10 MARCH 2017
Amid the recent calls to amend the property clause in the constitution to allow the expropriation of farmland without compensation, one cannot help but wonder whether the original purpose of the provision is not being lost amongst the political rhetoric currently doing the rounds. Our constitution, and section 25 in particular, was never intended to merely protect the rights of individuals from encroachment by the state. On the contrary, section 25 is the provision from which the state's mandate to effect land, water and related reform comes from and its mechanisms were carefully crafted to bring about transformation and restorative justice in a manner that is just and equitable based on international norms and standards.  Theo Boshoff, Agbiz Manager: Legal Intelligence explains more in the  linked article»


The Agbiz/IDC Agribusiness Confidence Index improved by 2 Index points in the first quarter of this year to 57.  A reading above 50, indicates expansion in the South African agribusiness activity. Therefore, a 57 Index point suggests that agribusinesses are holding an optimistic view regarding business conditions in the country. Worth noting is that the Index has remained above the 50 Index points for the past three consecutive quarters, which signals a consistent improvement in agribusiness activity. Wandile Sihlobo, Head: Economic and Agribusiness Intelligence at Agbiz provides more detail in the linked press release»
Although some commodities such as winter grains and prone fruits saw increased activity in the fourth quarter of 2016, South Africa's agricultural sector remained in recession. This comes after the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data showed a negative growth of seasonally adjusted annualised rate of -0.1% quarter-on-quarter. The sector has been on a negative growth path for the past eight quarters, but the outlook is positive for 2017.  Agbiz economist, Wandile Sihlobo, provides more information in the linked document»

Recent agricultural machinery sales data show that in February 2017, tractor sales were down by 8% when compared to February 2016 - with 675 units sold. However, this was 41% higher than the previous month's sales. The combine harvester sales followed a similar trend, with February 2017 sales down by 14% from the corresponding period last year, but 19% higher than the previous month - with 16 units sold. Agbiz economist, Wandile Sihlobo, provides more information in the linked update»
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
Invitation for comments into proposed tariff methodology and draft maritime transport policy

The Department of Transport has issued the Draft Comprehensive Maritime Transport Policy (CMTP) which was approved by cabinet on 8 February for purposes on public consultations and comment. Stakeholder engagements commenced between 22 February and 3 March 2017 to present the Draft CMTP for questions and inputs.

For more information contact Mariana Purnell, General Manager of Agbiz Grain, on e-mail: mariana.purnell@agbizgrain.co.za
WTO SPS notification from Malawi: Draft Mandatory Malawi Standard for Maize grain

Please read the linked notification regarding maize exported to Malawi. The closing date for comments  is 28 April 2017. Please submit comments directly to  Victor Mapfumari,  Division: Agronomy and Vegetables,  Directorate: Food Safety and Quality Assurance, 
Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries:  
Tel:         012 319 6171
Fax:        012 319 6055
2017 IFAMA World Conference happening during a crossroads period in the global agri-food system

The IFAMA 2017 World Conference is to be held in Miami, Florida, USA from 18 to 21 June 2017. The conference is held in partnership with the Purdue University's Center for Food and Agricultural Business. This year the IFAMA World Conference will explore the changing demands of consumers in both the Eastern and Western hemispheres and bring together insights around challenges facing the global food system - more information»
Harvard Professor Ricardo Hausmann on how SA can achieve faster growth

Ricardo Hausmann, Director of the Center for International Development at Harvard University, was in South Africa recently as CDE's guest. One of the most prominent development economists in the world, in 2004 he was appointed by president Thabo Mbeki to lead a team of 29 academics examining how to overcome the many binding constraints on economic growth in South Africa.  During his visit Hausmann had great insights into South Africa and its many challenges. He maintains that
  • South Africa should be obsessed with creating more enterprise, more jobs and more entrepreneurship.
  • The current national debate focuses on the enterprises South Africa has, while the core problem is the enterprises the country does not have.
  • Empowering people with the ability to participate in the modern economy and addressing the skills shortage with a different immigration policy are the two ways that South Africa can drive growth and lessen inequality.
"Skilled immigrants are strong compliments of the locals. The more they come, the more jobs for local people and the higher the wages of the locals. That is the biggest 500-dollar bill lying on the ground", Hausmann.   More information is linked Business Day TV interview broadcast March 2 2017 and  Business Day article, published on 7 March 2017.
Water & Climate Congress
22 - 24 March 2017
More information

Red Meat Abattoir Association Conference and Congress
17 - 19 May 2017 | Stellenbosch
More information 

Annual Road Transport Legislation Workshop
23 May 2017 - Stellenbosch
25 May 2017 - Durban 
8 June 2017 - Pretoria 
More information

Fertasa Annual Congress
3 - 4 May 2017 | Durban
More information

Agri-finance for non-financial managers
30 May - 3 June 2016
Presented by Purdue University in Africa
More information

IFAMA 2017 World Conference
18 - 21 June 2017 | Miami, Florida, USA
More information

Workshop on Bioinformatics and Wheat Genomics
28 June 2017 | Worcester, Western Cape
More information

11th Agribusiness Africa Conference
4 - 5 July 2017 |  Emperors Palace | Johannesburg

PMA Fresh Connections Southern Africa Conference and Trade Show
16 - 17 August 2017 |  CTICC, Cape Town

Skills Development Summit
31 Aug - 1 September 2017 | CSIR, Pretoria
More information

International Conference on Global Food Security 
3 - 6 December 2017 | Cape Town  International Convention Centre 
Conference Theme: Food Security: Global challenges, local solutions
More information
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