Driving agriculture forward

News worth knowing

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Successful eradication of Oriental fruit fly

DAFF hereby notifies farmers and community members about the successful eradication of the invasive fruit fly species Bactrocera dorsalis (Oriental fruit fly or OFF) in the Pixley ka Seme and ZF Mgcawu district municipalities in the Northern Cape Province.

Several Oriental fruit fly (Bactrocera dorsalis) specimens were detected between Douglas and Prieska in the Pixley ka Seme District Municipality, as well as Groblershoop, Karos, Upington, Kakamas and Augrabies, including areas alongside or close to the Orange River in the ZF Mgcawu District Municipality. The detections were made on several occasions between 7 February and 29 May 2019, respectively.

Phytosanitary actions were implemented to control the movement of fruit from the areas under delimitation. Eradication, which included the application of protein bait sprays, deployment of male annihilation (MAT) blocks and strict field sanitation within the quarantine areas was successfully conducted. The areas from Douglas to Prieska as well as between Groblershoop and Augrabies have been declared free from the presence of Bactrocera dorsalis.

Fresh produce host crops cultivated in the affected areas include citrus, table grapes and pomegranates. However, this is a polyphagous pest that can utilise hosts cultivated by the citrus, deciduous and subtropical fruit industries as well as berries, tomatoes, cucurbits, and crops produced for processing, i.e. grapes for raisins and wine. This pest can result in food insecurity, yield reduction, job losses, market restrictions and high production and post-harvest costs, if not effectively controlled.

Red alert

Fall Armyword confirmed in South Africa

CropLife SA has learned about the outbreak of the dreaded Fall Armyworm (FAW) in maize in the area between Badplaas and Carolina in Mpumalanga.

It is likely to be found in other provinces such as North West, Limpopo, Gauteng, the Free State, northern parts of KwaZulu-Natal and some parts of the Northern Cape. Maize farmers are particularly vulnerable to this invasive pest species and should be on high alert for moth swarms late afternoon, egg parcels on maize leaves and caterpillars. Farmers are advised to read the CropLife SA position statement on www.croplife.co.za/FAW as well as the IRAC (Insecticide Resistance Action Committee) document on

www.croplife.co.za/IRAC_FAW.

Farmers who suspect that they may have FAW in their crops should take good quality photographs with their smartphones and send via WhatsApp to dr. Gerhard Verdoorn of CropLife SA on 082 446 8946. Vegetable farmers and cotton farmers should also scout for FAW moths late afternoon. Pheromone traps are very useful for scouting and can be used effectively for early warning of FAW invasion.

For more information contact CropLife SA on 087 980 5163 or info@croplife.co.za

Inaugural Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Agriculture

On 9 December 2019 Minister Didiza attended the 1st Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Agriculture (FOCACA). The meeting was held in Sanya, China under the theme “Join Hands for Sustainable Development and a closer New-type China-Africa Partnership in Agriculture”. FOCACA trails the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) chaired by President Ramaphosa and President Xi Jinping in September 2018, which resolved in its action plan to promote steady development of the China-Africa Agricultural Cooperation.

FOCACA focused on deepening of China-Africa Cooperation in Agriculture and the establishment of a closer new-type China-Africa partnership in agriculture, in support of Africa realising general food security by 2030. The Forum also discussed modern approaches aimed at addressing food security challenges and exchanged views on potential measures designed towards attaining sustainable agricultural development.

China-Africa cooperation in agriculture sets a prime example of sound South-South Cooperation. China and Africa have similar agricultural background and foundation, therefore the opportunity to conduct result-oriented cooperation through the comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership is suitably timed.

Since the Beijing Summit in 2018 a range of bilateral cooperation programmes have taken place including technical and capacity building initiatives.

South Africa has also benefited in such programmes with scholarships, which has seen South African students studying agriculture and related fields in China. In terms of trade, South Africa has also had further market access to China for South Africa’s agriculture commodities.

Further work on the agricultural trade is unfolding with South Africa expecting to conclude new protocols on exports of South African agricultural commodities to China.

It is the hope of Minister Didiza that this inaugural meeting of FOCACA will increase strategic relationships between South Africa, Africa and China.

Moving on up

Knittex celebrates new office space

We are excited to announce that our Randfontein team has moved to a new location in Stormill, Roodepoort JHB. Our old office served us well, and we made great memories there, but we couldn’t be more excited about our new space. The relocation is a result of the company’s growth over the last two years which is reflected in the rise in numbers of both clients and employees.

The new office is located next to Main Reef Road, putting us right on the street and looking out onto the R41.

The picture shows the office from a street view. We’re excited about the hustle and bustle happening outside our windows and all the great road side exposure we get from the new location.

While we were happy with our space, there were several motivating factors to make a move:

Space. When we first moved into our last office, there were 12 admin staff and 11 warehouse staff. And plenty of room... When we left, there were 18 admin staff members and 24 warehouse staff members, and space was getting tight.

Our new office. Our new 8000sq.m Office & Warehousing space offered more square footage, but more importantly it allowed us to rethink our layout. We were able to start from scratch by knocking down walls and putting up warehousing layouts that better fit our team and provide for growth. Overall, we now have more of an open plan so we’re all working closer together rather than a more compartmentalized layout as at our previous premises.

Visibility. Our previous premises, we were on the outskirts of Randfontein. Our new location right next to Main Reef Road will bolster our visibility and help us to more quickly come to mind as a local business.

Our new location is much closer to the Johannesburg CBD making it more accessible from the other areas surrounding Johannesburg. We are close to the Maraisburg offramp on the N1 highway.

Our new office space also allows for a better customer experience as well as a better sales office for the public.

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