12 April 2019
The global economy: a delicate moment 

A year ago, economic activity was accelerating in almost all regions of the world. One year later, much has changed. The escalation of US-China trade tensions, needed credit tightening in China, macroeconomic stress in Argentina and Turkey, disruptions to the auto sector in Germany, and financial tightening alongside the normalisation of monetary policy in the larger advanced economies have all contributed to a significantly weakened global expansion, especially in the second half of 2018. International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief economist Gita Gopinath explains this opinion in the linked IMF blogpost.
FMD: ongoing trade in safe commodities prioritised

In the latest report on progress regarding the recent foot-and-mouth disease outbreak issued by the Directorate: Animal Health, it is reported that continuation of trade in safe commodities is prioritised and negotiations are ongoing with various trade partners. High-level meetings were held with counterparts from the People's Republic of China to discuss the continuation of trade in safe commodities, such as hides, skins and wool, from South Africa to China. Please click press release to peruse.
SA wool industry representatives meet with Chinese counterparts

During the International Wool Trade Organisation (IWTO) Congress currently taking place in Venice, Italy, the South African wool industry delegation arranged a meeting with their Chinese counterparts to obtain first-hand information on the current status of China's suspension of all wool from South Africa. The Chinese delegation expressed the view that the key issue would be to regain South Africa's FMD-free status from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OiE), but that there could still be a cooling-off period imposed by the Chinese government after South Africa regains its FMD-free status.  Please click here for the report.
Decline in March 2019 SA agricultural machinery sales unsurprising

The notable annual decline in South Africa's agricultural machinery sales in March 2019 is unsurprising, and mainly a function of base effects. March 2018 was an exceptional month, particularly for tractor sales, which reached a record level of 726 units in a dataset starting from 2014. According to the South African Agricultural Machinery Association, the uptick in sales then was boosted by government tenders. Agbiz chief economist Wandile Sihlobo provide more insight in the linked article.
How the cannabis market might give SA a boost

The growing emphasis that agriculture should be amongst the key sectors driving the South African economy and job creation has mainly leaned on potential expansion in hectares of labour-intensive, and globally sought-after horticulture products, as well as traditional grains and oilseeds. Changing perceptions about cannabis around the globe, and its growing value raises a question of whether South Africa should put concerted effort into research on this crop so that policymakers can better assess if its production benefits could be balanced by measures to mitigate unintended consequences. Wandile Sihlobo elaborates in the linked article written for and first published on Fin 24.
No imminent threat from the recent African swine fever outbreak

The South African government has detected an outbreak of African swine fever on a farm in North West. African swine fever is a fatal animal disease affecting pigs and wild boars with up to 100% mortality, but it does not affect humans. N ow, the reports suggest that the outbreak killed 32 out of a herd of 36 pigs on a farm in the Ditsobotla district in North West. This was confirmed with the CEO of the South African Pork Producers' Organisation, Johann K otz √© , who has clarified that these were specifically wild pigs. Wandile Sihlobo elaborates in the  linked blogpost.
SAPPO says North West ASF outbreak is an isolated incident

The African swine fever (ASF) outbreak in North West that was confirmed this  week is an isolated incident and it seems not to pose any risk to the South African commercial  pig industry at this stage, says Johann Kotz√©, CEO of the South African Pork Producers' Organisation  (SAPPO). He met representatives of the Department of Rural, Environment and  Agricultural Development (READ) of North West earlier this week. Please click on SAPPO press release to peruse.
Fall armyworm detected in the Western Cape

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has announced that larvae of the fall armyworm (FAW) were detected for the first time in late March 2019 on sweetcorn in the Western Cape, in the Clanwilliam area. FAW moths were also detected in several areas in the Western Cape between June and August in 2018. Press release
Government planning to establish a hemp industry, says Minister Zokwana

The government is looking at ways of establishing a hemp industry to help diversify the agricultural sector and to create jobs, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Senzeni Zokwana, said. He said the Department of Health was considering 36 applications for commercial hemp cultivation. Please click here to read an article by Bekezela Phakathi that was published in Business Day.
More than 100 Bayer-owned glyphosate safety study reports accessible

In a press release, Bayer said the company welcomes a science-based discussion with regulators around the globe, the international research community, as well as with consumers on the safety profile of glyphosate. To that end, all 107 Bayer-owned glyphosate safety study reports that were submitted to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) as part of the substance authorisation process in the European Union (EU) are now accessible on Bayer's dedicated transparency platform. In doing so, the company delivers on its commitment to more transparency, including its crop protection safety studies following the acquisition of Monsanto.  Press release
BKB's Edmayr first South African to lead the IWTO

Wolf Edmayr, managing director of BKB, was elected as the new president of the International Wool Textile Organisation (IWTO). This is the first time in history that this honour is bestowed upon a South African. The IWTO has represented the interests of the global wool trade since 1930. By facilitating research and development, wool textile education and knowledge sharing, the IWTO ensures a sustainable future for wool.
Zimbabwe to start paying white farmers compensation after April

The news agency Reuters, reported earlier this week that Zimbabwe is to start paying compensation this year to thousands of white farmers who lost land under former president Robert Mugabe's land reform nearly two decades ago, as the Zimbabwean government seeks to bring closure to a highly divisive issue.Please click here to read the original article written by MacDonald Dzirutwe. 
Afgri opens a new investment unit to boost growth

The unlisted agribusiness, Afgri Group, said its new investment vehicle, which allowed institutional investors to invest in its grain silo properties, has given it the capacity to expand its operations. Afgri Group CEO Chris Venter said the company wanted to significantly grow the business but the pace of this growth would be limited if it had to depend only on its own financial resources. Read the full story in the linked Business Day article written by Larry Claasen.
The latest news from Potatoes SA

For fresh news in the potato industry, please click here for the latest edition of the Potatoes SA Newsletter.
Global Cherry Summit 2019
25 April 2019  | Monticello Conference Center | San Francisco de Mostazal, Chile

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

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
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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

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

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