AB7 brings the world together

In June this year buyers from 72 countries, 27 of which were African,attended the three-day event. This
record number, a 39% increase on 2014 figures, was matched by a 20% increase in exhibitors to 267 companies.
New international exhibitors attracted by the expo’s reputation to deliver results came from Belarus, Belgium, Chile, Estonia, France, Peru, Ukraine and Vietnam.
A particular highlight this year was the various workshops presented by Italian food production experts, which accompanied the exhibits from 11 top Italian suppliers. The “Made-In-Italy” workshops included topics such as recent innovations in food packaging technology, packaging which reduces food waste, repurposing and even packaging elimination, the increasing consumption of juices and the role of technologies, focus on food packaging and bottling and safety, sustainability and efficiency in the dairy industry.
The return of the Zimbabwean pavilion to the show saw exhibitions from seven Zimbabwean companies in the horticulture and processed foods sectors. Zimbabwe last participated in the show in 2010. The country’s
pavilion included companies which produce a wide variety of products such as fresh fruit and vegetables; honey;confectionary products; fresh fruit juices; organic spices, herbs, herbal teas, dried fruits and condiments,among others.
Running concurrently, SouthernAfrican International Trade Exhibition (SAITEX), ran for three-days bringing opportunities to up and coming entrepreneurs. Speaking on the show, event organiser John Thomson said: “For 22 successful years, SAITEX has been a wellspring of new products, latest trends, new suppliers, untapped markets and new customers, locally and from around the world. This year was no different.
The show was great. We are delighted by the results. At a time when most exhibitions in South Africa are either stagnant or shrinking, AB7 is going from strength to strength”.
According to Thomson, statistics show that over 49% of visitors proved to be company owners or directors, whilst 53% of visitors could authorise a purchase, a real plus for the exhibitors.
Africa’s Big Seven 2016 takes place from 19 to 21 June 2016.
For more information on AB7 contact Lineke van der Brugghen, Exhibition Management Services: Tel +27 11 783 7250.Fax: +27 11 783 7269
Africa Big seven (AB7) one of the biggest food and beverage industry trade events took place between
the 21st and 23rd of June 2015 at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, Johannesburg,South Africa

Partnership launched to accelerate innovation in African farming

The Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture (GFIA Africa) is pleased to announce a new Partnership Agreement with the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), a joint institution of the African, Caribbean, Pacific (ACP) States and the EU.
“We believe this new partnership strengthens our overall objective for GFIA Africa, to demonstrate how innovation can provide technologies that accelerate agricultural productivity and improve nutrition and social prosperity in developing countries,” says Mark Beaumont, GFIA Project Director. “CTA, through its mission to advance food security, increase prosperity and sound natural resource management in ACP countries, shares many of GFIA Africa’s objectives,” he says.
Through its partnership with GFIA, the CTA will facilitate a comprehensive programme of events at GFIA Africa when it launches at the Durban Exhibition Centre in KwaZulu-Natal from 1 – 2 December this year.
“We are pleased to partner with GFIA Africa for this event as our organisation remains dedicated to strengthening agricultural policy processes, improving agricultural value chains for small-scale producers and enhancing knowledge management capacities for rural development,” says Michael Hailu, Director of CTA. “We are always looking for opportunities to partner with initiatives that empower agricultural and rural communities in ACP countries with the knowledge and skills they need to fight poverty and hunger,” he says.
CTA will be hosting 120 African farmer organisation delegates at GFIA Africa events, which will run in collaboration with some of CTA’s long-standing associate farmer organisations, including the Pan African Farmers Organisation, Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions, Eastern Africa’s Farmers Federation and the Network of Farmers’ and Agricultural Producers’ Organisations of West Africa.
The CTA-hosted events will be focused on helping farmers to commercialise their operations – to help small-holders evolve their farms into small businesses, to help commercial farmers scale up their productions with new technologies and improved access to markets and finance. Sessions will include a Continental Briefing for farmer representative organisations, a Plug & Play Day featuring the latest ICTs used in agriculture, as well as a Hackathon and Taster Sessions for organisations interested in learning more about the applications of social media.
“Through a series of panel discussions and interactive demonstrations, the CTA-hosted sessions will address the challenges and opportunities for agribusiness offered by innovative technologies in Africa,” says Hailu. “Topics will include: climate-resilience agriculture in Africa, demonstrating the potential of ICTs to leapfrog African agriculture, and the role of capacity building, entrepreneurship support and developing young talent.”
GFIA’s African debut in December is being presented by International Events Organiser, Turret Media and will follow a similar format to its international predecessor events held annually in Abu Dhabi. In addition to an international exhibition, the GFIA Africa conference programme includes a powerful mix of multi-national, governmental, academic, not-for-profit and commercial partners.
“The launch of GFIA Africa is driven by a growing commitment from governments in Africa to promote the use of environmentally sustainable innovations agriculture, as a means of increasing agricultural productivity to end poverty,” says Beaumont. “GFIA Africa will bring industry leaders from across the continent together to facilitate conversations and develop strategies to implement real change in agriculture that promotes sustainability, long-term productivity and profitability for all those along the value chain,” he concluded.
GFIA Africa is supported by The Department of Agriculture, Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), The KZN Convention Bureau, AGRA, CTA, NEPAD, CAADP, ICRAF, FANRPAN, FARA, SACAU, PAFO and NAFU.
For further information, visit http://www.gfiaafrica.com

Innovation news

The Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC) has launched an online trading platform for farmers to sell grains through a structured mechanism.
The platform called G-soko, links smallholder farmers to grain buyers and has been developed by the EAGC in partnership with FoodTrade Eastern and Southern Africa, and Virtual City, an IT firm based in Kenya.
According to EAGC, this is through a 5-year trade enhancement and promotion programme that aims to encourage trading in regional staple food markets.
Right now there is urgency to expand regional food trade due to the exponential growth of staple food imports. Linking rural food surplus production zones in Eastern Africa to major deficit urban consumption centres requires a well-functioning regional market. EAGC Executive Director, Mr Gerald Masila says the idea steamed from the need to address the deficiency but also do it in a way that is inclusive and effective, “This is why we developed G-Soko; a market transaction platform that will enhance food trade across borders, and contribute towards making trading more transparent,”
The platform performs a structured trade function that integrates the entire grain trade from farm to market.
Through G-Soko, farmers are able to aggregate their produce through a certified warehouse and also access financial services using their grains as collateral.
For the first time, grain farmers in the region including Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania will now be able to trade their grain free, competitively and transparently across the region, through the G-Soko platform.
— Daily Nation Kenya

Technology news

The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) has developed a new, faster, low-cost laboratory-based soil analysis technique. Developed by the African Soil Information Service (AfSIS) project, the new approach measures the light reflected by a soil sample and the resulting information is used to predict a number of properties of the sample, based on calibration databases.
This soil infrared spectroscopy technique cost farmers only US$1, compared to US$100 for other conventional soil testing methods.
Keith Shepherd, principal soil scientist at the Nairobi-based ICRAF, explains further: “This technology has the capability of providing affordable soil testing and advisory services to smallholder farmers and is beginning to be deployed by rural soil testing services.” Adding further that countries can now analyse a large number of soil samples with sufficient sample density per unit area to map soil properties.
With the availability of satellite imagery from space and unmanned aerial vehicles at ever-increasing spatial resolutions, it is becoming possible to make high-resolution soil property maps at low costs. AfSIS recently launched a 250m-resolution soil properties map of Africa.
The private sector and development agents promoting good soil management practices can also afford to monitor organic matter levels in the soil at their field sites.
Soil testing before planting helps farmers to decide the quantity and quality of fertilisers they should apply, thus reducing the risks of crop failure and financial loss. Blenders of fertilisers and agencies designing liming programmes can use the data from soil testing to know acidity levels and micronutrients in the soil in different regions, allowing them to make better products. AfSIS is helping Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria and Tanzania to establish national soil information systems and services based on soil spectroscopy and digital soil-mapping technology. – www.africanfarming.net

Agribusiness news

The European Union (EU) lifted a four-year ban on fresh ostrich meat after South Africa was declared free of bird flu.
Alan Winde, the Western Cape minister for economic opportunities, confirmed: “Resuming exports to the EU will play an important role in increasing the number of jobs in this industry, which currently employs over 50 000. The local ostrich industry is far less dependent on fresh meat as a product than it was in 2011.”
The Western Cape is the country’s main exporter of ostrich meat, chicks, feathers and eggs in an industry that is estimated to be worth more than R1bn.
The EU instituted the ban in April 2011 following an outbreak of the H5N2 substrain of bird flu.
The ostrich industry has taken steps to mitigate the financial risk should avian influenza break out again, said Francois de Wet, chairperson of the Ostrich Business Chamber.
The ostrich sector almost managed to recover after the EU embargo as demand and prices for ostrich leather increased due to fashion trends, Winde said.
Before the ban, SA was slaughtering 230 000 ostriches annually for their meat. When the EU imposed the embargo, this tumbled to 120 000 and then recovered to 190 000 by 2013 because of demand by fashion houses such as Kering SA’s Gucci and Prada SpA. – www.Fin24.com

Farming news

Tanzania has launched an agricultural development bank with the government pledging to raise US$380mn over the next eight years.
Speaking at the launch, Tanzania’s president, Jakaya Kikwete said the bank will address challenges that have hampered agriculture such as lack of financial packages, “Different financial packages will suit different categories of farmers.”
The Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB) will receive US$48mn every year for eight years from the government so that its 20-year strategic plan can be implemented.
President Kikwete urged farmers to utilise the loans to be offered by the bank to improve their agricultural productivity. TADB will work with commercial and community banks, savings and credit cooperative societies to extend loans to farmers. Individuals can also access loans directly.
Small and medium farming outfits involved in maize, rice, fruit, sugarcane, horticulture, livestock and fish farming will be given priority. Bee keepers and farmers raising indigenous chicken will also benefit from TADB.
Farming in Tanzania is dominated by smallholder farmers, with the average farm size being between 0.9 ha and three hectares. These smallholder farmers collectively cultivate 5.1mn ha of which 85 per cent is used for growing food crops. Inadequate funding, poor farming methods and over-reliance on rain-fed agriculture has affected productivity, according to TanzaniaInvest.com.
Under-investment in agriculture has limited the area under irrigation. While the country has a potential of one million hectares of irrigable land, only 150,000 ha is currently being utilised. –www.africanfarming.net

Zimbabwean government outsources fertiliser manufacturer

Zimbabwe’s government has taken steps to source fertilisers from Belarus to ensure their sufficient availability in time for the upcoming cropping season. The SADC region nation has chosen Belaruskali, a Belarus-based fertiliser manufacturer, to supply it with the key farming input.
The deal will be financed as a part of a larger US$150mn memorandum of understanding (MoU) that was signed by Zimbabwe’s vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa and Belarusian Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich in Minsk earlier this week.
Says Mnangagwa: “We have an agreement that we have signed for an initial US$150mn and from this fund, part of it will go towards purchasing fertiliser. This will go a long way in alleviating fertiliser shortages in our country. I have been amazed by the enormous nature of the operations at the facility and I have never seen such expertise. We are going to take such lessons so that we improve our own agricultural sector,” he added.
Zimbabwe’s minister for agriculture, mechanisation and irrigation development, Dr. Joseph Made, said that his ministry was working with Belaruskali to ensure that the fertiliser deal was finalised ahead of the summer cropping season this year. “We are now at a stage where officials from my ministry are working with staff from the company to conduct soil analysis to see which fertiliser is best for Zimbabwe,” concluded Made.
Belaruskali’s production capacity exceeds 12.5mn tonnes of fertiliser annually and the company does business in more than 70 countries around the world. – Africanfarming.net

Weetabix to source 50% of its wheat from local farmers

Cereal processor Weetabix East Africa is targeting to cut its wheat imports by 50% and instead start buying the grain from local farmers. The company has been working with a local wheat farmer in Narok who is expected to supply 26,000 bags of 90 kilogrammes, which is slightly higher than half of its requirement. Weetabix has in the past opted for imports because of the high market prices local farmers demand for their produce.
Currently, the firm is paying Sh2, 800 per 90-kg bag on imported wheat while the same quantity is retailing at Sh4, 000 locally.
Jack Fredrick, head of procurement at the firm says talks are already underway: “We are engaging one commercial farmer in Narok whose harvest we anticipate will meet half of our required capacity. As a company, we would want to buy wheat from local farmers, but at a fair price that enables us to be competitive and cushions consumers of our products against price increases.”
The firm has been offering technical support to the farmer, including teaching him best agronomical practices meant to cut production costs, which are often cited for the higher prices. The programme, however, is still at the pilot stage with Weetabix targeting to recruit about 20 farmers.
He added that Weetabix had increased its capacity, which required them to rely on both local and imported wheat for a steady supply of the raw material.
The UK-owned cereal processor invested over Sh200 million in the expansion of its Nairobi factory last year to meet the growing needs of an expanding middle class.
It has so far increased production to 3.6 million kg per year from 1.8 million kg. The demand of the breakfast cereals was 2.8 million kg in 2014 compared to 2.4 million kg in 2013.
Kenya does not produce enough wheat to meet its annual demand as only 350,000 tonnes is produced against a consumption of 900,000 tonnes. – BusinessDailyAfrica

Nakumatt to buy Shoprite’s Uganda stores

Nakumatt Supermarket has announced that it is in the final stages of acquiring two Ugandan stores of South African retail giant Shoprite.
Nakumatt Holdings’ head of strategy and operations Thiagarajan Ramamurthy said that the retail chain will sign the deal in less than two weeks, “We will be signing the Memorandum of Understanding with Shoprite to acquire their outlets in Uganda.”
The South African retailer closed one of its outlets in Kampala last month citing under-performance and poor location. The two stores that Nakumatt intends to buy are in Kampala. Shoprite opened its business in Uganda 15 years ago. While Shoprite Uganda has a workforce of over 500 employees in its two branches, Nakumatt has made its intentions to take over the staff very clear. The buyout will mark the exit of the South African retail giant from the East African market having sold its three Tanzanian outlets to Nakumatt for a reported Sh4 billion.
Nakumatt has eight branches in Uganda. – foodbusinessafrica.com

SABMiller opens new Namibian brewery

SABMiller has opened a new brewery in Okahandja, Namibia. Construction of the new $33.3-million, 260,000 hectolitre brewery began in mid-2013 and was completed in October 2014. The brewery is located on 7.2 hectares of land outside Okahandja city, 70km north of Windhoek.
Besides supporting the local communities in which it operates, SABMiller is proud of the local job creation at the brewery by employing 184 direct jobs at the new plant and multiple indirect jobs elsewhere in the value chain.
SABMiller says its investments in Namibia, and more broadly across the continent, underline the company’s belief in the region and its ability to drive long-term growth in Africa. Its commitment in Namibia also aligns with the national government’s Vision 2030 of an industrial nation. Cobus Bruwer, MD of SABMiller Namibia, says: “This is a seminal occasion for SABMiller in Namibia and represents the latest investment by the company in the African growth story. Not only will the brewery produce fantastic tasting beers, it will also contribute to the creation of a vibrant local manufacturing sector. This will in turn allow us to accelerate the emergence of small and medium sized Namibian businesses which are so important to the life blood of the economy and help create a growing population of skilled employees by supporting education and providing training.”
SABMiller has a long history in Namibia, having imported beers from South Africa to service the local market for more than two decades. The company has an estimated 22% share of the local beer market, with popular brands including Castle Lager, Carling Black Label and Castle Lite. These are now brewed on the new site in Okahanjda.
SABMiller Namibia is 60% owned by SABMiller and 40% by local Namibian partners comprising 20% Onyewu Investments and 20% by three charitable trusts for the benefit of local communities. – FoodStuffsa.co.za

African Innovations Conference

The maiden African Innovations conference was hosted at the Forum, Johannesburg on the 6 – 7 May 2015.

Enkeldebosch unearths productivity with new super line

Schneider Electric along with an alliance partner Vennic has rooted a complete integrated solution at Enkeldebosch Boerdery’s potato grading, sorting and bagging (PGSB) plant.

AECI grows food additives and ingredients business in Africa

Lake Foods, a division of AECI Ltd, recently launched its new state of-the-art production facility in Montagu Gardens, Cape Town.

Solar power for various applications

When using solar power to run appliances it is important to understand the basics like photovoltaic module which is commonly known as a solar panel.

Drip irrigation advances

Irrigation is the controlled application of water for agricultural purposes through manmade systems to supply water requirements not satisfied by rainfall.

Jam processing

Food Processing Africa provides insight on how Mandy Aucamp,the owner of the Berrynice Berry Company situated in the Eastern Cape produces her speciality Raspberry jam.
Aucamp highlights that the decision to produce raspberry jam is because of her raspberry farm which enables her to reduce
waste of the fruit by preserving it. “The ideal fruits used for jam are those that are overripe. Raspberries are good for
jamming as they contain heaps of natural pectin in their seeds. Other berries such as blueberries and strawberries contain
less natural pectin,” she says.
Pectins are sugar molecules which are found naturally in plant cell walls. Pectins are found in fruits, particularly in the
peels and cores. When jam sets, it is pectin that that plays a vital role.The pectin content of different fruit, varies. Fruits such as apples and blackcurrants have higher levels of pectin than strawberries and raspberries. When a jam is being made from a low pectin fruit, either a higher pectin fruit must be included or commercial pectin must be added. The way to obtain commercial pectin is to utilise the peel of citrus fruits which have naturally high pectin content.
According to Aucamp, when cooking raspberry jam, the fruit is either cooked off the trees or from frozen fruit which has been defrosted.
“It is advisable to let the fruit cook a bit first then use a potato masher to break up the seeds to release as much pectin as possible. Proper jam is preservative free and is preserved by the sugar which is added at a 50/50 ratio,”
Aucamp says. The jam is then cooked in small quantities and during the process a lot of ‘scum’ will rise to the top. She
adds that the ‘scum’ has to be scooped off manually and the pot can therefore, not be covered.
Aucamp further explains that utilising copper cookware ensures that the product has the best colour and taste.She advises that aluminium not be used as it changes the colour of the jam.
“The jam is cooked until it thickens and reaches the correct gel consistency. This can be tested by keeping a side plate in the fridge and then taking a teaspoonful of jam and spreading it thinly on the plate (for it to cool). Then take the back of your spoon and draw a line through the centre – if the line stays, the consistency is thick enough and ready to be filled in a bottle.”
The role of sugar in jam making
Sugar content plays an important part in producing jam. It is vital for the flavour and further plays a role in helping the
jam, set. Aside from sweetening jam, sugar also assists in allowing the pectin to set by enhancing the gel-forming capability and drawing water to itself, decreasing the ability of the pectin to remain in separate chains. The final
sugar content of jam should be between 65 and 69%.
Bottling jam
Aucamp says when storing jam in glass jars, it is important that the jar is sterilised and dry. “The jam needs to be
82 0C.”
She says that once the lid is on, the jar needs to be inverted for a few seconds so that the top of the jar sterilises. Once that is done, the jar is tightly sealed.This procedure of making jam allows that it be kept on shelf for about two
years followed by it being refrigerated for about a month.
Aucamp says that some fruits such as pineapple which has little or no natural pectin can be thickened using powdered pectin. “The recipes do however need to be tried and tested until the correct consistency is achieved.”
She warns that overcooking jam results in the sugar being burnt which alters the colour of the product and once cooled is stringy and sticky.
Sugar-free jams
Sugar free jams can be sweetened using various sugar substitutes like xylitol or stevia. These jams usually need pectin as
there are rules surrounding the ratios as well as the cooking times. In the case of a sugar free jam the fruit content is around 80% of the end product and a preservative has to be used. Aucamp highlights that potassium sorbate is most effective to use in producing sugar-free jams and also provides a two year shelf-life.
Roscherr’s Fine Foods in Montagu, Cape Town
Martin Roscherr, the production and HACCP manager at Roscherr’s Fine Foods reminisces on how the company established its jam manufacturing process.
“As a pre-schooler, I can remember picking apricots from our trees on our Johannesburg residential property. Many of these were eaten from the tree, but there is a limit to how much one can consume before the apricots passes their best before date.”
He says the need to preserve fruit for use at a later time has been around since there were seasons, and cooking the apricots up with sugar and making jam is certainly a tasty option.
“I would ‘help’ my mom stir and taste of course, as we first cooked the apricots soft and later added sugar,” says Roscherr.
He adds that testing whether the jam was of proper consistency and taste entailed it being spread on a saucer, allowed to cool and form a skin. “Once the jam was ready it would be poured into canned fruit glass jars that had been heated in a pot of shallow steaming water.”
He mentions that the process has come a long way in comparison to how it initially was.
“There are still folks that cook the fruit from their own orchards and sell the jams and preserves at farm stalls. On
the other hand, there are mega-factories pumping out tons of jams per day made from fruit pulp.”He says that Roscherr’s Fine Foods finds itself in the middle of the two extremes, or rather, in the fortunate position to have the best of both worlds.
The business started years ago when the owners of a restaurant in Montagu (Western Cape), made jam during quieter trading times. Traditional family recipes were used, and fruit was in abundance.These jams were given as gifts to friends, and according to Roscherr, soon as news spread; a demand for great tasting jam was created. “This is how the jam manufacturing
business came about.”
He says his grandmothers jam recipes are used, to date. The only difference is that there is a benefit to utilising scientific equipment. “The equipment is used to test the jam for consistency and quality.”
‘As we use no preservatives, we rely on a consistent sugar percentage as well as a certain acidity to produce a product
that is unfavourable for the growth of micro-organisms.”
The role of acids in jam production
Acids are important in helping the pectin set. Fruits naturally contain acids. The most well known is citric acid although
malic acid and tartaric acids are also found in a number of fruits. While some acid will be contributed by the fruit from
which the jam is made, this is often not enough to reach the desired PH. For this reason, more will need to be added and
is commonly in the form of lemon juice which contains citric acid and by using powdered forms of acid.
Monitoring of temperatures is also vital; it should be high enough to ensure that micro-organisms are eliminated and also not too high so as to prevent caramelising the product on the pot and causing a burned taste.”
A few greenish-coloured (unripe) apricots are used because of its higher pectin levels which helps the jam set. “Today’s fruit are all ripe and have lower pectin levels and we have to add pectin to certain jams to help them set.”
The company exports “quality” fruit rejected for having the “slightest” mark on it, ones that are slightly under or oversized and unsuitable for market needs.
According to Roscherr the company has the “perfect” staff compliment that inspects all fruit on arrival. He says there are fruits that are rejected during inspection.
Roscherr Fine Foods comprises of more than 20 staff members, four of which have been stayed with the company for more than 20 years and 11 that have been with the company for 10 years.
He maintains that the company’s jams comprise of no less than 65% fruit content.
“Many of our clients want to spread fruit pieces over their bread when buying the product, else they would have purchased canned jam that has a fruit content under 30% and a jelly like texture.”
The company’s jam manufacturing process is subjected to annual audits from internationally accredited food safety bodies. Everything from the ordering, procurement, dispatching, customer safety and quality assurance is checked.
“Through the food safety system we record all aspects of the process and each bottle produced has a batch code printed
on the lid whereby we are able to trace where all the ingredients came from, also to which clients we have dispatched that
batch, expiry dates etc.”
He says that keeping up to date with the ever changing labelling requirements is no small task and exporting has its own
list of challenges.
“In a nutshell: we are small enough to maintain and pass down a tradition of quality jam making and big enough to implement international standards and do private labelling for big brands.”
Roscherr says the key to the company’s success has been tried and trusted recipes, quality fruit, trusted and experienced staff, and utilising science as a means to control and ensure safety and quality and good relationships with both suppliers
and clients.
Montagu Roscherrs Fine Foods: Tel + 27 23 614 1360; montagudriedfruitnuts.co.za
The Berrynice Berry Company: Tel + +27 83 384 6611; www.berrynice.co.za; info@berrynice,co.za

The future of packaging in Africa

Speaking at the Packaging and Beyond Africa Innovation Conference earlier this month, Roy Campbell, a partner at Deloitte & Touche South Africa, highlighted that the increasing market for consumer products within the African continent will be the major driver for higher growths in the packaging industry
In his presentation titled ‘Investing in packaging for the African Market: A new era’, Campbell highlighted that the global consumer packaging market for 2013, when looked at through geographic segmentation was led by Europe with a share of 33%, followed by North America with 29%, the Asia Pacific Region (APAC) region with 28% the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region with 6% and Latin America with 4%. Campbell explains further “The International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts predicts annual growth of 6.5% over the next five years in East and West Africa. The two regions on par with the fastest growing regions of mainland China and emerging Asia. Expectations for growth in South and Southern Africa are not as optimistic as the IMF has only forecast a GDP increase of about 2% in SA and 3%-4% in Southern Africa over a corresponding period. East Africa however is expected to reach a GDP growth of 8.1% by 2016.”
Food and beverage packaging market growth
The food and beverage packaging end users are by far the market leaders with 51% of the packaging used for food and 18% used for beverages. Furthermore Campbell indicated that the global consumer packaging market by end users was valued at us$155.20 billion in 2013 and is expected to reach US$188.31 billion by 2018, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.94%. He says: “The drinking preferences of people are expected to change because most of the population comprises young people and they have different tastes from older people. Also, the growth in urbanisation and the growth in the per capita income of people increase the affordability of packaged food and drinks, which were once considered to be affordable only for the high income population. These are the factors driving the growth of the global beverages packaging market.
However, even if emerging markets for other components/products witness very high growth rates and offer good opportunities for packaging companies to expand in the coming years, beverages will remain the main source of revenue
for packaging companies because the demand for hot drinks such as tea and coffee never declines. This year only we seeing the fastest growth in the beverage categories is expected to come from still drinks, energy and sports drinks, and iced teas.”
Explaining further on the global food packaging market, Campbell said the market is expected to see a steady growth and expand at a CAGR of 3.47% during the 2013-2018 period. “One of the major drivers in this market is the increased demand for dairy products. In recent years, the demand for raw milk and other dairy products has increased significantly because of the growing population, rise in purchasing power, and increased fitness awareness among people. The increased health awareness among people is prompting them to focus on consuming healthy foods such as vegetables, fruits, eggs, and meat. The increased consumption of these food items is driving the need for the right type of packaging for these products. Single person households are also a contributing factor with these households leaning towards convenience food and packaged
food along with single serve and smaller sizes of sweets and snacks packets are gaining popularity because they help customers manage portion control, thereby satisfying their craving for sweets without affecting their health.”
Trends and demands
Campbell listed a few challenges and demands that will influence packaging trends in Africa over the coming 3 – 5 year period.
Increase in demand for premium packaging
The increasing demand for premium packaging, especially for premium consumer products such as cosmetics and household items, is mainly from developed and mature markets such as the US, Japan, and Western Europe. With the growing urbanization of most African countries the trend will soon follow.
Emergence of biodegradable plastics With the environment compliance regulations worldwide getting more
stringent, vendors will be more likely to adopt biodegradable plastics as a substitute to avoid hefty penalties. Consumers are also becoming environmentally aware and adhering to enviro-friendly products.
• Increased usage of multipacks and small packs
In the mass consumption branded category, the rising number of single person households has led to increased demand for multipacks and small packs of various consumer products. This preference for small packs creates opportunities for brand switching because consumers buy products regularly and are not committed to consuming large volumes.
• Need for sustainability and innovation Consumers are expecting packaging materials that are eco-friendly and sustainable. Vendors are investing in R&D to develop materials that have the ability to be recycled and have the traditional capability of friction, moisture, and heat resistance.
In conclusion Campbell highlights: “Packaging companies should ensure that they have the ability to meet these demands. Companies wishing to take advantage of Africa’s potential will have to stay close to their markets, be adaptable and ready to develop packaging solutions that are better rather than cheaper.”
– Kgaogelo Mamabolo Letsebe

Trends that will affect regional economic integration and trade in Africa.

Africa is not immune to the shocks and changes in the world economy that could help or hinder its efforts to speed up integration, bring down borders and better use its space to boost its own economy. The World Trade Organisation (WTO) World Trade Report 2014 identified four major trends from the last decade which have had an impact on African integration:
• The increasing impact of shocks to the global economy shows that open trade can spread the fallout but also help to reduce volatility.
• The phenomenal trade growth from the developing world led by emerging economies in Asia, Latin America and Africa, where it has been spurred by demand for commodities. The income gap between emerging and developed countries has narrowed, but Africa is lagging behind.
• The expansion of global value chains. The share in total trade of intermediate goods, services and
components between developing countries grew from about 6% in 1988 to nearly 25% in 2013. However, African firms have struggled to participate meaningfully in the global value chains.
• The changing prices of commodities exports of fuels and mining products. Africa’s resource-rich countries face challenges pursuing development strategies due to the boom-bust cycle of commodity prices. In addition, two other notable trends will impact Africa’s spatial development.
Facilitation agreements aimed at bringing down trade barriers have advantages and disadvantages for those
pursuing long distance commerce. And the new wave of mega-trade agreements involving major trading countries can divert trade and erode preferences.
– African Economic Outlook ©

Poultry industry surges – Zimbabwe

The poultry industry in Zimbabwe grew by 22% in first quarter of 2015, having produced 17mn broiler day-old chicks.
Solomon Zawe, chairperson of the Zimbabwe Poultry Association, expressed optimism about continuing
growth through the second half of the year as well, “The market is looking good. We are quite happy with the fact that the government will import maize from Zambia and that will reduce our production costs in the sense that maize would be cheaper.” He added that the industry was aiming to produce more
than 70mn day-old chicks this year, compared to about 60mn day-old chicks produced last year.
Zawe also pointed to some macroeconomic concerns, saying that the industry was projecting a slower 10% to
15% growth in the second half of the year due to a liquidity crisis and the country’s dormant economy.
Zimbabwe has a combined hatching capacity of 76mn day-old chicks per annum but over the years, cheap
imported chickens have flooded the local market, edging out local producers.Most imports come from South Africa and Brazil. To protect the indigenous producers of chickens, the government had imposed an import duty on chickens in 2012, but it has had little effect on imports whose quantity remains quite high.
The poultry industry in Zimbabwe has transformed from being predominated by large, high-tech operations to including a large number of small production units now. This segment, including indigenous producers in communal areas and in urban backyards, is driving the new poultry industry in the country.
– africafarming.net

Foreign investment on the cards for Nigeria – Nigeria

New Hope Liuhe Company Limited (NHLCL), an agribusiness company from China, has expressed its desire to invest in the sector’s development in Nigeria.
Dang ZhiMin, vice president at NHLCL, led the company delegation to Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) at the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja. ZhiMin made assurances to invest in various sectors like manufacturing, processing and selling of animal feed, raw material additives, dairy products and more. He said that the company’s investment in its selected areas of interest would also help the local economy and provide employment.
The Chinese delegation was accompanied by a representative from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Zhao Xin, general manager of investment and development at NHLCL, said that the company, in collaboration with the foundation, is ready to invest in Nigeria. Describing the country as one of the
biggest markets in the continent, he asked the government to support their plans.
The executive secretary of NIPC, Uju Hassan-Baba assured the potential investors of government assistance and an investment environment conducive to their investment, saying, “Those who are investing in the agricultural sector in Nigeria, especially a company like yours, is assured of abundant resources and huge fortunes.”
Hassan-Baba said that encouragement, promotion and coordination of investments in Nigeria were part of the commission’s mandate.
She told the delegation members that Nigeria offered a ready-made market for products, with more than 170mn consumers in the country and also served as a gateway to other markets in West Africa.
– africafarming.net

Government buys 30% in Meatco

Martha Namundjebo-Tilahun, chairperson of Meatco has confirmed that the Namibian government would take up the long awaited 30% stake in the form of equity in Meatco.
Namundjebo-Tilahun delivered the good news for all stakeholders at the AGM of Meatco, which brings to an
end speculation about government’s intentions regarding the controlling shareholding. The announcement also made clear that the original cabinet decision has not changed, namely that Meatco should be a producer-owned and controlled entity under a cooperative type structure. The cooperative will consist
of producers and a trading company in which the producers will have the majority shareholding and government the minority share. Cabinet emphasised that any form of ownership of both the cooperative and the holding company should accommodate communal and commercial livestock producers and shall have to take cognizance of the strategic nature of the meat industry, the public investment made in the control of animal disease and the marketing of meat and meat products.
According to the government, the acquisition is a calculated move as the meat industry has been declared a strategic sector that is dependent on weather and climate change.
Namundjebo-Tilahun explains: “In the case of drought, the government will be able to intervene and rescue producers from bankruptcy, while animal disease control, maintenance of the veterinary cordon fence and testing standards will also be the state’s responsibility. It is clear to all of us that our industry is in a crisis and it will be to our detriment if we do not apply our minds as well as interrogate everything that is presented to us.”
At the AGM the CEO of Meatco, Vekuii Rukoro, highlighted the company’s performance for 2013/14, saying Meatco recorded increased revenue of 14.61%, mainly due to the additional Norway quota and weakening Namibian dollar against foreign currencies.
He stressed the importance of focussing on production to ensure efficiencies and ongoing focus on
improving stakeholders’ relations, and building mutual confidence with government, producers, employees
and customers.
In total Meatco slaughtered 116 771 cattle in 2013/14, only 141 animals less than the previous financial year, representing less that a one percent decrease. – New Era news

Decreasing local currency pushes up food prices

Depreciating local currency and rising food prices have pushed up the annual headline inflation rate in May to 5.3%, up from the previous month’s 4.5%, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced in Dar es Salaam yesterday.
According to the statistics body, the overall index went up to 157.86 in May,2015 from 149.89 recorded in May, 2014. The bureau attributed the inflation rise to high food prices, citing some of the food items that had their prices soaring as cassava flour by 12.3 pc, meat by six pc, fish by 11.7pc, cowpea by 13.9 pc and beans by 4.2 pc, while restaurant food prices soared by 4.1 pc.
Addressing reporters, NBS director of population census and social statistics Ephraim Kwesigabo said on the other hand that some of the non-food items that contributed to the increase of by 3.5pc, gents wear by 5.6pc and accommodation services by 4.2pc.
He furthermore said food and non-alcoholic beverages inflation rate for the month of May, this year, has
increased to 8.5pc from 7.1 recorded in April, this year.
– AllAfrica.com

Drop in dairy products, sugar imports in first quarter – Algeria

The import bill of dairy products (powdered milk, butter and cream) and sugar (beet sugar, cane sugar, lactose syrup and solid lactose) dropped during the first five months of 2015.
Dairy product imports amounted to US$ 519.06 million in first five months of 2015 against US$ 840.86 million during the same period in 2014, down by 38.27%, said the Algerian Customs’ National Centre of Data Processing and Statistics (CNIS).
In terms of quantity, Algeria imported 172,940 tonnes between January and May, against 165,567 tonnes during the same period in 2014, up by +4.45%. Sugar import bill totalled US$365. 7 million during the first five months of 2015, against US$403.18 million during the same period a year earlier, down by 9.3%.
In terms of quantity, Algeria imported 847,145 tonnes against 874.035 tonnes during the same period of reference, down by 3.07%.
Between January and May 2015, Algeria’s food imports, which represent 19.23% of the overall imports, amounted to US$ 4.3 billion against US$ 4.7 billion during the same period of 2014, down by 8.65%, said the CNIS.
– Algrie Presse Service

Coffee exports exceed target for 2014/2015 fiscal – Uganda

Banyankore Kweterana Cooperative Union (BKCU) Ltd has been ranked among the best performing unions in Uganda, having processed and exported 43 containers (825.6 metric tonnes) of coffee in the financial year 2014/2015. The new tonnage surpasses the target of 31 containers (595.2 metric tonnes).
The chairman of the BKCU Board of Directors, Geoffrey Beingana, said the share capital was projected to increase by Shs 66 million but went up to Shs273.7 million. The union has 350 primary cooperative societies from Ankole subregion.
Says Baingana: “The good progress is being affected by competition where many coffee buyers in the market bother less about the quality of coffee.”
BKCU general manager, Nelson Niwahebwa, revealed that the best coffee deliveries were recorded from
cooperative societies of Ijumo Ruhinda in Mitooma District (309,912 kg), Nyamirima Mutegaya in Ibanda District (248,060kg), Kyabandara in Sheema District (180,609kg) and Kanyansheko in Ibanda District (49,475kg). Niwahebwa additionally requested government to fully release the remaining balance of war
loss compensation worth Shs985m to enable the union to operate fully.
– The Monitor

Botswana opens door on ostrich farming

Botswana Ostrich Farmers Association (BOFA) hosted a seminar at the University of Botswana on challenges faced by the industry.
Ostrich farming may be the next big thing in Botswana’s agriculture industry. BOFA, supported by University of Botswana’s department of management, organised a workshop for ostrich farmers and those looking to enter the ostrich farming industry.
The mid-term stakeholder seminar was a follow-up that aims to provide a forum for constructive engagement
between the association, its members and other stakeholders. According to a statement by BOFA, relative novelty of the industry necessitates detailed planning at both national and project levels before farmers decide to plunge into ostrich production as a sustainable industry. Some of the challenges that are pointed out include lack of control over the quality of ostrich chicks; inadequate training for breeding; lack of knowledge about feed rations; market and logistical challenges; and cash flow and continuity issues. Addressing such concerns and creating a more positive perception about the ostrich farming industry by providing relevant information is the chief aim of the seminar. The meeting will bring together local and international players in the industry to deliberate these issues so that attending farmers have an opportunity to be better informed by discussions between the various stakeholders present.
Botswana has a large population of ostriches endemic to the region but lags behind neighbours South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia, as well as China, Europe and United States of America in commercial production.
– Africa farming and food processing