Workshop unpacks implications of new King IV report on corporate governance 

Picture: www.agriorbit.com.
Standard Bank and Agbiz jointly hosted a workshop on good governance in Pretoria on 1 February. The workshop was aimed at empowering agribusiness leaders to execute their fiduciary responsibilities in a legally compliant and an ethical manner. The focus was on the King IV corporate governance code and the critical Business Judgement Rule.  Speaking at the event, Dr John Purchase, Agbiz CEO said corporate governance is one of the very important challenges faced by agribusinesses. "We need to focus on this in order to continue to set the bar higher and ensure that the South African agricultural sector remains at the top of its game," he said. Read more in the linked article 

The outlook for 2017 is promising for the South African grains and oilseeds sector, according to Agbiz economists, Tinashe Kapuya and  Wandile Sihlobo.  Assuming that the country receives a normal rainfall pattern throughout the remainder of the season, they believe that South Africa's maize production could reach at least 11.9 million tons (compared to 7.5 million tons the previous season). Moreover, they foresee a notable increase in both soybean and sunflower seed production. Overall, they believe that these production improvements will lead to a decline in commodity prices - Read more» 
Sorghum sector able to aid small farmers

If the biofuel initiative is revived, there could be socio-economic benefits for the country, writes Wandile Sihlobo in a Business Day column. He says the most recent data from the National Crop Estimate Committee painted a troubling picture of the South African sorghum industry. This is a crop that was once seen as key to the development of the biofuel industry in SA and, in turn, job creation in rural areas - Read more»
US soybean farmers likely to suffer from Trump's protectionism

Every crisis brings opportunities. This rings true with the current trade debates in the Unites States (US), which could negatively influence its trade activities with China and Mexico, writes Wandile Sihlobo. In an agricultural perspective, China is a key player in soybean trade - constituting over 60% global soybean imports. For the US farmers, this is of particular importance because approximately 70% of their soybean exports goes to China and Mexico -  Read more»
*This article was written for Farmer's Weekly.
Daily view on commodity markets

Daily commentaries on agricultural commodity markets and macro-economic trends are available on the Agbiz website  www.agbiz.co.za
UFS student receives Agbiz Centenary Bursary

Nngadiseng Motaung has been awarded the 2017 Agbiz Centenary Bursary. This 23-year old student graduated from the University of the Free State (UFS) in 2015 and received the award for the Best Final year student in B.Agric Agricultural Economics.  Nngadiseng  completed her Bachelor of Agriculture Honours degree (Agricultural Economics) last year and has been accepted for her Master's degree in Agricultural Economics at UFS in 2017. The primary objective of the Agbiz Centenary Bursary is to promote Masters, or Ph.D. level research in agribusiness related fields.  This bursary contributes R32 000 towards Nngadiseng's studies. Agbiz members will have the opportunity to meet her at the next council meeting, where she will be presenting on her field of study.
VKB receives food safety certification
Last week Grain Field Chickens (GFC), a subsidiary of VKB Agriculture, received the  FSSC 22000, as well as  ISO 22000 certification.  The Food Safety System Certification (FSSC) is a voluntary certification based on ISO standards and is recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).  The certificate affirms that the inspected production facilities of global food companies meet the food safety requirements of its customers.  GFC aspires to become a preferred producer for the local market, as well as globally.  They will do this by following basic business principles and by improving quality and food safety systems even further, says  Sas Kasselman,   Managing Director of GFC  Media release»
Pest caterpillar for the first time in South Africa
DAFF collected caterpillar specimens of a new moth species on maize that appears to be a new pest for South Africa. Scientists from Agricultural Research Council (ARC) together with the North West University also collected samples for identification. The insect must complete its life cycle before a positive identification will be made by the ARC Biosystematics Division.  DAFF already met with role players from various industries and research organisations on 25 January 2017 to determine a plan of action - Media release»
Supply and demand estimates report
The South African supply and demand projections for grains and oilseeds for January 2017 are linked here»
NWU International Trade and Economic Development Newsletter
TRADE research entity at the North-West University is involved in global and regional economic and trade matters. The linked newsletter brings some of the highlights from TRADE's work programme over the last few months.
Mobile Agri Skills Development and Training Newsletter
This month's MASDT Newsletter reports about an emerging farmer development project that started in 2011 with a mere 0.5 hectares of sun cured Virginia (SCV) tobacco that has expanded to a production area of 98 hectares during the 2015/2016 production season.  The yields increased from around 15 tons in 2012 to 140 tons in 2016.  Currently, 74 emerging farmers are producing SCV tobacco in Mpumalanga- and Limpopo Provinces - Read more»
Wheat Indaba
17 February 2017 | Pretoria (fully booked)
21 February 2017 | Elsenburg
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Seminar - From Trade Rules to Trade Deals: Whither US Trade Policy in the Trump Administration?
28 February 2017 | BUSA Offices, Rivonia
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7th Undercover Farming Expo & Conference
7 - 8 March 2017 |CSIR Convention Centre | Pretoria
For more information contact Suzanne Oosthuizen on e-mail: CGA Citrus Summit
8 - 9 March 2017 | Port Elizabeth
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GOSA Symposium and Annual General Meeting
22 - 23 March 2017 | Mosselbay
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Water & Climate Congress
22 - 24 March 2017
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Annual Road Transport Legislation Workshop
23 May 2017 - Stellenbosch
25 May 2017 - Durban 
8 June 2017 - Pretoria 
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Fertasa Annual Congress
3 - 4 May 2017 | Durban
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Agri-finance for non-financial managers
30 May - 3 June 2016
Presented by Purdue University in Africa
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International Conference on Global Food Security
8 - 11 October 2017 | Cape Town  International Convention Centre, 
Conference Theme: Food Security: Global challenges, local solutions
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