6 November 2020
Food affordability tracker
According to the latest Monthly Food Affordability Tracker, September 2020 presented the month where South Africa moved to lockdown level 1, in the third week of the month. The most notable relaxation for the food industry, associated with this level, was the permission of social gatherings of up to 250 people. Although the effect of this on September food prices was limited, this is expected to provide demand support as we are approaching the festive season. Month-on-month FNAB (food and non-alcoholic beverages) inflation for September amounted to 0.26% whilst year-on-year inflation remained consistent with inflation rates in August of 3.9. This report was compiled by a number of collaborating researchers from the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy, the Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development at the University of Pretoria, the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development. Please click here to peruse.
COVID-19: Cargo movement update
This latest Covid-19: Cargo Update — the 13th of its kind — contains a combined overview of the flow of air, sea, and road freight to and from South Africa in the last week. The report provides a consolidated view of the different modalities published earlier by the Business for South Africa supply chain team. In terms of Covid-19 infections, the country's curve has flattened in recent weeks, with new Covid-19 cases in the last week amounting to an average of just over 1 608 per day. The daily average of newly reported cases has remained within similar bounds since the second week of August (at around ~1 800 new cases per day), but it must be said that there is now some evidence of resurgence. Despite the renewal, the country's recovery rate remains high at ~90%. In global terms, South Africa remains in 12th position globally. Total cases in South Africa now amount to approximately 721 77015 recorded at the time of writing. Please click here to peruse.
South Africa has another go at an expropriation law. What it’s all about
When South Africa officially became a constitutional democracy in South Africa on 4 February 1997 it heralded profound change in the way the country is governed. Once a racially oppressive pariah state, it became one based on freedom, human rights and the rule of law. All laws that were not in keeping with the new constitution had to be changed to give effect to the rights enshrined in the new supreme law. One such law is the Expropriation Act, which governs how the government can acquire land owned by private citizens for public purposes such as building roads and railways. Prof. Elmien du Plessis of the North-West University provides context and perspective on the Expropriation Bill in the linked article, first published on The Conversation.
Relationship between measured entities and rating agents
.In July 2020, the South African National Accreditation Authority (SANAS) issued new requirements for verification agents that regulates the relationship and interaction between verification agents and their clients. SANAS is responsible for accrediting rating agents who are the only organisations permitted to verify an entity’s B-BBEE performance and issue B-BBEE certificates. Signa unpacks the implications of these new requirements for the benefit of Agbiz members. Please click here to peruse.
Zimbabwe's maize import needs continue to bolster South Africa prices
In the 2019/20 marketing year, Zimbabwe’s maize imports, specifically from South Africa didn’t gain much momentum until the start of 2020. This is when Zimbabwe’s maize stocks were already depleted following a season where the country produced roughly 777 000 tonnes, which is way less than its annual consumption of about 1.9 million tonnes. The poor harvest was a result of unfavourable weather conditions during the season; dryness at the start of the season, and Cyclone Idai later in the season. The same pattern of maize import activity could prevail this year as Zimbabwe has yet another poor maize harvest. Agbiz chief economist Wandile Sihlobo discusses this subject in the linked article.
South Africa could have the largest wheat harvest in 19 years
The rainfall of the past couple of months in the Western Cape and generally improved moisture levels in other winter crop growing areas of South Africa has led to the further upward revision of the harvest estimate. South Africa’s Crop Estimates Committee lifted wheat, barley, canola and oats production by 5%, 1%, 9% and 6%, respectively from September 2020 to 2.13 million tonnes, 526 706 tonnes, 137 356 tonnes and 47 400 tonnes. These will be the largest harvests on record for barley, canola and oats, while for wheat it will be the largest harvest in 19 years. Nevertheless, the increase in production will have minimal impact on commodity prices, specifically wheat, of which South Africa is a net importer. And thus, wheat prices largely depend on developments in the global market, along with domestic currency movements. Wandile Sihlobo discusses the latest data in the linked article.
Impact of Covid pandemic on SA agricultural sector
At the GWK AGM earlier this week, Agbiz chief economist Wandile Sihlobo discussed the impact of the Covid pandemic on the South African agricultural sector at a subsector level. He also reviewed the government’s relief package to agriculture and the role the agricultural sector could play in the post-Covid recovery of the South African economy. The processes on land reform and its impact, particularly revision of section 25 of the Constitution and the Expropriation Bill, also formed part of the discussion. Please click here to view the video.
SA can compare with the best of the world
People often think overseas developments are better and should therefore be applied locally. However, just as cultivars need to be tested for South Africa's unique conditions, this should also be true for any system that includes generic passports, new grading proposals or new pesticides. In the linked article, written for and first published in Landbouweekblad, Agbiz Grain general manager Wessel Lemmer explains why South Africa, with its sun-dried grain and oilseeds, excellent storage structures and the South African Grain Laboratory's analytical capabilities, has a competitive advantage in delivering quality grain over that of grain value chains in America.
The future of work in agriculture
The future of work can be an incredibly broad concept with different meaning for every person. The agricultural sector needs to create 1 000 000 jobs by 2030 in accordance with the National Development Plan. Current employment within the agricultural sector is below 900 000 jobs. It is clear that intervention is necessary to improve employment levels within the agricultural sector, but in order to do that the
reasons for lower employment need to be understood. Jahni de Villiers of Labour Amplified discusses this subject in the linked article.

2020 world wine production first estimates
After the exceptionally high production of 2018, for the second consecutive year, the world wine production volume is expected to be below average. Lower than average production volume in the EU, where measures to reduce the harvest volume had a significant impact in Italy, France and Spain notwithstanding the overall favourable climatic conditions. First harvest forecasts in the US indicate volumes in line with 2019, but uncertainty caused by wildfires might lead to further revisions. Drop of South America’s wine production, especially in Argentina and Chile due to unfavourable weather conditions. South Africa finally back to “normality” after several years of drought. Australia records a low harvest due to bushfires while New Zealand shows a record harvest volume in 2020. Speaking from the OIV’s headquarters in Paris, by web conference, director general Pau Roca, presented on 27 October, the first estimates of 2020 world wine production. Please click here to peruse.
US corn harvest jumps up 10% vs. a week ago, USDA says 
While a few states near completion of this year’s harvest, most major corn-producing states have 20% to 30% of their crops still in the fields, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Meanwhile, most major soybean-producing states are ahead of their averages, regarding harvest activity. The nation's soybean cutting is nearly 90% finished. Read the latest report in the linked article first published on Successful Farming.
Grains-soybeans at four-year high as demand, dry Brazil weather support prices
Chicago soybean futures jumped to their highest in more than four years on Thursday, rising for a third consecutive session, as dry weather in parts of South America and strong demand from the world's biggest importer China supported prices. Corn gained more ground, while wheat rose after closing marginally lower in the previous session. "China is actively buying beans and we are seeing additional demand emerge from Brazil," said one Singapore-based trader. "The weather is not perfect for Brazil and the crop is likely to get delayed due to the dry weather." The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade was up 0.7% at $10.94 a bushel, after climbing to its highest since July 2016 at $10.95 a bushel earlier in the session. Read more in the linked article, first published on Successful Farming.
Paarl-based tech leader set to boost SA beef supply chain
A food provenance platform, with its head office in Paarl in the Western Cape is set to not only enhance bio and food security for “ultimate consumer confidence and satisfaction”, but also boost South African agriculture. Anzill Adams, chief executive of newly launched BeefLedger SA, says as Covid-19 continues to reshape the future of the agriculture and food sectors, there is now, more than ever, a greater global need for complete transparency and accountability in the
local beef supply chain. Adams, who is currently completing his PhD in blockchain traceability in the local red meat supply chain heads up BeefLedger SA. He describes the platform as “much needed tool for greater transparency and accountability”. Please click here to read more.
Wesgro to host BRICS Export Webinar
Wesgro will be hosting a live BRICS Export Webinar on Thursday, 12 November 2020 @ 09:00 to10:30 with the aim to provide exporters a general overview on export opportunities and challenges amongst BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) members. Agbiz CEO Dr John Purchase is one of the speakers. For more information and to register, please click here.
John Deere Africa-Middle East announces new leader for its marketing and sales activities 
As part of the Smart Industrial organisational changes, John Deere Africa Middle East (AME) has announced the appointment of Jaco Beyers to the role of managing director for its Marketing & Sales branch head office in South Africa, effective from October 2020. “It is not the strongest who survive, nor the smartest, but those most responsive to change,” says Jaco. “For more than 180 years, John Deere has benefited from strong, decisive leaders who are dedicated to the company's core values and I intend on ensuring our values remain active and relevant.” According to Jason Brantley, director for Region 1 A&T Sales & Marketing at John Deere, Jaco Beyers and the Africa-Middle East team will support dealers in growing customer productivity and profitability by leveraging the John Deere Smart Industrial strategy. Smart Industrial focuses on both technology and equipment to help customers unlock profit at all levels of mechanization. Please click here to read more.
Weekly newsletter from CGA
Justin Chadwick, CEO of the Citrus Growers' Association of Southern African, shares the latest news in the citrus industry in his weekly update - From the desk of the CEO. Please click here to peruse.
The latest news from the pork industry
Read more about the latest developments and news in the pork industry in the South African Pork Producers' Organisation's (SAPPO) newsletter, SAPPO Weekly Update.
Last chance to register! Please visit the Agbiz website for the programme and registration form. 
For more information, please visit the congress web page. 
Agbiz Congress 2021
Theme: "Building resilient and sustainable agri-food ecosystems".
7-9 April 2021 | Sun City Convention Centre | South Africa

Second International Congress of Biological Control (ICBC2) 
26-30 April 2021 | Davos, Switzerland

 2020 AgriAllAfrica Agribusiness Conference - POSTPONED TO 2021
Theme: "Imagined responses to Covid-19: Progress with the development of solutions"
6 May 2021 | CSIR | Pretoria 
Enquiries: Marianna.duplessis@gmail.com | +27 063 076 9135
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