News archive

News archive - January-2011

Experts in soil science and plant production at UP Combined Congress

"Taking care of the FOODBALL through science" was the theme of the Combined Crops, Soils, Horticulture and Weeds Congress 2011. The Congress was held at the University of Pretoria (UP) from 17 to 20 January 2011.

The congress was officially opened by the UP Vice-Chancellor, Prof Cheryl de la Rey, followed by keynote addresses by four experts in the fields of soil science and plant production. Dr John Purchase delivered an address on “Science as the driver of the agro-food value chain” while Prof Martin Fey shared his insights on “The philosophy of soil science”. The third keynote address on the opening day was by Prof Jules Janick who shared some light on “Fruit breeding: past, present, and future” with Prof Gerhard Verdoorn who concluded the keynote addresses with his viewpoints on “Addressing the challenges of misinformation and anti-pesticide lobbying in South Africa”.

27.01.2011 / Agbiz in the news

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Groen strategie vir landbou nodig

“Ons moet onsself toenemend voorberei om ’n groen groeistrategie vir die landbou te ontwikkel wat ondersteun word deur onbevooroordeelde navorsing,” sê dr. John Purchase, uitvoerende hoof van die Landboubesigheidskamer (LBK).

Purchase het tydens die gekombineerde kongres van die Suid-Afrikaanse Vereniging vir Gewasproduksie, Grondkunde, Tuinbouwetenskappe en Onkruidwetenskap by die Universiteit van Pretoria in Gauteng gesê in terme van rentmeesterskap, moet bykomende geld van die openbare en private sektore verkry word om kwessies aan te spreek soos klimaatverandering, die verlies van biodiversiteit en die volhoubare bestuur en gebruik van hulpbronne.

19.01.2011 / Agbiz in the news

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South Africa: Too much maize

JOHANNESBURG, 13 January 2011 (IRIN) - After a record maize harvest, a bid by South African farmers to form a pool to export the surplus – enough to feed its food insecure neighbours, Swaziland and Lesotho, for several years – has raised questions about the future of the crop and the manufacture of biofuel.

The country’s Competition Commission rejected the bid on 11 January. "We wanted to start a debate in the country. Surpluses of this magnitude are unusual; food prices are going up globally. We have suggested the farmers consider storing the surplus,” the Commission's Oupa Bodipe told IRIN.

13.01.2011 / Agbiz in the news

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SA easily digests rising prices

 SA has little to fear from spiralling global food prices in the short term, said John Purchase, chief executive at the Agribusiness Chamber, a sectoral body representing agribusinesses and companies serving primary food producers.

Figures from the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) this week show food prices last month reached their highest levels ever, surpassing those of the 2008 global crisis that sparked unrest in several countries.

09.01.2011 / Agbiz in the news

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Retailers check water usage

Shoprite Checkers, Woolworths and Pick n Pay, have expressed concern over speculation that a water crisis is looming in South Africa. The three major retailers say they have put in place rigorous measures to ensure their products are safe for consumption and are free of any potential contamination from polluted water supplies.

A Shoprite spokesman said yesterday that suppliers to the group’s fresh produce procurement division, Freshmark, had to comply with a standard of certification regarding farming practices, which included regulations on irrigation water.

22.12.2010 / Agbiz in the news

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Nee, Minister

Dewald van Rensburg,

’n Vloedgolf van negatiewe reaksie uit die sakewêreld, georganiseerde sakegemeenskap en sommige politieke kringe het gister die regering se langverwagte nuwe groeiplan begroet.

Die meeste skeptisisme was oor die werkskeppingsteikens van 5 miljoen werkgeleenthede teen 2020 wat mnr. Ebrahim Patel, minister van ekonomiese ontwikkeling, Dinsdag as deel van die plan aangekondig het. Dit word onder meer as onhaalbaar en ambisieus beskou en ten beste, as ’n uitdaging.

Die georganiseerde sakegemeenskap het ook by monde van verskeie sakeleiers laat blyk die tydperk vir die private sektor om kommentaar te lewer voordat meer besonderhede in die Februarie-begroting aangekondig word, is heeltemal te kort.

Die voorstel dat daar op “matige” loonverhogings ooreengekom moet word, is ook uit verskeie oorde afgeskiet. Dit is begroet met kommentaar soos onrealisties, onnosel of bloot betekenisloos.

Die groeiplan-raamwerk stel onder meer voor dat werkers wat tussen R3 000 en R20 000 per maand verdien voortaan net “matige reële verhogings” ontvang.

Dit moet bereik word deur ’n “maatskaplike verdrag” tussen vakbonde en werkgewers, stel die regering voor.

25.11.2010 / Agbiz in the news

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Regering moet mieliesurplus opgaar

Suid-Afrika se boere sit met ’n mieliesurplus van 4 miljoen ton wat hulle bitter graag sou uitvoer.

Die antwoord lê egter nie daarin om markte buite Suid-Afrika te vind nie. Die regering moet intree, die mielies teen internasionale pryse koop en dit as voorsorg teen ’n volgende tekort hou.

24.11.2010 / Agbiz in the news

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Navigating the maize

SA FARMERS are sitting on a maize surplus of 4 million tonnes, which they are desperate to export. But the answer doesn’t lie in finding markets outside of SA.

Government should step in and buy the maize at international prices and keep it for when there’s next a shortage.

Of course, government stabilising the maize price hasn’t been policy for some years now, as government believes in a “free market” in agriculture.

23.11.2010 / Agbiz in the news

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Buying groups bid to cut farming costs

 Farmers, facing rising input costs and falling commodity prices, are forming buying groups to benefit from bulk discounts.

Willie du Plessis, the director of agricultural banking at Standard Bank, said this was an efficient way for farmers to reduce costs.

"Apart from the fact that discounts to a buying group will be better than those made to individuals, using buying groups also saves individual farmers the time of hunting around for reasonable prices," he said.

14.11.2010 / Agbiz in the news

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South Africa Urges Switch to Yellow Corn, Asian Markets

South Africa’s government said the country should change the type of corn it plants to target markets in Asia and suggested setting up an agency to promote exports.

An investigation conducted by a team of officials from the Department of Agriculture and the National Agriculture Marketing Council recommended that South Africa “aggressively” move toward producing more yellow corn to meet demand from Taiwan, Japan and South Korea. South Africa, the biggest producer of the grain in Africa, grows mainly white corn, locally known as maize.

09.11.2010 / Agbiz in the news

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More than a minister needed to help fix Transnet, Eskom

 The best of luck to new Minister of Public Enterprises Malusi Gigaba - even Superman would not be able to do much about SA's electricity and rail transport challenges, analysts and industry role players said this week.

Gigaba, a former deputy home affairs minister, was appointed to the position previously held by Barbara Hogan.

The lack of permanent leadership at Transnet and the number of acting board members (acting CEO Chris Wells and executive Vuyo Kahla both announced their imminent departures this week) are issues Gigaba will have to address.

07.11.2010 / Agbiz in the news

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South Africa - Gordhan warns about global 'trade wars'

“But this could result in a trade war where countries will put up barriers.”Gordhan said the rand, which has strengthened consistently behind high foreign investment flows, was in “serious danger of competitive devaluation”.Other emerging markets, such as Brazil, Turkey and China, have moved to weaken their currencies, but South Africa’s Reserve Bank governor Gill Marcus has said South Africa can’t afford to act this aggressively.

03.11.2010 / Agbiz in the news

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ABC comments on medium term budgetary policy statement

The Agricultural Business Chamber (ABC) is filled with a sense of sanctuary after the Medium Term

Budgetary Policy Statement by the Minister of Finance, Minister Pravin Gordhan, on 27 October

2010. The stated assessment and expectations by the Minister of Finance on both the global and

domestic economic outlook was generally accepted to be fair and realistic. The ABC agrees that SA’s

economy finds itself in a fragile and slow recovery stage and states that the 3% growth projection

throughout the remaining part of the year might be slightly over-optimistic.

28.10.2010 / Media Releases

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Navorser + Produsent = Wenresep

Boere en ander landbourolspelers van dwarsoor die land het Dinsdag die Outeniqua Navorsingsplaas by George se jaarlikse inligtingsdag bygewoon.

21.10.2010 / Agbiz in the news

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Staat bekyk sy bydrae tot kospryse

Die Regering is besig om te ondersoek hoe die pryse van monopolistiese semi-staatsinstellings kospryse beïnvloed.

Dít volg nadat dr. John Purchase, uitvoerende hoof van die Landboubesigheidskamer, die Departement van Landbou, Bosbou en Visserye versoek het om die Nasionale Landboubemarkingsraad (NLBR) en die Buro vir Voedsel- en Landboubeleid (BFAP) te betrek by ‘n studie oor die invloed van staatsgeadministrateerde tariewe op voedselpryse.

13.10.2010 / Agbiz in the news

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Nationalisation under fire

 South Africa's business community is having sleepless nights about the continued calls for nationalisation of local companies.

Despite repeated assurances by President Jacob Zuma that nationalisation is not government policy, ANC Youth League president Julius Malema uses every platform to push nationalisation and insist that the ANC's national executive committee is discussing it.

10.10.2010 / Agbiz in the news

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New challenges for agricultural value chains - Interview with Dr John purchase, CEO of ABC

Dr John Purchase, CEO of the Agricultural Business Chamber(ABC), shares his insights about changing the Co-Operatives legislation and the importance of agricultural business in the agricultural value chain.

10.10.2010 / Agbiz in the news

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Landbou se PPI-syfer 'tel kop op'

Die produksieprysindeks (PPI)-syfer vir die landbou het met 1,2% tussen Julie en Augustus vanjaar gestyg, maar groter stygings is nodig, sê ekonome.

Volgens Statistieke SA het die algemene PPI vir Augustus op 7,8% te staan gekom, terwyl dit 9,4% in Julie was. Die verbruikersprysindeks (VPI)-syfer vir Augustus is 3,5%.

Wat die landbousektor aanbetref is ‘n styging van 1,2% aangeteken ná Julie se syfer van 0,2%, en Augustus op 1,4% te staan gekom het.

 

05.10.2010 / Agbiz in the news

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Update on transformation of agricultural sector

The parliamentary portfolio committee on agriculture, forestry and fisheries has been holding public hearings on transformation in the agricultural sector.

A variety of organisations have made representations to the committee, including the AgriBEE charter council. The department of agriculture, forestry and fisheries has also reported on the current status of transformation in the sector.

According to director general of the department, Langa Zita, the council is in the process of aligning the AgriBEE transformation charter with the requirements of a section 9 code of good practice as set out in Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) Act 53 of 2003. When the charter was gazetted in March 2008, it was aligned to section 12 of the act and is therefore not binding to enterprises. This has made reporting on the sector’s transformation difficult.

01.10.2010 / Agbiz in the news

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Analysis: NGC goes gaga for Chinese model

The ANC edged towards greater government intervention in the economy at its policy review

conference last week, while business commentators were concerned that mixed signals were

projected to the financial markets.

Key conundrums over policy were not tackled, argued Brait economist Colen Garrow. He said issues

concerning both domestic and foreign investors were not really addressed.

28.09.2010 / Agbiz in the news

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