially marking the end of a two-year saga that’s raised concern other indebted State companies will follow suit. The Pretoria-based Land & Agricultural Development Bank of South Africa has... 

Uptick after project completion expected

By: Halima Frost     4th February 2022 Energy solutions provider Energy Partners anticipates an increase in interest in its offerings in the Eastern Cape, subsequent to the development and commissioning of a boiler house at a chicken processing plant in Uitenhage, in the Eastern Cape. The project, which entailed the installation of a... 

A large boiler with a circuit board attached with Energy Partners logo on, cables and pipes leading to and from the boiler at a chicken processing plant
IN THE PROCESS The refurbishment of a boiler at a processing plant in the Eastern Cape has boosted Energy Partner's visibility in the area

Farmers test microbes to nourish crops as climate pressure grows, costs rise

By: Reuters     3rd February 2022 Tech companies are raising hundreds of millions of dollars, including backing from agriculture heavyweights like Bayer AG, in developing farm products that use living things like microbes and seaweed to nourish crops and lessen the need for synthetic fertilizer. Microbes, including fungi and... 

Sugarcane farmers receive R60m in premium price payments

By: Darren Parker     31st January 2022 Sugarcane farmers received about R60-million worth of premium price payments on January 31 as agreed by the Small-Scale Grower Masterplan Task Team in accordance with the process laid out in the South African Sugarcane Value Chain Master Plan to 2030, which was endorsed by the board of the South... 

A photo of a sugar cane farmer holding a crop of sugar cane
Photo by Reuters
Farmers will benefit from the premium price since it will align their prices with the local market

Smaller wine grape harvest expected in South Africa this year

By: Darren Parker     24th January 2022 Wine industry association Vinpro has announced that many South African wine grape producers are expecting a smaller-than-usual wine grape crop. This forecast for the imminent harvest season – which typically runs from January to April – is based on the second of four crop estimates issued by... 

South Africa declares national disaster after rain, flood damage

By: Bloomberg     20th January 2022 South Africa has declared a national disaster after torrential rains in several parts of the country resulted in deaths, flooding and damage to property and infrastructure, according to a notice in the Government Gazette. Declaring a national disaster lays the basis for financial and humanitarian... 

Water drops on a window

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

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... 

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... 

Business in Africa has to deal with greater compliance demands

By: Darren Parker     29th October 2021 African governments are demanding greater levels of compliance from businesses, which has resulted in a noticeable increase in red tape and bureaucracy owing to poor execution by officials, says consulting engineering and scientist firm SRK Consulting South Africa MD Vis Reddy. Among its... 

A photo of SRK Consulting South Africa MD Vis Reddy
VIS REDDY SRK Consulting expects the growth in agriculture to bring its own set of impacts on resources, such as water

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... 

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... 

Panel discusses ‘sustainable food’ in Africa 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     23rd September 2021 Africa’s food systems are at cross-roads, faced with the pressure of producing more for a growing population, while also tackling increasing levels of malnutrition. Taking place a few days before the United Nations Food Systems Summit as part of the Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable... 

Image of panel of speakers
Experts unpack hindrances to food security in Africa

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,... 

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