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Farming Economics News

Agri SA, Minister agree on need for partnerships to advance growth 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     10th October 2019 With stagnant economic growth and an unemployment rate of about 29%, the pressure is increasing on the agricultural sector to contribute more to gross domestic product (GDP) and live up to its potential in the country. However, the sector is facing its own challenges, including policy... 

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

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... 

Drought relief for Karoo sheep farmers

By: Darren Parker     4th October 2019 Pump manufacturer Grundfos, in association with humanitarian organisation Gift of the Givers, is assisting nonprofit organisation Save the Sheep in providing relief for drought-stricken sheep farmers in Sutherland, in the Northern Cape. Borehole water in the area is usually lifted using wind... 

Drought relief for Karoo sheep farmers
SILENCE OF THE LAMBS The ongoing drought in Sutherland is killing the livelihoods of the sheep farmers in the region

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.

Policy uncertainty continues to subdue agri-sector confidence

By: Marleny Arnoldi     16th September 2019 The Agbiz/Industrial Development Corporation Agribusiness Confidence Index marginally improved to 46 points during the third quarter of the year, compared with 44 points in the second quarter. However, with the level remaining below the neutral 50-point mark, Agbiz says agribusinesses are still... 

Policy uncertainty continues to subdue agri-sector confidence
Photo by Creamer Media's Simone Liedtke
Agbiz chief economist Wandile Sihlobo

Land Bank posts healthy results for agriculture sector, despite difficult times

By: Schalk Burger     13th September 2019 State-owned development finance institution the Land and Agricultural Development Bank of South Africa (Land Bank) grew its transformational loans to R7.9-billion and maintained a strong balance sheet in the 2018/19 financial year, despite challenging conditions in the agricultural sector, Land... 

Land Bank posts healthy results during difficult times in agriculture sector 

By: Schalk Burger     2nd September 2019 State-owned development finance institution (DFI), the Land and Agricultural Development Bank of South Africa (Land Bank), grew its transformational loans to R7.9-billion in the 2018/19 financial year. Transformational loans as a percentage of the total loan book increased from 12% in 2017/18 to... 

Namibia’s central bank forecasts deeper economic contraction in 2019

By: Reuters     28th August 2019 The Bank of Namibia said on Tuesday it expected the domestic economy to fall into a deeper contraction of 1.7% during 2019, down from its initial estimate of 0.3% positive growth in April. The central bank said the economy was expected to recover to positive growth of 0.8% and 1.2% in 2020 and... 

Trade Deputy Minister hears emerging farmers' concerns

By: Marleny Arnoldi     27th August 2019 The red meat value chain had the potential to unlock employment and entrepreneurial opportunities, Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Nomalungelo Gina told farmers at the Uthukela Beef Value Chain workshop, in Estcourt, KwaZulu-Natal, earlier this week. The workshop was held to assist emerging... 

Trade Deputy Minister hears emerging farmers' concerns

Agricultural initiative builds bridges between stakeholders

By: Marleny Arnoldi     22nd August 2019 A transformative and replicable broad-based initiative within the agricultural sector has come on-stream through the conclusion of a transaction between citrus and grape farmer Schoonbee Landgoed and black-owned company Thebe Investment Corporation. The initiative, called Project Change, has... 

Agricultural initiative builds bridges between stakeholders

South African blueberry industry sets its sights on key export markets

By: Simone Liedtke     22nd August 2019 The South African Berry Producers Association (Sabpa) expects South Africa’s blueberry production to reach a record high of 17 000 t this year, up from the 11 300 t produced in 2018. It expects production to increase further to 50 000 t/y by 2023 and says this will help to grow employment in the... 

Zoo farm conserves wildlife, breeds endangered species

By: Simone Liedtke     16th August 2019 The Johannesburg Zoo has set up 694 ha of arable land amid a World Heritage Site in the Free State to breed and conserve rare species of animals and pilot extensive crop farming systems. Named the Rietkuil Wildlife Conservation Farm, which was acquired in 2006 and is headed by Johannesburg City... 

South African agriculture, with certain exceptions, faces slow growth in coming years 

By: Rebecca Campbell     14th August 2019 The Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP), a nonprofit organisation, has warned that it expects the gross value of South Africa's agricultural production this year to be similar, in real terms, to that of 2015. It stated this in its 'BFAP Baseline Agricultural Outlook 2019-2028' report,... 

South African agriculture, with certain exceptions, faces slow growth in coming years

Right choices essential for the future of South African agriculture

By: Rebecca Campbell     14th August 2019 The future of the South African agricultural sector is dependent on the country and industry making the right policy and investment choices. So cautioned Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) Board of Directors member Professor Ferdi Meyer on Wednesday. He was speaking at the launch of... 

Astral CEO to take leave of office

By: Simone Liedtke     14th August 2019 Poultry producer Astral Foods CEO Chris Schutte will be taking leave of office to recuperate from a cardiovascular surgery later this month. The date of his return to office will be announced at a later stage. 

Solar-powered irrigation requires greater subsidisation 

By: Darren Parker     9th August 2019 The high initial capital expenditure required for solar-powered irrigation systems (SPISes) makes it mostly an unviable option for small-scale farmers in South Africa, unless they receive heavy subsidisation, according to International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage president Felix... 

Solar-powered irrigation requires greater subsidisation
ICID president Felix Reinders discusses South Africa’s role in international irrigation concerns.

Ultrasonic dripline cleaner commercialised

By: Darren Parker     9th August 2019 Irrigation systems manufacturer Senter360 has partnered with local inventor and farmer Leon Lingnau to bring his proprietary ultrasonic dripline cleaning system Greendrum to the market on a commercial scale. The first co-manufactured unit was sold at this year’s NAMPO Harvest Day, in the Free... 

Ultrasonic dripline cleaner commercialised
SOUND TECHNOLOGY The Greendrum device can effectively clean driplines without the need for chemicals

Agriculture sector driven to spend more upfront on innovation 

By: Darren Parker     9th August 2019 Amid current economic pressure, high energy costs and power grid uncertainty, the agriculture sector in South Africa is starting to favour higher capital expenditure on advanced technology because of the resulting long-term reductions in operating costs, says drive engineering company... 

Agriculture sector  driven to spend more upfront on innovation
SEW-Eurodrive sales manager Willem Strydom discusses the motors supplied to the 100 t/h Free State feed mill.

Absa optimistic about growing its agriloan footprint in Africa

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th August 2019 Absa Corporate and Investment Bank (CIB) plans to further grow its agriculture lending book in South Africa and other African markets where demand for funding is strong despite tough economic conditions. Absa CIB agriculture head Roux Wildenboer says agriculture is a key driver for economic... 

Land reform panel recommends seizures without pay in certain circumstances

By: Reuters     29th July 2019 An advisory report on land reform in South Africa has recommended changing the constitution to allow the government to seize land without compensation but only in certain circumstances. The report by a presidential panel of experts, released on Sunday, poured water on wholesale land seizures... 

Land reform panel recommends seizures without pay in certain circumstances

Illovo collaborates with land rights NGO, UK’s DFID on land policy

By: African News Agency      26th July 2019 Illovo Sugar Africa said on Friday it had collaborated with land rights non-governmental organisation Landesa and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) to help the company implement its land rights policies and commitments. In a statement, it said the joint project had culminated... 

OPINION: Scourge of hunger rising in Africa

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     26th July 2019 In this opinion piece, Engineering News Senior Deputy Editor Martin Zhuwakinyu writes about the worsening global food security situation. Last week I wrote about an imminent dilemma that Africa faces: its farmers are old, aged 60 on average, and convincing their offspring to take over when they... 

OPINION: Scourge of hunger rising in Africa

South Africa's 2019 maize output expected to shrink by 13%

By: Reuters     24th July 2019 South Africa's 2019 maize harvest forecast is expected to be reduced from previous estimates after harvests in the North West province pointed to lower yields, a Reuters poll showed on Wednesday. The government's Crop Estimates Committee, which will provide its sixth production forecast for the... 

South Africa's 2019 maize output expected to shrink by 13%

OPINION: Making farming cool for youngsters

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     19th July 2019 In this opinion piece, Engineering News Senior Deputy Editor Martin Zhuwakinyu discusses the stigma in Africa that farming is synonymous with poverty.  

OPINION: Making farming cool for youngsters
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Engineering News Senior Deputy Editor Martin Zhuwakinyu

Feeding 10bn people will require genetically modified food

By: Bloomberg     17th July 2019 Like it or not, genetic modification is going to be an important tool to feed the planet’s growing population. If we want to feed ten-billion people by 2050, in a world beset by rising temperatures and scarcer water supplies, we will need to dramatically change the way we produce food. Increased... 

Didiza calls for conversation with land owners

By: African News Agency      16th July 2019 Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza on Tuesday called for dialogue with land owners as the department seeks to change historically skewed ownership demographics. Didiza said the department planned to "revitalise" land that was transferred through the state's... 

Didiza calls for conversation with land owners
Agriculture, Land Reform & Rural Development Thoko Didiza

Omnia to restructure as it seeks to reduce overextended balance sheet 

By: Schalk Burger     25th June 2019 Diversified chemicals group Omnia will, over the next two years, focus on improving the profit margins of its companies’ services and products, ensuring that its assets and investments deliver value, as well as on pursuing international expansion of intellectual property-based businesses that... 

Agribusiness confidence remains subdued

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th June 2019 The Agbiz/Industrial Development Corporation Agribusiness Confidence Index (ACI) weakened to 44 in the second quarter. This followed a marginal improvement to 46 in the first quarter.  

Agribusiness confidence remains subdued

Land Bank economist warns of increasing risk of African swine fever

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     24th May 2019 South African meat producers are likely to continue facing challenges this year, says Land Bank agricultural economist Karabo Takadi. One of the biggest likely challenges is that the risk profile for the outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) was increasing, posing a potential risk to stakeholders... 

Larger stands, more technology on display at Nampo

By: Halima Frost     10th May 2019 Agriculture supply manufacturer John Deere has increased its number of stands from three – in previous years – to five this year, totalling an unrivalled display area of 3 000 m2 at the 2019 Grain SA Nampo Harvest Day, which will be held from May 14 to 17 near Bothaville, in the Free State. John... 

Larger stands,  more technology  on display at Nampo
TRACTOR TRACKER Satellites in farming are now a reality

Hydraulics company using expo to highlight products

10th May 2019 Hydraulic component distributor Hydraulic and Automation Warehouse (HAW), a Bosch Rexroth South Africa Group Company, will showcase eight of its niche product lines at this year’s Grain SA NAMPO Harvest Day. HAW’s focus will be on hose assembly solutions manufacturer Uniflex’s Grease Crimpers –... 

Hydraulics company using  expo to highlight products
FLEX THOSE MUSCLES The Uniflex grease crimper will take center stage at the HAW stand this year

New products for the agriculture industry being launched

10th May 2019 Engineering components supplier Bearing Man Group (BMG) will be exhibiting at Grain SA’s Nampo Harvest Day this year being held from May 14 to 17, near Bothaville in the Free State. The BMG stand will showcase the company’s range of agricultural components, which has been carefully selected for... 

New products for the  agriculture industry  being launched
BOER MAAK N PLAN The Boer Slim/Smart Farming initiative offers a range of products developed with and for local farmers

Biggest Nampo yet boasts 775 stands

By: Halima Frost     10th May 2019 The southern hemisphere’s largest agriculture expo, the Grain SA Nampo Harvest Day, will feature a record-breaking 775 stands, and organiser Grain SA says that all of the stands have now been sold out. The event caters to the South African and Southern Africa farming community and will be held... 

Biggest Nampo yet boasts 775 stands
HIGH EXPECTATIONS An aerial view of the continent’s largest agriculture show being held in May

Supportive policy and infrastructure needed to improve agricultural harvest

By: Marleny Arnoldi     10th May 2019 Variable climatic conditions, macroeconomic fluctuations, trade wars and land reform policy uncertainty will remain some of the biggest factors impacting on the South African agriculture sector for the foreseeable future, according to the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy’s (BFAP’s)... 

Supportive policy and infrastructure needed  to improve agricultural harvest

Sugar industry advised to diversify product offering, enter niche product markets 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     29th April 2019 Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies and the South African Cane Growers Association have agreed that increases in sugar imports in South Africa have an unavoidable impact on the competitiveness of the local sugar industry and that certain measures were necessary to restore its... 

Sugar industry advised to diversify product offering, enter niche product markets
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