Small and medium growers and innovation are key to South Africa’s citrus export growth

  While COVID-19 has disrupted many industries, the citrus industry in South Africa has emerged resilient, with strong demand in export markets and strong potential beyond the crisis. To tap this growth potential requires complementary public investment in ports and irrigation infrastructure, and technical capacity to negotiate access to wider export markets on favourable conditions. Demand for citrus in international markets has boomed under COVID-19 and prices have increased. For example, European prices for South African oranges in May 2020 were 7%-15% higher than a year earlier in euro terms, or around…

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Two sectors may be SA’s economic revivers

    Mining and agriculture were among the stand-out performers during what is set to be known as the ‘pandemic quarter’. An increase in maize exports and rising international demand for citrus fruits and pecan nuts helped the agricultural sector expand by more than 15% in Q2. Image: Shutterstock Statistics SA predicts that the second quarter of this year will become known as the ‘pandemic quarter’. Gross domestic product (GDP) fell by just over 16% between the first and second quarters. However, according to PwC chief economist Lulu Krugel, mining…

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Covid-19 and the climate present varying risks for Southern and East Africa agriculture

  Climate and pandemic risks could weigh on agricultural output and farm profitability in the 2020/21 season, and in turn, the livelihoods of those who are directly and indirectly dependent on the sector. The reports of a potential La Niña event during the coming summer months presents mixed fortunes for Southern and East Africa’s agriculture. For parts of East Africa, the La Niña weather event typically correlates with below-average rainfall in the months between December and February, while Southern Africa experiences wetter conditions over the same period. What makes this concerning for East Africa…

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Modernising water infrastructure: what will it take to address the water challenges in Africa?

JOHANNESBURG, SA,  Water is a critical resource and has a tremendous impact on Africa’s development. Unfortunately, climate change, together with a soaring population, has led to an increase in the demand for water – a demand that in many countries, outstrips the available resources. As the availability of water declines, the facilitation of water for domestic consumption, agriculture and other uses is becoming critical, as is the modernising of water infrastructure to meet the growing demand. Bear in mind that Africa is a continent with 1.2 billion people, and a…

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Is the coronavirus outbreak a risk for South Africa’s agriculture?

There is a strong sense of unease in the world right now. The coronavirus outbreak in China is fast spreading across Asia and other regions, and the health implications present risks for global value chains. From a macroeconomic perspective, we have already seen organisations such as the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development slashing growth forecasts for the year. Some of the economic data released in China this week was quite weak. In my own world of the agricultural economy, I have started to pick up concerns from various stakeholders…

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Partnerships in agriculture are more important than ever

CAPE TOWN – Food security, together with adequate nutrition, is a matter of life or death at one end of the market, while good agricultural practices are necessities at the other. Whether it’s food in abundance or eco-friendly food production – partnerships in agriculture are now more important than ever. Agriculture in South Africa has yet to achieve its full potential for a variety of reasons. And this year’s Nampo Cape exhibition comes at an important moment, as the industry has grown significantly since the drought of 2015. Recognising the…

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Government honours women entrepreneurs in agriculture, forestry and fisheries

JOHANNESBURG  – The department of agriculture, forestry and fisheries has honoured female entrepreneurs in the sector for their role in ensuring food security, poverty alleviation, job creation and economic growth. At an event held during women’s month in South Africa, the department in partnership with Total South Africa hosted the 20th annual female entrepreneur awards in Cape Town on Thursday night, where honours were given to the best female worker, subsistence producer and the top entrepreneurs in the smallholder, procession, commercial and export sectors. The department said this year’s theme…

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Gauteng could be SA’s next Day Zero region, agriculture forum hears

Gauteng is the next potential Day Zero region in South Africa if it is hit by another drought, according to Mike Muller, adjunct professor at the University of the Witwatersrand School of Governance. Speaking at the Agri SA Water Symposium in Somerset West on Monday, he said a report on what to do to avoid Day Zero in Gauteng was already brought to the attention of authorities in the province a year ago. Prioritise farming “The Cape Town water crisis showed agriculture’s importance for the regional economy. Society recognised this…

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New dawn for weed in SA

New dawn for weed in SA

Government wants to have concept plans for the development of the hemp and dagga sector in place by October, especially considering the potential the industry could hold for job creation, says Busani Ngcaweni, the head of policy and research in the presidency. This is one of the economic sectors in which concept master plans are being developed because there is enough evidence to show that jobs will be created, especially in rural areas, said Ngcaweni at a conference in Sandton last week. The plans are to be modelled on the…

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Beef farming can provide jobs – Trade and Industry department

JOHANNESBURG – Beef farming has the potential to provide much needed jobs in South Africa, says the Trade and Industry Department. Addressing farmers on Monday at the Uthukela Beef Value Chain workshop in Estcourt, KwaZulu-Natal, Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Nomalungelo Gina said the red meat value chain has a potential to unlock employment and entrepreneurial opportunities. The purpose of the workshop was to assist emerging farmers to grow and participate in the entire value chain of beef industry, which includes feedlots, abattoir, meat processing, as well as import and…

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