5 March 2021
Agbiz submits inputs to the Expropriation Bill
The Portfolio Committee on Public Works and Infrastructure called for written inputs to the Expropriation Bill late in 2020. The comments were due by 28 February 2021. The Bill seeks to introduce a uniform procedure that all expropriating authorities must follow when expropriating in terms of an empowering provision contained in the legislation. It also sets out the manner in which compensation must be calculated including the controversial provisions relating to ‘nil’ compensation. Agbiz has been closely involved with the Bill over the past eight years as written submissions and oral inputs were made when a previous version was before Parliament. Agbiz also led the business team in deliberations at Nedlac in 2020. We have now submitted our written input to the Portfolio Committee. Agbiz’s written input is linked.
South Africa's standing in the Global Food Security Index deteriorates
For many years, South Africa has prided itself as the most food-secure country in the African continent and has also ranked relatively well with its peer BRICS countries. But disappointingly, the results of the 2020 Global Food Security Index recently released by The Economist and Corteva show that South Africa has regressed. South Africa is now ranked 69th most food-secure country out of 113 countries, from 44 (out of 113) in 2019. Technically, South Africa’s scoring dropped by just a point from last year's position (scoring 57,8 down by 1,4 from 2019 in the Global Food Security Index). Still, other countries improved notably, resulting in a drop in South Africa's ranking. Please click here for an article by Agbiz chief economist Wandile Sihlobo, written for and first published on Fin24. Corteva presented a South Africa-focused media briefing of the 2020 Global Food Security Index earlier his week. The presentation of the media briefing can be accessed here.
Using a modified business incubator for black-owned agricultural development in South Africa
A paper by Agbiz chief economist Wandile Sihlobo co-authored with Lyndré Nel, Dawid Diederichs, and Leonard Diederichs, proposes a theoretical enterprise development model of a Modified Agricultural Business Incubator (MABI) specifically tailored to South Africa’s agricultural sector’s developmental needs, both for primary producers and agri-processing businesses. This model is specifically designed to provide a supportive business environment for black agricultural business owners where a particular focus is placed on their developmental needs. You can read the full paper by clicking here.
Reflections on SA's agriculture and food price inflation path in 2021
Food prices
We finished 2019 on a constructive path in terms of food price inflation, which averaged 3,1% y/y (from 3,3 % y/y in 2018, and the periods before that were much higher rates on food price inflation). The distinct drivers of food price inflation from 2018 to today have primarily been meat and grain-related products (bread and cereals), as well as oils and fats. The drivers of prices each year have differed. For example, in 2017, the 2016/17 production season (which is to date the largest on record) kept grain-related product prices under downward pressure. In the two years that followed, the grain harvest was decent to meet the local needs, although not at record levels, and prices were roughly sideways. Wandile Sihlobo discusses the latest data in the linked article that served as the basis of a discussion with Citi Bank on the food industry.
Getting farming and land right, once and for all
In the latest edition of his Podcasts From The Edge, Peter Bruce speaks to Wandile Sihlobo about South African success in farming, and how that might be built on. Please click here to listen to the interview.
Agriculture, land reform and economics
Olivia Earth spoke to Wandile Sihlobo about inclusive growth, permaculture, expropriation without compensation, and so much more. Please click here to listen to the interview.
Credibility in the grain market
Stakeholders’ need for greater transparency indicates concern that market credibility is suffering. If market participants' perception about the credibility of the market is wrong, or its scope is minimal and can be decided successfully through existing practices, the price the grain and oilseeds sector will pay for this view, is fairly high. In the linked article, written for and first published in Landbouweekblad, Agbiz Grain general manager Wessel Lemmer sheds light on the initiatives taken by various market participants and the government. The initiatives are already or almost finalised and aim to increase credibility in the grain market, to the benefit of processors, storers and producers.
BUSA: Cargo movement update
The BUSA: Cargo movement update - the 27th of its kind - contains a consolidated overview of the South African supply chain and the current state of international trade. A gamut of constraints that have typified 2020 largely remains, although some minor positive changes impacted the supply chain during the previous week. New cases of Covid-19 have continued to decrease, averaging approximately 1 480 per day (down from 1 981 the previous week). Several days have even dipped below the 1 000-mark this week. South Africa remains at the 16th position globally, with the total number of cases recorded now amounting to 1 509 124 at the time of writing. Globally, more than 228 million people have now been given at least one dose of vaccine, which constitutes 3% of the world's population as of writing. Please click here to peruse.
African swine fever outbreak reported in the Western Cape
The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) and the Western Cape Department of Agriculture, jointly reported an outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) in the Western Cape.
Two smallholding farms in Mfuleni, north of Khayelitsha, were found positive for ASF, after laboratory testing of samples from dead pigs. Approximately 5% of pigs had died on each of the two properties and the disease has the potential to kill all pigs on a farm. A ban has been placed on the sale and movement of live pigs from Mfuleni, to limit the spread of the disease. Please click DALRRD media statement to peruse.
Seasonal Climate Watch: La Niña most likely to weaken
The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is currently in a La Niña state and the forecast indicates that it will most likely weaken and possibly return to a neutral state by the winter season. The influence on South Africa from ENSO however is expected to dissipate as we move towards the autumn and winter months. The multi-model rainfall forecast indicates mostly above-normal rainfall with drier than normal patches scattered in parts of the north-east and south-west in late autumn (Apr-May-Jun) and early winter (May-Jun-Jul). Mostly below-normal minimum and maximum temperatures are expected over the country with the exception of the interior, especially during the late autumn. By contrast, early winter will see a modest signal for above-normal minimums and maximums over the interior, but cooler than normal elsewhere. The South African Weather Service will continue to monitor and provide updates on any future assessments that may provide more clarity on the current expectations for the coming seasons. Please click here to read the full Seasonal Climate Watch prepared by the South African Weather Service.
Are online marketplaces the future trading platform for fresh produce? 
Online marketplaces have increased over the last couple of years, creating new markets where none existed. Selling via online marketplaces offers many advantages for farmers, buyers and sellers. It overcomes time and space constraints, provides inclusive market access, cuts costs, and shortens the supply chain, which is critical within fresh produce and agriculture. Online marketplace experts Grant Jacobs, CEO of HelloChoice and Louis de Kock, founder of Nile.ag took a deep dive into this topic during a live broadcast hosted by the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) in partnership with Beanstalk.Global. Please click here to read more.
Drier conditions ahead
It is clear that weather patterns have shifted from being conducive to lots of tropical moisture over the interior and above-normal rainfall to a much drier pattern with cooler nights resembling a distinct autumn character. Thundershowers have become more isolated in nature and mostly confined to the north-eastern and far south-western parts. Mild and dry conditions will continue during the next few days over especially the central interior while some showers and thundershowers will result in near-normal rainfall in the north-east. Large-scale atmospheric circulation patterns will result in more precipitation towards the east of the subcontinent over the south-western Indian Ocean while upper-air anticyclonic flow over Botswana will keep tropical moisture well to the north. While it will be dry, maximum temperatures are not expected to be high for this time of the year, with both minimum and maximum temperatures expected to remain near normal over the interior. Easterly winds will keep the north-eastern parts mild to cool relative to warmer conditions over the western interior where sunny conditions with moderate westerly to northwesterly winds will keep especially maximum temperatures in the near normal to above normal range. Frontal activity will result in some light showers over especially the southern parts of the winter rainfall region at times. Read more in the latest edition of Cumulus, compiled by AgriSeker.
Webinar invitation: vaccine rollout to public and private healthcare workers
Business for South Africa (B4SA), the National Department of Health (NDoH), and the SA Medical Research Council (SAMRC) invite you to a joint briefing on the status of the national vaccine rollout to public and private healthcare workers. Please join Dr Anban Pillay(NDoH), Prof. Glenda Gray, (SAMRC), and Stavros Nicolaou (B4SA) for an update on the vaccine rollout followed by a Q&A on 5 March at 12:00. Please click on the link to access the Zoom meeting.
Standard Bank’s OneFarm Share platform provides over 1 million meals for food relief, targets 30 million in 2021
Standard Bank’s OneFarm Share initiative in South Africa, which matches requests for food relief to suppliers with good quality excess fresh produce, has, since November 9, collected and distributed more than 270 tonnes of food to accredited beneficiary organisations, providing over 1 million meals to vulnerable individuals. In 2021, Standard Bank hopes to increase OneFarm Share’s impact by ten times - delivering 7400 tonnes of food across all nine provinces, enabling over 30 million meals. The partnership provides a digital platform where emerging and commercial farmers can sell or donate their produce into new markets. Read more in the linked Standard Bank media statement.
DDG of FAO will be present at SHAFFE’s very first Southern Hemisphere Fresh Fruit Trade Congress
With the aim of bringing the fruit industries of the Southern and Northern Hemisphere closer together and to allow better planning for the coming year, SHAFFE will hold the first Southern Hemisphere Fresh Fruit Trade Congress on 25 March 2021, with the defining theme of "Keeping the world supplied" - a critical topic thrown into sharp focus in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. The programme of the congress is now available online. In light of the ongoing International Year of Fruit and Vegetables declared by the United Nations (UN), SHAFFE is honoured to announce, that Food And Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) deputy director general Beth Bechdol will be opening the conference with a keynote speech on the importance of the fruit industry to global agri-food systems. Please click here to view the full program and register.
Invitation to Cova Advisory Carbon Credits 101 webinar
Under South African carbon tax regulations, companies are able to use carbon credits either from their own registered projects or from third parties to offset a portion of their carbon tax liability. This creates opportunities to develop carbon projects, as well as prospects on both the buy-side and sell-side, and helping South Africa to manage environmental impact. Join Cova Advisory for a webinar on 16 March 2021 on the South African carbon credits landscape, with expert guest speakers from Climate Legal and WeAct. They’ll look at the legal framework, carbon credit project development, contracting for carbon offsets, and how organisations can participate meaningfully in the carbon credits market in South Africa to create shared value. Click here to register for the webinar to hear from a panel of experts, and to ask all your carbon credit questions.
AfCFTA webinar: what every trader should know
The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) is a “major opportunity for countries to boost growth, reduce poverty, and broaden economic inclusion”, according to the World Bank. The question for importers and exporters is how to maximise the potential provided by the creation of the world’s largest trading bloc. Join Caroline Rheeder, associate director at Cova Advisory, and Catherine Grant Makokera, director at Tutwa Consulting Group, on 9 March 2021 for a discussion that tackles both policy and a pragmatic approach to the AfCFTA. From understanding the timelines and tariffs to investigating practical steps to prepare your organisation, this webinar aims to deliver valuable insights into the realities of AfCFTA for import and export businesses alike. It will provide a comprehensive update on the current status of the AfCFTA negotiations and identify ways South African firms can become more involved. Members interested in attending are requested to register at this link.
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.
Webinar: vaccine rollout to public and private healthcare workers
5 March 2021 | 12:00 | Zoom meeting

National Seminar on the Transparency Framework of the WTO Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement for National Regulators to support trade
8-9 March 2021 | Virtual

AfCFTA webinar: what every trader should know
9 March 2021 | 10:00 | Zoom meeting

Cova Advisory Carbon Credits 101 webinar 
16 March 2021 | 10:00 | Zoom meeting

Annual Southern Hemisphere Fresh Fruit Trade Congress
25 March 2021 | Virtual

International Tropical Agriculture Week 
22-26 March 2021

Sustainable Innovative Producers and Emerging Farmers Agribusiness Conference 2021
30-31 March 2021 | The Capital on the Park, Sandton | Johannesburg

Second International Congress of Biological Control (ICBC2) 
26-30 April 2021 | Virtual
Why join Agbiz?
  • Agbiz is the only organisation that serves the broader and common over-arching business interests of agribusinesses in South Africa.
  • Agbiz addresses the legislative and policy environment on the many fronts that it impacts on the agribusiness environment.
  • Agbiz facilitates considerable top-level networking opportunities so that South African agribusinesses can play an active and creative role within the local and international organised business environment.
  • Agbiz research provides sector-specific information for informed decision-making.
  • Agbiz newsletter publishes members' press releases and member product announcements.
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