Agriculture NEWS 

A change to hotter conditions is a looming challenge in the agricultural sector in the Southern African region

An expert has raised concern about the change from favourable rains to drier conditions, at a time of the deepening energy crisis continuing to present problems for different parts of the agricultural sector. South Africa, a net exporter of grain in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, is the epicentre of the dry spell. No less than eight people have been reported dead from the heatwave that swept across the country in recent days. Temperatures have soared above 40°C in some areas. “We are concerned about the impact of…

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Agriculture NEWS 

Mining, Agri sectors attracting much-needed FDI

Mining and agriculture are two key sectors of the Zambian economy that are attracting foreign direct investment, which is expected to increase 158% to $8.5 billion by 2022, creating 74 000 jobs. The latest company to announce that it will be developing a new copper mine in Zambia is one linked to Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Virgin’s Richard Branson, while on the agricultural front, Zambia has embarked on a robust agriculture outreach throughout the country, as Munkotachi Investments MD Christopher Lesa outlined in a Zoom interview. Munkotachi, a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)…

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Agriculture NEWS 

A shorter growth cycle for higher lettuce profits

Lettuce is beholden to an inconsistent market, with demand often dependent on the weather. Sustainable production therefore requires careful management of supply and demand. Equally important, as farmer Jakkie Mellet explained to Lindi Botha, is a shorter, more productive, growth cycle. Sterkspruit farm, near Lydenburg in Mpumalanga, is situated at the very top of Long Tom Pass, 2 150m above sea level. Its position holds significant benefits for owner Jakkie Mellet: it is isolated from other farms, keeping it relatively safe from the potential spread of pests and diseases, and…

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Agriculture NEWS 

Kuhn ECO Ranger sprayer so precise it can spray a logo in a field

Such is the accuracy of the ECO Ranger boom trailed sprayer from Kuhn, distributed locally by ValtraC, that it is ideal for precision spraying – and can even be used to spray words and logos in fields. The ECO Ranger series was developed for excellent operational performance and autonomy without sacrificing cost-effectiveness. The entry-level model is perfect for those looking to migrate from a mounted machine to a trailed sprayer. It features a 2 000 litre fibreglass tank and robust construction with a 16 m or 18 m boom with…

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Agriculture NEWS 

Zinc plays a small but critical role in ensuring food security in Sub-Saharan Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa is experiencing a “perfect storm” due to the ongoing electricity, fuel and fertilizer crisis, exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, according to Simon Norton, Executive Director of the International Zinc Association (IZA) Africa. While inflation levels urgently need to be tamed and the debt burden made more sustainable, perhaps no priority is more pressing than addressing food insecurity to safeguard the calorific and nutrition needs of Africa’s one billion people, and also to protect their human development. According to the 2022 Global Report on Food Crises Mid-Year Update,…

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Agriculture NEWS 

Natafim SA expands drip-line manufacturing plant

Netafim South Africa has expanded its dripline manufacturing capacity, an investment with potential to increase economic activity, build capacity and create opportunities. The company has been driving increased water-use efficiency in South Africa and SADC for the past 30 years, since 1992. In addition, the company has driven the adoption of precision irrigation solutions. Some of the biggest highlights on this journey include starting a dripline manufacturing to better supply the market. In 1999, the Kraaifontein manufacturing plant was opened, and production started with two extruders. “This venture was very…

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Agriculture NEWS 

US shows commitment to African economies

This week, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will visit Senegal, Zambia, and South Africa to talk about boosting trade and investing in the continent’s economies. This follows President Joe Biden’s pledge that he and his Cabinet would travel to Africa in 2023 during the U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit last month. “I think this is the first in many steps to engage Africans on the continent,” said Cameron Hudson, a senior associate with the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Africa Program. But he said, “There’s an overall message [U.S. officials] are…

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Agriculture NEWS 

Argentine grain harvests threatened by persistent drought

Argentina lost half of its seasonal soybean harvest in its main production area – the rich and normally humid center of the country – due to drought, the Rosario Stock Exchange said Monday. Three successive years of drought have raised fears in Argentina that this year’s harvest, particularly of soybeans, will be significantly reduced, striking a blow to the South American country’s exports and its domestic supplies. Argentina is the world’s largest producer of soybean oil and flour. A new report by the institute that tracks drought said that 54%…

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Agriculture NEWS 

Macfrut 2023,Turkey to participate in International Blueberry Days

At the trade fair presentation in Turkey, Lecturer Ebru Kafkas from Adana University, who will be among the speakers at the Symposium, gave an overview of the blueberry in Turkey. ‘Year after year, blueberries are being increasingly produced and consumed all over the world. Blueberries are now also extremely popular in Turkey since they contain a large number of phytochemicals and are rich in anthocyanin pigments, which domestic consumers are particularly interested in due to their health benefits; at the same time, they are increasingly grown to cover demand from…

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Agriculture NEWS 

Africa’s Vast Arable Land Underutilised for Cash and Food Crops

Concerns are rife that while Africa is growing more crops, these are not for food and that on the current trajectory, present food import costs into Africa, now estimated at 55 billion US dollars a year, could double by 2030. Three crop species-maize, wheat and rice meet an estimated 50 percent of the global requirements for proteins and calories, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Yet despite Africa’s expensive agricultural sector, the continent’s maize, rice, and wheat account for 7, 5, and 4 percent of the world’s…

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