Local production key to boost COVID-19 battered economy

Deputy President David Mabuza has underscored the importance of the local production of personal protective equipment and the manufacturing of medical equipment as the key to reviving the country’s economy, which is adversely affected by COVID-19. “It is a reality that trade globally has been hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is upon us to strategically use this challenge to grow our domestic economy and prepare citizens to be able to take up opportunities that may arise as global conditions for trade and investment are eased, including investing in the…

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Over 3,000 jobs shed in SA’S non-agriculture sector.

Statistics South Africa said the country’s non-agriculture sector saw employment decrease by about 3,000 jobs in the first quarter of this year compared with the final quarter of last year. This brings the total number of persons employed in the formal non-agricultural sector in South Africa to 10.2 million. Stats SA said there were decreases in the trade sector with about 17,000 jobs being lost. Construction lost 14,000 jobs and manufacturing decreased by around 2,000. However, there were increases in community services with about 17,000 new jobs. Business services saw…

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Agri MEC Shongwe donates masks and urges farmers to do the same

Agriculture, Rural Development, Land and Environment Affairs, MEC Vusi Shongwe, had issued a serious warning to farm owners and management who failed to provide employees with protective apparatus such as masks, gloves and hand sanitisers to prevent the further spread of Covid-19. Shongwe recently donated masks to several farm workers on farms in the province, but at the same time stressed the serious danger the virus poses to everyone. He also thousands more masks to farmer organisations, associations and other sector stakeholders. “Farm owners and farm management must prioritise the…

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SA grain harvest skyrockets during Covid-19

South Africa will have sufficient staple grains supply in 2020/21 marketing year, which starts in May 2020 and ends in April 2021, Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Thoko Didiza said, recently. Didiza said the data released by the department shows that this year’s summer grains harvest could amount to 17.5 million tonnes, which is a 31% increase from 2019 and the second biggest harvest in the history of this country. She said this is a testimony to the hard work and resilience of the South African farming…

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MEC upset about ill-informed workers on state-owned farms

  A DISMAYED Agriculture, Rural Development, Land and Environmental Affairs MEC, Vusi Shongwe, was upset that most farm workers were not properly informed about dangers posed by the coronavirus. This follows a visit to state-owned farms when he inspected their adherence to safety requirements during the spread of the virus. Shongwe had since urged farmers to ensure workers were protected from the COVID-19 outbreak. Accompanied by various department managers, Shongwe explained workers the basic steps to protect themselves against the possible spread of the virus and supplied them with gloves,…

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Africa’s situation worsens with pests devouring agri crops

Locusts are devouring agri crops in East Africa

LOCUSTS are destroying agriculture in East Africa on a grand scale as the country had run out of pesticides due to non-deliverance with airlines in lock down. By the time of going to Press, Kenya would have run out of pesticides. According to the United Nations Food Organisaton (UNFO), a shortage of food could affect millions of people across the continent. With the first swarm flying across Africa from Yemen, 20 million people had already battled severe hunger. Some of the swarms are 60km in diameter. Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya,…

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Investment in technology vital to boost agricultural output and exports

AgriTech conference in SA on agriculture and technology

SOUTH African agriculture needs more investment and the implementation of the latest technology to boost output. This is according to Dr Thulasizwe Mkhabela, Group Executive, Impact and Partnerships at the Agricultural Research Council (ARC). He made it clear during the AgriTech Conference in Tshwane that it is not only imperative for local consumption, but also for vitally needed exports to boost foreign exchange earnings. Mkhabela said the current overall expenditure on R&D in South Africa was only R32-billion a year, which equates to 0.8% of GDP. This is way below…

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