Rhino onslaught unabated

Posted by on 9:34 pm in Ag Network | 0 comments

The number of rhinos poached in South Africa since the beginning of 2014 stands at 558, with 157 people having been arrested in this regard. The Kruger National Park continues to bear the brunt of rhino poaching in South Africa. Since January this year (until July 2014), 351 rhinos have been poached in the Park.  The highest number of rhinos killed this year is 80 in Limpopo, followed by 48 in KwaZulu-Natal, 37 in North West, 24 in Mpumalanga, 10 in the Eastern Cape, 4 in the Free State, 3 in Gauteng and one in the Western Cape. South...

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Growth and poverty paradox

Posted by on 9:39 pm in Ag Network, News | 0 comments

According to findings of a new report on economic growth and income inequality in Southern Africa, the region is grappling with high levels of inequality. Findings of a study by the Economic Commission for Africa – ECA Southern Africa, indicate a region with high levels of inequality amidst economic growth. The preliminary report shows that ten countries in Southern Africa shows a consistent pattern of economic growth co-existing with growing levels of inequality. The findings are consistent with a 2012 study by the African Development...

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Agriculture ‘sidelined’

Posted by on 9:14 pm in News | 0 comments

Africa’s food import bill is reportedly worth U$D 35 billion every year (excluding fish). The continent is losing billions to illegal and shadowy practices in fishing and forestry. If the central aim of growth is to improve lives and eradicate poverty, then agricultural growth is a highly efficient vehicle, says a panel of international experts who focuses on development in Africa. According to the annual Africa Progress Report 2014 (APP) a flagship publication by ten prominent individuals, who advocate for equitable and sustainable...

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Kenya pork value-chain opportunities

Posted by on 9:03 pm in News | 0 comments

Dr. Christine Mburugu-Mosoti The pork industry in Kenya and Africa continues to expand, creating new products and end-users, as well as providing numerous economic opportunities. However, Africa continues to remain a net importer of pork. In 2012, an estimated U$D 295 million worth of pork and related products were imported to Africa. The future of the pork sector in Africa is expected to be driven by three key factors: population growth that is expected to reach 2 billion by 2050; increased income; in light of predictions that seven out ten...

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Journey to a million jobs…

Posted by on 8:27 pm in Ag Network | 0 comments

South African President Jacob Zuma, in his State of the Nation address, reiterated what is already in the country’s National Development Plan, the creation of one million jobs through agriculture by 2030. The state aims to achieve this among others through a focus on smallholder farmers which will include technical, infrastructural and financial support. South Africa has a dual agricultural economy, a fully-fledged commercial farming sector which is the backbone of the country’s agricultural economy and on the other hand, a smallholder...

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Poultry imports ‘hurting’ SA

Posted by on 7:59 pm in Ag Network | 0 comments

According to Sol Motsepe, Senior Executive at the South African Poultry Association (SAPA), poultry import volumes have not changed significantly after the tariff increases on imported chicken from Brazil in September 2013 and that these threatened the continued survival of big and small companies. More than 1 000 jobs have been lost in the past year in the sector, while major local producers are losing billions of rands  every week. “Possibilities are that the industry will shed some jobs in the near future as companies attempt to survive,”...

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AFASA concerned about budget reduction

Posted by on 11:34 am in News | 0 comments

The African Farmers Association of South Africa (AFASA) is concern by recently tabled Budget Vote by Minister Senzeni Zokwana of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF). AFASA is concerned about the reduction of the DAFF budget as this could compromise the government’s goals of boosting the economy and creating jobs. Mr Aggrey Mahanjana, AFASA Secretary General, said the organisation expected the agriculture budget to grow significantly due to the numerous challenges faced by the sector. This, coupled with the...

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Africa: Why Agriculture?

Posted by on 9:22 am in News | 0 comments

[Commentary] – As hundreds of delegates from around the world and Africa descended on Accra, Ghana for the 12th Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme Meeting (CAADP Partnership Platform) last week, all in the name of agriculture, the words of Kwame Nkrumah who led Ghana to independence from Britain in 1957 and served as its first prime minister and president came to mind: “Something in the nature of an economic revolution is required. Our development has been held back for too long by the colonial-type economy. We...

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Scrap useless AgriBEE

Posted by on 6:46 am in News | 0 comments

South African agriculture received a hail of criticism at the first National Agricultural Marketing Council Symposium (NAMC) held in Pretoria amongst others for a lack of transformation and keeping the status quo for a conglomeration of a few people. Mr Mzwanele Manyi, President of the Progressive Professionals Forum ripped into AgriBEE, describing it as a practice “codified to keep the current practices”. “I hope it fails (AgriBEE). All these charters are a waste of time. Why should there be a standardised code for all farmers? It is time...

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SA employment figures

Posted by on 6:44 am in News | 0 comments

South Africa reported an estimated 8 992 000 jobs in the formal non-agricultural sector in December 2015, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) said on Wednesday. Briefing reporters on the results of the Quarterly Employment Survey (QES) for the fourth quarter of 2015, Statistician General Pali Lehohla said employment increased by 43 000 quarter-on-quarter from 8 949 000 in September 2015 to 8 992 000 in December 2015. According to Lehohla, gains were observed in trade, finance and other business services as well as in community and social...

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Workplace mediation service launched

Posted by on 10:01 am in News | 0 comments

The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) announced the launch of a pilot Workplace Mediation service in the Western Cape fruit sector. Workplace mediation is a process to resolve conflict in the workplace that may arise between the employer and employee(s) or between employees. In 2012 the Western Cape was rocked by a wave of farm workers’ strikes and protests. The wage-related protests mostly took place in the towns of De Doorns and Worcester with smaller protests in Ceres, Robertson, Grabouw, Wolseley and...

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DAFF supplier scam

Posted by on 9:59 am in News | 0 comments

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) hereby warns suppliers about a scam whereby fraudulent orders are issued to suppliers on behalf of the DAFF. Here is how the scam works; suppliers are called by people who claim to be DAFF officials and are invited to submit quotations. These fraudsters then call suppliers to inform them that their companies have been appointed to deliver goods and they have to sign and fax the appointment letter back to them as soon as possible because the goods are needed urgently. The fraudsters...

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Food provision to be ‘complicated’

Posted by on 6:20 am in News | 0 comments

Agricultural demand in South Africa is expected to increase as population and income levels increase. But it is not as simple as that, it is essentially about the sector adapting to the change in demand trends, production will increasingly move from a ‘production push’ principle to a ‘demand pull principle’. Says Bertie Hamman, Senior Manager: Secondary Agriculture at Standard Bank. “Both consumers and the agricultural sector are at crucial turning points that will change the way that food is produced and consumed in the country. The one...

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Farmers face cash flow problems

Posted by on 6:53 pm in News | 0 comments

Despite the mass-culling of animals due to severe drought conditions over the past few months, meat producers have been resilient with prices trending firmer. However, their biggest challenge right now is overcoming financial and cash flow hurdles as they aim to re-build their herds to normal levels, with little or no income coming in. Paul Makube, Senior Agricultural Economist for FNB Business, says because of the recent rains in large parts of the country, production and grazing conditions are likely to improve, but more rain is needed to...

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District Six 50 years later

Posted by on 6:31 am in News | 0 comments

The Minster of Rural development and Land Reform Gugile Nkwinti recently commemorated the 50th anniversary of the declaration of District Six, in Cape Town, as a white group area. By the time the bulldozers had done their work, 60 000 people had been forcibly removed from the iconic inner-city suburb and dumped in single-race ghettoes far from town. Forced removals were one of the defining characteristics of the apartheid era. No town or village was unaffected. Between 1960 and 1983, an estimated three-and-a-half million black South Africans...

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Landless communities go to ConCourt

Posted by on 3:44 am in News | 0 comments

Civil society organisations will head to the Constitutional Court in Braamfontein on Tuesday 16th February 2016, to challenge the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Act of 2014, which reopened the land restitution process for another five years. Fifty (50) communities will hold a night vigil at the Constitutional Court to voice their disapproval of the timing of the new process which they say will disadvantage over 8257 previous claimants whose cases were lodged during the initial process but have still not been settled. Land rights...

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