10 May 2019
Land reform status update

Since the Constitutional Review Committee made the recommendation last year that section 25 of the Constitution should be amended to 'clarify' that this section does make provision for expropriation without compensation, an ad hoc committee chaired by Thoko Didiza was mandated to consult with legal experts and draft the contents of the amendment. The ad hoc committee will finally be responsible for drafting a Constitutional Amendment Bill and inviting public consultation. Agbiz will engage on this Bill, as well as make oral submissions to Parliament if permitted.The updated Agbiz document on land reform is intended to place the latest developments  on expropriation in context and to provide an overview of the  broader direction in which land reform is moving. Please click here to peruse.
Areas of agriculture hold job-creation opportunities for new administration

What should President Ramaphosa do to boost South Africa's agricultural economy in the near term? The starting point will be to articulate a clear policy framework on land reform and water rights, which will encourage investment in the agricultural sector while ensuring restorative justice, and that underutilised tracts of land are brought into full production to boost growth and employment. This must then be complemented by trade agreements that open up new markets to sell these products, states Agbiz chief economist Wandile Sihlobo in the linked article written for and first published in Business Day.
Farmer support heading the way of public-private

Since President Ramaphosa took the reigns last year, the focus for growth in South Africa has shifted towards public-private partnerships. It is well known that agriculture is a key focus of the Public-Private Growth Initiative and the policy direction finally seems to be shifting in that direction as well. Last year, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries published the draft Comprehensive Producer Development Support Policy, a framework policy that sets out the policy direction for farmer support. The policy places a very strong emphasis on blended finance as well as multi-plural extension services. Agbiz head of Legal Intelligence Theo Boshoff discusses this topic in the linked article.
A further decline in SA agricultural machinery sales

The South African agricultural machinery sales painted a slightly negative picture in April 2019. Tractor sales were down by 6% y/y and combine harvesters down by 21%  y/y;both exceeded our expectations of a 3% respective decline. We think that May sales could show a further decline as factors that underpinned last month's agricultural machinery sales performance still prevail. In the case of tractors, farmers made higher purchases over the past few months, and it is unlikely to increase this month as winter crops plantings have, in any case, advanced in the major producing province, the Western Cape. In terms of combine harvesters, we doubt that there could be a pickup in sales on the face of expected poor summer grain and oilseed harvest. Wandile Sihlobo provides more insight in the linked article.
Chocolate puts Ivory Coast on top in Africa's agriculture trade

Chocolate can certainly get one some brownie points, and no way is this truer than in Ivory Coast which in 2018 reported the largest agricultural trade balance in value terms in Africa, an amount of US$5.1 billion. The West African nation exported a higher value of agricultural products than it imports, a situation that is rare in a continent of predominantly net food importers. Trailing Ivory Coast was South Africa with a positive trade balance of US$3.9 billion. Wandile Sihlobo discusses this topic in the linked blogpost.
Good weather outlook could boost SA winter grain planting

The Western Cape is the leading producer of South Africa's winter crops, which are wheat, barley and canola. It is also in this province where plantings typically start at the end of April, while in other provinces it's around midyear. The 2019/20 production season is no different from the previous years; farmers have made good progress in planting all winter crops in the Western Cape. About 60% of the intended canola hectares in the province have thus far been planted. Meanwhile, roughly 40% of the intended hectares for wheat and barley plantings are completed.  Wandile Sihlobo discusses this topic in the linked blogpost.
Historic shipment of citrus leaves Durban harbour

The Citrus Growers Association (CGA) commemorated the first-ever breakbulk shipment export of citrus to China earlier this week. Justin Chadwick, CGA CEO, heralded the shipment as historic because the export was conducted through a specialised reefer vessel. This export follows assistance from the South African government, through the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) which signed a protocol with the government of China. According to DAFF, the protocol allows co-loading of the China shipment with consignments for Japan and South Korea in separate compartments. Please click here for a report published on Fresh Plaza.
Overview of global dairy market developments in 2018

According to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, global milk output in 2018 is estimated at 843 million tonnes, an increase of 2.2 percent from 2017, driven by production expansions in India, Turkey, the European Union, Pakistan, the United States and Argentina, but partially offset by declines in China and Ukraine, among few others. This increase has come about as a result of higher dairy herd numbers along with improvements to milk collection processes (India and Pakistan), efficiency improvements in integrated dairy production systems (Turkey), increased yield per cow (the European Union and the United States) and enhanced utilisation of idle capacity and higher demand from the processing sector and imports (Argentina). Please click the FAO's Dairy Market Review  t o peruse.
African swine fever outbreaks

Following an outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) reported in North West at the beginning of April 2019, two more outbreaks were identified outside of the ASF controlled area of South Africa. These two outbreaks occurred in relatively close proximity to Delmas, Mpumalanga, and in Daveyton, Gauteng.  Samples were confirmed positive for African swine fever and the outbreaks were reported to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) on 18 April 2019 (Mpumalanga) and 25 April 2019 (Gauteng). According to the laboratory results, the same virus is responsible for the three outbreaks in North West, Mpumalanga and Gauteng. Press release
Invitation to the industry consultative meeting on National Extension and Advisory Services Awards

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) hosts an annual competition to award those who have excelled in providing extension and advisory services to the primary agricultural sector. This has traditionally been an internal government process with provincial departments of agriculture competing for the award. However, DAFF has recently taken the decision to include the private sector by creating a separate category for private sector companies that provide extension and advisory services. DAFF will be convening a consultative workshop in Pretoria on 31 May where we anticipate the discussions will focus on the form and criteria for the private sector category. As many Agbiz members may be eligible to take part in this competition in the future, we will be present at the meeting and wish to relay the invitation to any members that may be interested. Interested and affected members who wish to participate in the consultative workshop can provisionally save the date. More information relating to the agenda and the contact details to RSVP will be communicated as soon as possible. 
Manufacturing Circle Trade Awareness Workshop
29 May 2019  | 61 Katherine Street | Sandton

SA Large Herds Conference
3-5 June 2019  The Boardwalk  Port Elizabeth

Subtrop Transformation Summit 2019
19 June 2019 | Ingwenyama Conference & Sports Resort | White River

Trade Development Forum
24-25 June 2019 | Gallagher Convention Centre | Johannesburg

2019 Cannabis Conference
Theme: The big business of cannabis
27-28 June 2019 | Emperors Palace Convention Centre Johannesburg
More information

13th Agribusiness Africa Conference 
10 July 2019 Premier Hotel | OR Tambo Airport
More information

PMA Fresh Connections: SA Conference and Trade Show  
30-31 July 2019 | Century City | Cape Town

Agbiz Grain 2019 Symposium 
14 August 2019  |  CSIR International Convention Centre | Pretoria

ARC Agri Indaba
29-30 August 2019 | Animal Production Campus Irene | Pretoria

Agritech Africa
17-19  June 2020 | Cape Town International Convention Centre  | Cape Town

Agritec Africa
19-21 June 2019 | Kenyatta International Conference & Convention Center (KICC), Nairobi  | Kenya

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