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Farming Economics News

South African food inflation continued a downward trend in April

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th May 2024 In April, for the second month in a row, year-on-year (y-o-y) South African food and non-alcoholic beverage (NAB) inflation (hereafter to be referred to as food inflation, for short) ran at a rate below that for consumer price index (CPI) headline inflation, the Bureau for Food and Agricultural... 

SEW-EURODRIVE at Nampo 2024 

21st May 2024 Gear motors, frequency inverters and drive automation specialist SEW-EURODRIVE electronics business development manager Willem Strydom highlights the company’s role in the agriculture industry’s digitalisation journey and the importance of attending Nampo 2024, which was held from May 14 to 17... 

SEW-EURODRIVE at Nampo 2024
SEW-EURODRIVE at Nampo 2024

Uniclox at Nampo 2024 

21st May 2024 Biometric time and attendance and access control systems provider Uniclox senior sales executive Christo Wandrag talks to Engineering News about the role the company is playing in the digitalisation of the agriculture industry at Nampo 2024, which was held from May 14 to 17 near Bothaville, in... 

Uniclox at Nampo 2024
Uniclox at Nampo 2024

Dachser South Africa at Nampo 2024 

21st May 2024 Engineering News discusses how family-owned logistics provider Dachser South Africa is innovating to address the challenges that agricultural logistics face in South Africa with MD Detlev Duve at Nampo 2024, which was held from May 14 to 17 near Bothaville, in the Free State. 

Dachser South Africa at Nampo 2024
Dachser South Africa at Nampo 2024

AUTO-X at Nampo 2024 

21st May 2024 South African automotive lead-acid battery manufacturer AUTO-X solar 0 & M manager Jaco Weideman discusses the importance of digitalisation in ensuring sustainable farming operations, while AUTO-X graphic designer Johann Coetser elaborates on battery brand Willards’ 70-year history. The... 

AUTO-X at Nampo 2024
AUTO-X at Nampo 2024

Astron Energy at Nampo 2024 

21st May 2024 Astron Energy technical support specialist Fiaz Regal explains how digital tools aid the role lubricants play in preventing equipment failure and extending the life of agricultural equipment at Nampo 2024, which was held from May 14 to 17, near Bothaville, in the Free State. 

Astron Energy at Nampo 2024
Astron Energy at Nampo 2024

Omnia at Nampo 2024 

21st May 2024 Engineering News talks to Omnia agriculture division MD Mandla Mpofu about the opportunities technology is unlocking in the local agricultural landscape and how the company is contributing to the digitalisation of the of the industry at Nampo 2024, which was held from May 14 to 17, near... 

Omnia at Nampo 2024
Omnia at Nampo 2024

SOLARAFRICA at Nampo 2024 

21st May 2024 SOLARAFRICA commercial head Brandon Horn shares the energy struggles of farmers visiting the company’s stand at Nampo 2024, which was held from May 14 to 17, near Bothaville, in the Free State, and how the company’s solutions help to solve these problems. 

SOLARAFRICA at Nampo 2024
SOLARAFRICA at Nampo 2024

MTN at Nampo 2024 

21st May 2024 Mobile telecommunications provider MTN IoT products head Lawrence Juku explains why digitalisation of agriculture is important to overcome traditional challenges and ensure sustainable farming operations while exhibiting at Nampo 2024, held from May 14 to 17, near Bothaville, in the Free State. 

MTN at Nampo 2024
MTN at Nampo 2024

Suzuki Auto South Africa at Nampo 2024 

21st May 2024 Suzuki Auto South Africa PR & events manager Eileen Gengan discusses how the vehicle manufacturer is poised to support the needs of the country’s farmers at Nampo 2024, held from May 14 to 17, near Bothaville, in the Free State. 

Suzuki Auto South Africa at Nampo 2024
Suzuki Auto South Africa at Nampo 2024

SAFEQUIP at Nampo 2024 

21st May 2024 Engineering News talks to fire safety solutions and products supplier SAFEQUIP MD Pierre Malherbe at Nampo 2024, held from May 14 to 17, near Bothaville, in the Free State, about how the company is addressing the challenges posed by lithium-ion batteries. 

SAFEQUIP at Nampo 2024
SAFEQUIP at Nampo 2024

Absa partnering with development finance agency to help East African coffee farmers

By: Rebecca Campbell     15th May 2024 South African banking group Absa and the International Finance Corporation (IFC – part of the World Bank group) will jointly provide a commodity trade finance facility, worth up to $60-million, to a leading global green coffee merchant, Volcafe. This facility will strengthen Volcafe’s operations... 

Coffee beans in a cup

Poultry association calls for vaccination to prevent H7N6 avian influenza outbreak

By: Schalk Burger     13th May 2024 The South African poultry industry is calling for immediate intervention to avert an outbreak of the H7N6 strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) that it is grappling with, following a year of significant losses, including the culling of 9.5-million birds. While traditionally reliant... 

A photo of chickens

Data, drones can improve local agriculture

3rd May 2024 Smart technology, powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and unmanned vehicles, can counter various challenges in the agricultural sector, boosting productivity, reducing costs and assisting in preserving precious resources, says drone technology company DJI product manager Ruan Botha.... 

An image of DJI product manager Ruan Botha
RUAN BOTHA Innovative solutions are required for long-term sustainability and growth

Access to farming equipment boosts mechanisation

By: Nadine Ramdass     3rd May 2024 Agricultural technology company Hello Tractor, celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, aims to improve small-scale farming practices through its app Hello Tractor, which facilitates increased access to farming equipment. With a core focus on improving African agriculture through... 

An image of farm equipment working on a farm
FARM MECHANISATION Farm equipment can supplement the need for physical labour, minimising the impact of labour shortages on small-scale farms

Can South Africa turn around 30 years of real economy underperformance?

By: Terence Creamer     26th April 2024 In this essay, Terence Creamer reflects on the factors that have shaped South Africa’s real-economy sectors of manufacturing, mining and agriculture over the past 30 years and considers ways to end the economy’s persistent underperformance 

Magazine cover image

African Risk Capacity to pay out insurance to drought-affected Southern African farmers

By: Marleny Arnoldi     17th April 2024 Farmers in Mozambique and Zambia are being impacted by one of the worst droughts in decades, United Nations (UN) assistant secretary-general Reena Ghelani has said as she met with stakeholders to organise food and cash assistance in countries affected by the drastic El Niño-induced weather. She... 

Drought in corn field

Woolworths launches regenerative farming practices campaign

By: Schalk Burger     12th April 2024 Retail company Woolworths has launched a Farming for the Future campaign, with the aim of encouraging farmers to implement regenerative farming practices. By partnering with farmers who adopt restorative practices, Woolworths seeks to amplify its impact and foster a community of agricultural... 

South Africa's science, innovation dept launches circular minerals, metals initiative 

By: Darren Parker     11th April 2024 South Africa's Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), through the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), has launched the first of three new government-led collaborative circular economy initiatives focusing on priority economic sectors that were identified by government in... 

DSI technology innovation deputy director general Mmboneni Muofhe
Photo by Creamer Media
DSI technology innovation deputy director general Mmboneni Muofhe

Farm uses electricity generated from sugar waste

5th April 2024 A farm in the Czech Republic is showing how valuable food crops can be grown using heat and electricity that are generated using biogas produced from agricultural waste. The farm at Suchohrdly, about 40 km south west of Brno, in Czech Republic, meets its own energy needs by producing biogas from... 

Association expects higher export volumes across all citrus fruits

By: Marleny Arnoldi     2nd April 2024 As the citrus export season starts this month, the Citrus Growers’ Association of Southern Africa (CGA) is confident that 37.9-million 15 kg cartons of lemons will be exported to key markets, which is an increase of 7% year-on-year. Lemon exports have more than doubled since 2016.  

Packed oranges

Chicken industry needs no tariff rebates because there is no shortage, Sapa stresses

By: Darren Parker     27th March 2024 Executives from the South African Poultry Association (Sapa) met with Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel last week to discuss, among other matters, tariff rebates on chicken imports that were introduced as a safeguard against potential shortages on the back of bird flu... 

white chickens

El Nino may see first South Africa white-corn imports since 2017

By: Reuters     27th March 2024 South Africa may import significant amounts of white corn, used to make a staple food, for the first time since 2017 as the El Nino weather pattern withers the crop, the chief economist for the main farming business association said. Dry and unseasonably hot weather that’s persisted across much... 

Corn farming

Cape Town MPT records 43% volume increase in agri-bulk

By: Sabrina Jardim     18th March 2024 The Cape Town Multi-Purpose Terminal (MPT) has increased volume throughput in the agricultural bulk sector by 43% in the year-to-date. In January, the terminal handled 25 704 t of agricultural bulk commodities, an increase of 72% compared with the same period last year. The Cape Town MPT handles,... 

An image depicting the Cape Town MPT

El Niño scorches Southern Africa with driest February on record

By: Bloomberg     8th March 2024 A swathe of Southern Africa suffered the driest February in decades that wiped out crops, precipitated power shortages and threatened to send already high food prices surging further. Last month, large parts of Zambia, Botswana and Zimbabwe had the least rainfall — or close to it — since records... 

Drought-affected maize crops

Innovative interventions needed to turn around underperforming growth trajectory – Agbiz

By: Schalk Burger     22nd February 2024 Against the backdrop of a profoundly challenging macroeconomic environment where South Africa’s economy is expected to continue underperforming, averaging at 1.6% growth in the next three years, innovative interventions are needed to turn the current trajectory around, said the Agricultural... 

A farm with irrigation equipment

SolarSaver adding battery energy storage to two dairies in Creighton Valley

By: Schalk Burger     25th January 2024 Solar photovoltaic (PV) installation company SolarSaver has added batteries to the existing grid-tied installation at Burnview Dairy to create a hybrid system. It will also add batteries to the Creighton Valley Cheese Company's grid-tied installation to increase its output by 50 kW. SolarSaver... 

The solar instllation at the Creighton Valley Cheese Company
The solar instllation at the Creighton Valley Cheese Company

Companies launch programme, help empower Zambian rural population

By: Sabrina Jardim     22nd January 2024 Agribusiness company Schweizer Agriculture and seed company Seedco Zambia International have launched a nationwide horticulture training programme under the Schweizer Agriculture' Poverty Alleviation and Rural Development (PARD) consortium. The implementation of the training programme involves... 

An image depicting people standing around a sign
International agricultural programme designed to empower Zambia’s rural population.

ACI dips to levels last seen at start of Covid-19 as industry buckles under challenges

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th December 2023 The Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz)/Industrial Development Corporation Agribusiness Confidence Index (ACI) deteriorated by ten points to 40 in the fourth quarter of the year. Notably, Agbiz chief economist Wandile Sihlobo says, this is its lowest level since the second quarter of 2020,... 

Agbiz optimistic about market expansion with addition of new Brics members

By: Marleny Arnoldi     5th December 2023 With more countries to become members of the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (Brics) grouping, the South African agricultural industry will seek to deepen trade with these countries, particularly Saudi Arabia as a $20-billion importer of agricultural produce every year. The... 

Agbiz CEO Theo Boshoff
Agbiz CEO Theo Boshoff

Agriculture records good year of income, jobs growth in 2022

By: Marleny Arnoldi     29th November 2023 Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) finds in its latest Agriculture Survey for 2022 that the sector generated R450-billion in income for the year, compared with R404-billion in income generated for 2021. This 11.2% increase in income was driven by the animals and animal products industry, which... 

Sugar beet field

PepsiCo’s Kgodiso Fund gets behind agri-tech platform Khula!

By: Marleny Arnoldi     17th November 2023 Multinational food and beverage group PepsiCo has announced an investment by its independent fund Kgodiso Development Fund into agri-tech company Khula! To support sustainable finance and market access opportunities for emerging farmers. Kgodiso exists to empower emerging farmers and help them... 

TWK posts lower earnings amid global market pressures

By: Marleny Arnoldi     15th November 2023 Diversified agriculture and forestry company TWK Agri has posted lower earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) of R620-million from continuing operations, marking a 7.1% year-on-year decrease for the financial year ended August 31. The group generated Ebitda of... 

A farm and grain

Transnet, deciduous fruit industry cooperating to improve export season logistics performance

By: Schalk Burger     8th November 2023 State-owned Transnet and its subsidiary organisations are engaging weekly with various fruit industry organisations, namely Hortgro, the South African Table Grape Industry and the Fresh Produce Exporters' Forum, at a strategic and operational level to exchange information on expected fruit flows... 

Company advancing agriculture objectives

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd November 2023 Amid mounting environmental challenges and the impact of climate change on crop yields and quality, Canadian multinational McCain Foods is embracing so-called regenerative agriculture. This ecosystem-based approach is at the heart of the company's efforts, and aims to transform farming practices... 

CROP CHALLENGE 
Climate extremes have adversely affected potato crops worldwide
CROP CHALLENGE Climate extremes have adversely affected potato crops worldwide

Two major international agencies launch joint ‘Atoms4Food’ initiative

By: Rebecca Campbell     19th October 2023 The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) launched, in Rome, in Italy, on Wednesday, their flagship Atoms4Food initiative. This will increase the use of nuclear technologies to strengthen global food security. The IAEA and FAO... 

IAEA director-general Rafael Mariano Grossi and FAO director-general Qu Dongyu
IAEA director-general Rafael Mariano Grossi and FAO director-general Qu Dongyu

Solar pumps can increase crop yield

13th October 2023 A new study, led by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) under the research project Renewables for African Agriculture (RE4AFAGRI), published in Environmental Research Letters, finds that standalone solar photovoltaic (PV) irrigation systems have the potential to meet... 

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