12 MAY 2017
Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Bill returns as a Private Member's Bill

In the winter of 2016 the Constitutional Court handed down judgement in the Land Access Movement of South Africa (LAMOSA) case. Due to defective consultation in the provincial legislatures and National Council of Provinces, the court set aside the Amendment Bill that reopened the lodgement period for claims that initially closed in December 1998, whilst interdicting the Land Claims Commission from processing any new claims received before all of the pre-1998 claims were finalised. Theo Boshoff, Agbiz Head: Legal Intelligence, provides more information in the linked article»
This past week DRDLR made a most interesting presentation to the Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform in Parliament. Among others, allocations to Land Reform, Land Restitution, Rural Development and Administration are provided, as well as the allocations to the respective provinces. Please click on ENE Presentation to peruse full presentation.
Eastern Cape farmers need investment 

"The overemphasis on the Eastern Cape's economic challenges often overshadows the debate about its potential. It is true that the province's unemployment is above the national rate of 26.5%, with youth unemployment also higher than the national figure of 35.6%.  Yet the Eastern Cape plays an important role in SA's economy, contributing about 8% to national GDP. This makes it the fourth-largest contributor to GDP after Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape,"  writes Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz Head: Economic and Agribusiness Intelligence, in his Business Day  column -  Read more»
SA's combine harvester sales at highest level since February 2015

South African farmers are gearing up for a big crop. This is reflected in the combine harvester sales, which reached 30 units in April 2017 - the highest monthly sales since February 2015. This uptick is on the back of an expected increase in activity during harvesting period and, to some extent, also a sign of improved financial conditions. The sales have been on the upward trend since the beginning of the year. 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
Import tariffs aren't just set up to unfairly protect commercial farmers - A response to Neva Makgetla

To suggest that food tariffs are there to favour farmers at the expense of the poor is an attack on state institutions that play a vital social function.  The issue of rising food prices has been at the core of the policy discourse for some time, particularly, over the past year when the country experienced a perfect storm of a severe drought, and a volatile plus depreciating Rand. South Africa became a net importer of staple grains - such as maize and wheat - and we imported almost a third of our annual maize consumption and half of our wheat. The high level of staple grain imports exposed the market to the exchange rate shocks, which re-enforced the impact of rising food prices.  Read more in the linked article that was written by Agbiz economists, Tinashe Kapuya and Wandile Sihlobo.  
* This article was first published as a blog on www.huffingtonpost.co.za
Transforming fertile grounds into fertile agribusiness

On 2 May 2017, the Swedish Embassy hosted an event in Pretoria to engage South African agricultural stakeholders on the factors that are affecting competitiveness, value addition, and the investment environment in the sector. The general manager for Agbiz Grain, Mariana Purnell, moderated the discussion.  Tinashe Kapuya provides more information in the
linked article»

Syngenta shareholders accepts offer from ChemChina

ChemChina has won around 82% support from Syngenta shareholders for its $43 billion takeover of the Swiss pesticides and seeds group - Reuters report

Antonie Delport, Managing Director of Syngenta South Africa, informed stakeholders in a letter that Syngenta will remain Syngenta; the operational independence will be preserved; and the company will continue to be headquartered in Switzerland - Read more»
SA wine grape harvest excels despite drought

he South African wine grape harvest is slightly larger than last year following a dry season and consumers can look forward to exceptional wines from the 2017 vintage.   The wine industry body VinPro says the 2017 harvest, that is at 1 425 283 tonnes 1.4% larger than in 2016, was initially expected to be smaller. "A decrease was expected due to the second consecutive very dry, hot season. However, cooler nights throughout the growing season and the absence of significant heatwaves during harvest time buffered the effect of the drought to some extent," says Francois Viljoen, manager of VinPro's viticulture consultation service  - Media release»
The ongoing and severe shortage of well trained personnel entering the agri-sector and agri-related industries, including farm managers, section managers and sales personnel, poses a significant risk to food security on the continent.   AGRICOLLEGES International is a new, modern, cloud-based e-learning institution.  Speaking at the press launch in Johannesburg, Howard Blight, Chairperson and Founder of AGRICOLLEGES International said their diploma level courses will meet the needs of the industry to gain young, skilled agricultural talent at a price-point that is affordable.   Read more»
The Fertilizer Association of Southern Africa (Fertasa) held its 57th annual congress in Durban on 4 May 2017.  The focus was on sustainability of the fertiliser industry in South Africa, as well as sustainability of water, soil, climate and agriculture.   Presenting the chairman's report, Fertasa chairperson and Omnia Fertilizer MD, Adriaan de Lange stated that international fertilizer prices remain under pressure due to the continued increase in new capacity coming on line, which outpaces demand currently. Fertilizer prices are generally determined by the production cost of the marginal cost producer, which has also reduced in recent years due to the reduction in prices of energy.  Read more»

Presenters at the congress were:
Paul Makepeace (Senior Fertilizer Specialist, AFAP)
Dr Sylvester Mpandeli (Chairman, African Regional Working Group)
Prof Isaiah Wakindiki (Professional Natural Scientist)
Prof Roland Schulze (Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa & member of the Academy of Science of South Africa)
Dr Herman van Schalkwyk (Managing Director of Suidwes)

Presentations are available online: www.fertasa.co.za/fertasa-events/congress/

Agribusiness leaders will meet in Miami during a time when the agribusiness and food management landscape are rapidly and dramatically changing, writes IFAMA President, Johan van Rooyen, in a letter.  He states that prospects of a global agricultural revolution are not a remote idea anymore; it has rather become a question of "what, where and what next", and "how can we exploit it best".  Read more»

The IFAMA 2017 World Conference is to be held in Miami, Florida, USA from 18 to 21 June 2017.   This year the event will have powerful interactive discussion panels, high level key notes and the scientific symposia with around 150 selected research papers. The conference themes will cover trade, disruptive innovations and new challenges for talent development - all to ensure Food Security in 2050. Twenty student teams will also compete in the IFAMA Case Competition - two from IFAMA Africa!   Read more»

Early bird registration ends 16 May. Click here»
Second workshop of the Crop Estimates Liaison Committee (CELC)  
12 May 2017 | Pretoria
RSVP as soon as possible to  mariana.purnell@agbizgrain.co.za

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

NAMPO Harvest Day
16-19 May 2017 | Bothaville
More information

Jobs Summit 2017
23 May 2017 | Sandton
More information

AWS International Water Stewardship Standard 
Cape Town 23-25 May 2017 and Durban 20 - 22 June 2017
More information

SA Large Herds Conference
5-7 June 2017 | Champagne Sports Resort
Contact:  Julie McLachlan on julie@mpo.co.za
IFAMA 2017 World Conference
18-21 June 2017 | Miami, Florida, USA
More information

Avi Africa 2017 Conference, Congress & Exhibition 
20-22 June 2017 | Emperors Palace | Johannesburg
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

Agbiz Grain Mini-Symposium
15 August 2017 |  CSIR, Pretoria
Enquiries: mariana.purnell@agbizgrain.co.za 

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

South African Association for Food Science & Technology (SAAFoST) 22nd Biennial International Congress and Exhibition 
3-6 September 2017 | Century City Convention Centre | Cape Town

13th African Dairy Conference and Exhibition
12-14 September 2017 | Premier Hotel OR Tambo
Contact:  Julie McLachlan on  julie@mpo.co.za

MPO National Congress
20 September 2017 | Protea Hotel King George | George
Contact:  Julie McLachlan on julie@mpo.co.za

Potatoes SA Congress
28 September 2017 | Premier Hotel OR Tambo | Johannesburg

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