• The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) says exploiting the potential in cassava can accelerate Africa’s economic transformation. 

  • Some African countries are still sceptical about planting Genetically Modified (GM) crops. However, farmers in the southern tip of the continent, South Africa, have long been planting GM crops for over a decade and there seem to be greater benefits in terms of yields and savings on input costs.

  • As set out in our previous note, the Crop Estimate Committee left its final forecast for South Africa’s 2017/18 soybean production unchanged from last month at 1.55 million tonnes. This is 18 percent higher than the previous season due to an expansion in area planted, as well as fairly higher yields.

  • These are challenging times for SA farmers, whether viewed from the perspective of rising input costs or the weather outlook. In a few weeks the 2018-2019 summer crop production season will start on a negative note, partly due to rising costs of agricultural inputs such as fertiliser and fuel.

  • Although this was a data-packed week in the South African agricultural market, there were no surprises or data prints that somewhat changed the outlook in almost all the releases.

  • With South Africahaving the most advanced and refined food and beverage market on the African continent, Frost & Sullivan believes in a 4%-7% estimated growth in the sector by 2020. The agricultural, agro-processing and food and beverage industries provide an abundance of opportunity for investors as well as key domestic and new players.

  • A new technique to grow avocados faster means that shortages of this popular fruit might soon be a thing of the past.

  • Predicting how much grain a farmer will have at the end of the season informs loans, the logistics for companies to transport grain out of the farms, crop insurance, and a farmer’s basic economic well-being. The current “gold standard,” according to the University of Illinois’s press release, is the USDA’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates, or WASDE. 

  • The 2018/19 summer crop production season started on a positive footing with forecast showers in most parts of the country in the week of 20 October 2018. This will help improve soil moisture which will be beneficial for the planting activity.

  • For Pete Zimmerman, a Minnesota farmer, the age of gene-edited foods has arrived. While he couldn’t be happier, the hi-tech soybeans he’s now harvesting are at the crux of a long-running debate about a frankenfood future.

  • Farming food crops of all kinds is likely to become more difficult as global temperatures increase, depressing yields for corn, soybeans, rice and wheat.

  • This week ended with some positive news in terms of production. South African farmers intend to increase the area planted to summer grain and oilseed by 5 percent from the 2017/18 production season to 4.03 million tonnes.

  • With pressure building in Europe for a ban on glyphosate, equipment manufacturers are thinking ahead to assist farmers in removing weeds mechanically.

    LEMKEN recently acquired the Dutch company Machinefabriek Steketee B.V. as a step in expanding its crop care product portfolio with implements for mechanical weed control and future-oriented camera-assisted machine control.

  • Since the beginning of the year, there has been a number of developments in the South African economy in general, and in particular, developments in the agricultural sector.

  • The drier weather conditions, which have been a hindering factor for maize planting activity in the western parts of South Africa, could ease as the weather forecast for the next two weeks shows prospects of higher rainfall over most parts of the country.

  • In the absence of major data releases, the weather was again a primary focus in the South African grain and oilseed market this week.

  • Noticing another notable move in the South African maize (white and yellow) and sunflower seed prices . Both nearest and new season contract month prices of these commodities increased by more than R100 a tonne from levels seen on Friday (December 7).

  • Five African crops have been selected to be harvested, studied and given to small farms across the state once the program is complete. Afterward, preliminary marketing will be conducted in the Washington, D.C., area, and consumers will be made familiar with these forgotten crops. 

  • e know that migration linked to climate change transcends species. As the oceans get warmer, fish are looking for cooler waters to call home. Diseases are spreading to regions previously inhospitable to them. And the United Nations estimates that at least 25 million people will be displaced by deteriorating environmental conditions by 2050.

  • Water is a precious resource so improving its use is essential. Adopting proven sustainable agricultural practices reduces water use per bushel. Research, innovation, and access to improved technologies, seeds, and improved irrigation techniques are essential to increasing the efficiency of water use. Agriculture needs to be part of watershed management.