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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City planning is a critical lever to address urban food insecurity

While food insecurity in South Africa is commonly framed as a rural problem, food insecurity is increasingly concentrated in urban areas. Food system activities – including production, processing, retail and waste – take place within cities. However, neither food insecurity nor the food system have been given enough recognition or thought in the ways cities are designed. These are the central arguments of ‘Food Sensitive Planning and Urban Design – A Blueprint for a Future South African City?’, a new working paper published by the DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Food Security.…

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Covid-19: Quantifying the impact of the alcohol ban on SA’s agricultural sector

  By Thulasizwe Mkhabela JOHANNESBURG – According to Milton Friedman, one of the great economists of the 20th century, “One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results”. Just because a policy intervention is intended for the greater good of society does not mean that there will be no unintended consequences. When assessing these policies, we should not look at the good intentions that produced and necessitated them, but at their actual effects at addressing the problem at hand and on…

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Small efforts can protect farmers from pesticides. Insights from Zambia

Vegetable production, tomato production in particular, is an important source of income for many smallholder farmers in Zambia. It can provide them with gross margins that are much higher than maize, the dominant field crop. But these higher returns come with nearly ubiquitous crop loss risks from pests. An insecticide being mixed. Photo by Ann Johansson/Corbis via Getty Images Two commonly reported pests are bollworms and nematodes. These can dramatically reduce the amount of tomatoes that meet quality standards. To address this, farmers in Zambia are starting to use more pesticides. A trend that can be seen in many African countries, such…

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Stepping up on maximising women’s potential in agri

A webinar that aimed to assist female producers in developing their own voice in a sustainable and profitable farming business was held on 28 October. The virtual roundtable discussion, hosted by Corteva Agriscience in partnership with the Entrepreneurship Development Agency (EDA) at the Gordon Institute of Business School (GIBS), focused on innovative solutions to maximise the potential of women in agricultural development. The partnership is a strategy to work together on an immersive tailor-made programme that will kick-off in January 2021 to assist female producers in developing their entrepreneurial, business…

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GREEN AND INTEGRATED APPROACHES COULD ADDRESS FOOD SECURITY CHALLENGES

  Marking World Food Day, fdt Africa says stakeholders must collaborate across a broader value chain Agriculture and food production does not happen in isolation, and to maximise food production and address world hunger, stakeholders across a broad value chain have to start working more collaboratively and sustainably. This is according to advisors at Africa’s largest industry specific co-location, food & drink technology Africa (fdt Africa) the premier trade fair of food and beverage processing and packaging technologies, IFAT Africa the leading trade fair for water, sewage, refuse and recycling…

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Renewable energy and agricultural processing project boost employment in oil conflict-ridden Niger Delta region of Southern Nigeria

  The Niger Delta, an area with a chequered past of exploitation, is set to benefit from a renewable energy plant and an agriculture processing project providing electricity, jobs and economic empowerment Asanita Agricultural Processing Company has secured funding to build a renewable energy power plant and a cassava processing to ethanol plant in Southern Nigeria. The project located on a 40-hectare estate in Edo State in the Niger Delta region, will produce 50,000 litres per day of ethanol and deliver electricity for up to 300 homes. By creating hundreds…

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Omnia mulls over future of its portfolio star

    As the world moves towards sustainable farming methods, chemicals company Omnia is sitting on a gem – which it plans to sell. The question is, at what price? The management of JSE-listed chemicals company Omnia is in negotiations to sell the company’s crown jewel, US-based Oro Agri, at a presumed significant premium to the R1.2-billion it paid for the firm in March 2018. Omnia, which manufactures and supplies chemicals and specialised services for the agriculture, mining and chemicals application industries, alerted the market in June that it had received and…

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