Small towns are collapsing across South Africa. How it’s starting to affect farming

Farming and agribusiness play a crucial role in sustaining the economies of small towns and rural areas. There is a lot of evidence of this in the economic literature and in the popular media. This dependency has its inherent risks. International literature tends to focus on the devastation of small towns in times of drought or when farming lobby groups argue for particular policies. In South Africa, a different pattern has emerged. This is when municipalities fail to provide basic services to their communities and businesses. These services include water and sanitation, electricity, roads and technological…

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Agricultural rebound: South Africa’s citrus exports heading for a record year

The first fruit destined for the Philippines was inspected last week in Durban, Justin Chadwick, CEO of the Citrus Growers’ Association of Southern Africa, said in his weekly newsletter. © Copyright (c) Daily Maverick , All Rights Reserved “While export volumes will probably be modest as we test the market and develop the demand for South African citrus, the goal is to build up to 20,000 tonnes exports to the Philippines – this will secure much needed jobs in South Africa, and lead to additional foreign exchange earnings,” Chadwick said.…

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‘Tipping the scales’: Bolt and Engineering Distributors Group weighs up well with cutting-edge services to Klerksdorp customer.

The investment in customers’ businesses through a solutions-driven approach, continuous, personal interactions and outstanding customer service ensures long-standing and strong relationships, with notable achievements in operational efficiency.   For Bolt and Engineering Distributors Group (B.E.D.), which supplies a vast product range to a wide variety of industry sectors – including agriculture, mining, materials handling, working at height and welding – this dedicated commitment has resulted in many robust service accomplishments over the years:   “In particular, B.E.D.’s consistent interaction with valued industrial weighing equipment manufacturer and supplier Klerkscale for more…

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Farming hygiene practices can help protect agricultural value chain

Despite the pandemic and a contraction in some sectors within agriculture, 2020 was a good year for the South African agricultural sector which experienced a 13.1% annual GDP growth rate, according to the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Production. [https://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/for-south-african-agriculture-2020-was-a-very-good-year-2021-03-16]           While red meat, poultry, milk and potato producers were sitting on stockpiles as a result of the shutdown of sit-down restaurants, the citrus industry exported record volumes following a surge in demand.   “The food supply chain is under constant threat of disease or contamination…

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Digitising Agriculture with SICK’s 3D Environment Monitoring Sensors

SICK Automation is leading the agricultural digitisation era (Farming 4.0), with its visual perception solutions for mobile agricultural machines and harvesting robots. Called Visionary Snapshot Cameras, the range is tailored for 3D environment monitoring, allowing mobile equipment to navigate, increase safety and enhance production processes. Visionary technology from SICK inherent in these cameras make them the ideal solution for a vast range of agricultural applications. They help decrease downtime with their collision avoidance capability when turning, manoeuvring and reversing mobile equipment, and by navigating autonomous agricultural machines during fieldwork. They…

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Leveraging agricultural R&D to boost SA’s vaccine production capacity: an unlikely saviour

  DESPITE significant medical progress over the last centuries, infectious diseases such as influenza and malaria still represent significant threats to modern societies. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is a case in point. The spread of a virus can also have important economic implications. These economic implications manifest themselves through aspects such as loss of income, for example, reductions in the size of the labour force and productivity, increase in absenteeism and because of curtailment measures imposed on individuals and societies aimed at interruption, the transmission and spread of the pandemic,…

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Concern about decrease in SA cotton plantings

Although South Africa’s cotton industry celebrated production growth of 800% over the preceding five years in 2019, the industry has shown a 40% decrease in hectares planted to the crop during the past two seasons. Hennie Bruwer, CEO of Cotton South Africa (Cotton SA), said in a recent newsletter that this was due to several factors, including weather conditions, a lack of access to new cultivars, and many farmers turning to food crops due to more favourable prices. Cotton SA’s market report for March indicated that in the 2019/2020 season,…

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Pandemic or not, SA’s olive oil production jumps

There is no denying that 2020 has been a year for the records. In these tumultuous times, South African olive oil producers put their collective shoulder to the wheel and managed to produce 30% more olive oil than in 2019. This is according to SA Olive, an association representing the common interests of the South African olive industry. SA Olive members consist of olive growers, olive oil producers, table olive producers, tree nurseries and olive importers, and it is “committed to supporting a healthy future for its members and growth and…

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A year later, Poultry Industry Master Plan appears to be nothing but old chicken in new packaging

When the Poultry Industry Master Plan was signed a year ago this month, no one could have predicted the devastating effects that a pandemic would have on the world during 2020. And while the South African government is working out how to deliver on the promises of increased local production and job creation in terms of the president’s economic recovery plan, the SA Poultry Association has announced that positive gains have been made towards increasing exports of poultry. That said, despite hefty import tariffs being introduced earlier in 2020, poultry…

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SA canegrowers welcome signing of landmark sugar masterplan

JOHANNESBURG – Agricultural group South African Canegrowers on Tuesday welcomed the signing of a landmark sugar industry masterplan which aims to ensure the long-term sustainability and profitability of the sector over the next three years. The agreement signed by the government, sugar industry stakeholders, retailers and other social partners on Monday will also protect the one million livelihoods the industry supports, SA Canegrowers said in a statement. The industry has been under threat in recent years due to cheap imports, unprecedented droughts, falling world prices and a major drop in…

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