14 December 2018
Draft bill on expropriation excludes the arbitrary seizure of property

The parliamentary majority decision to amend the Constitution to allow for land expropriation without compensation has provoked extreme views. In some quarters it is seen as the silver bullet that will miraculously and single-handedly undo the horrendous original sin of colonial and apartheid-era dispossession. In other quarters it is presented as the about-to-be original sin of the postapartheid dispensation. Please click here for an article by Thulas Nxesi and Jeremy Cronin, minister and deputy minister of public works, respectively, written for and first published in Business Day on 13 December 2018.
Distributing unused state land can move an area more than half the size of Kruger Park

The Presidential Advisory Panel on Land Reform hosted a colloquium over the weekend to share its thinking on critical policy related to the land reform space and to obtain inputs from stakeholders and experts not represented on the panel. The topics were diverse, stretching from customary tenure reform, to beneficiary support and even expropriation. A short article would not do justice to all of the topics that were covered, but there was a single presentation made, which particularly caught the eye. Agbiz head of Legal Intelligence Theo Boshoff elaborates in the linked article.
Agricultural water management scenarios for SA

Water is the most critical resource for economic development and food security and more so in a water-stressed South Africa. The Water Resource Commission (WRC) funds a project titled "Agricultural water management scenarios for South Africa" and seeks to capture inputs and contributions from all agricultural water stakeholders in South Africa. Mariana Purnell of Agbiz Grain recently participated in a meeting with the research team (from the University of the Free State) which is consulting all stakeholders through a series of small stakeholder workshops and two national symposia to develop scenarios for future agricultural water management in South Africa. The presentations were thought provoking. WRC also anticipates that that these scenarios will influence future policy.
Water-energy-food nexus - towards efficient national planning

The water-energy-food nexus means that the security of supply in these three critical resources tends to be intricately linked. In South Africa, there is a lack of a clear elevated plan to manage the water-energy-food nexus. Mariana Purnell of Agbiz Grain recently participated in this event of the NSTF (National Science & Technology Forum) that included a solution-driven discussion on government policy, related issues, and research. The envisaged outcomes were to collate recommendations for government, which will be publicised and sent to the relevant authorities and to identify issues for further discussion and determining possible follow-up actions.  The proceedings on the NSTF Discussion Forum on Water-energy-food nexus - towards efficient national planning (#WaterEnergyFood) are now available online.
Keep track of changing regulatory environment

The Minister of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Senzeni Zokwana, has published a notice in the Government Gazette requesting comments on the proposed amendment of regulations relating to farm feeds in the Fertilizer, Farm Feed, Agrticultural Remedies and Stock Remedies Act.  Comments should be submitted by Tuesday, 8 January 2019.
The Director General of the Department of Environmental Affairs, Nosipho Ngcaba, also requests information on chemicals recommended to be listed in the 9th Conference of the Parties (COPs) to the Stockholm and Rotterdam Conventions, as well as candidate chemicals under review by the Chemical Review Committee (CRC) in South Africa. Companies who manufacture, use, sell, import or export and/or in possession of chemicals that have been listed and /or recommended for listing in the Stockholm and Rotterdam Convention are invited to submit to the director general, within 60 days after the publication of the notice in the Gazette, written comments or inputs. Comments should be submitted by Monday, 28 January 2019. Please click here to peruse.
SA food and non-alcoholic beverages inflation unchanged in November 

South Africa's food and non-alcoholic beverages inflation has bottomed out and will begin an upward cycle in the coming months supported by an increase in agricultural commodities prices. But the headline number will probably increase marginally as we expect the uptick in cattle and sheep slaughtering activity to contain meat price inflation at fairly lower levels in the near term, and that in turn, will influence the overall increase. Agbiz head of Agribusiness Research Wandile Sihlobo provides more insights in the linked article.
South Africa's agricultural machinery sales slow in November 

The decline in South Africa's tractors and combine harvesters sales to 428 and 9 units, respectively, in November 2018 comes as no surprise as most farmers bought some equipment in the past couple of months. This is evident from South Africa's tractors sales for the first 11 months of this year, which amounted to 6 246 units, up by 4% higher than the corresponding period last year. Over the same period, the combine harvesters' sales amounted to 194 units, up by a percentage point from the first 11 months of 2017. While the annual uptick in agricultural machinery sales signals the potential for increased production in the sector, especially in the case of tractor sales for the year so far, the drier weather conditions in most parts of the country have stalled planting, and have raised concerns about the 2018/19 grains and oilseeds harvest.   Click here for more insights in Wandile Sihlobo's article.
Brief reflections on South Africa's agricultural economy in 2018

It is year-end and I had planned to write an essay reflecting on the performance of the South African agricultural economy in 2018. But seeing that the data has largely been disappointing, particularly in the first half of the year, such a review would suggest that there was little positive developments in the sector, which would of course be untrue. There has been a lot of interesting developments in South African agricultural sector this year and some were highlighted in my personal blog, Agricultural Economics Today, during the year. Wandile Sihlobo shares the five keys issues that didn't necessarily made the headlines, but are worth noting in the linked blogpost.
South Africa's 2018/19 maize harvest estimate lowered

There are growing concerns that the current dry weather conditions in most parts of South Africa could lead to a lower maize harvest in the 2018/19 production season. But the production expectations for the season are not as acute as what was seen in the 2015/16 drought periods where South African maize production amounted to 8.2 million tonnes - turning the country into a net importer of maize. Please click here for Wandile Sihlobo's blogpost on the maize harvest estimate.
Exploring the economic potential of legal dagga in SA

Is it time for South Africa to create dope jobs? That the big question asked by many as South Africa hosts its first Cannibis Expo. The same sentiments are shared in an article penned by Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz head of Agribusiness Research, who explored how the country can economically benefit from the recently legalised private use of dagga. Please click here to watch CNBC Africa's interview with Wandile Sihlobo on this topic.
It is important to remember that the Animal Diseases Act 35 of 1984 aims at protecting the national herd, as well as humans against serious diseases such as brucellosis. The Act and its Regulations have general control measures relevant to all diseases, but also have specific control measures for diseases such as brucellosis. All the control measures have been put in place for the purpose of this aim and not to punish people. Simply by following the principles of disease control and prevention, it should be easy to remain within the framework of the Act.   Read more.
UP and AFMA sign MoA to establish Africa's first training and research feed mill

A Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between the University of Pretoria (UP) and the Animal Feed Manufacturers Association (AFMA) to the value of R50 million for the establishment of a feed mill research facility was officially signed on 11 December 2018. The MoA was signed by Prof Cheryl de la Rey, vivce-chancellor and principal of UP and De Wet Boshoff, executive director of AFMA, pictured on the left. The ceremony was attended by UP dignitaries and AFMA board members. Press release.
Get the latest news from BUSA

Please   click here to read the November/December BUSA newsletter.
SRCC's latest transformation news

The Sundays River Citrus Company has published the 11th edition of the SRCC Transformation Times. Please click here to peruse.
2019 DEKALB Create Conferences

First Bi-annual International Soy for Human Health Conference 2019
11-13 March 2019 | St George Hotel | Pretoria

CGA Citrus Summit  
1 2-14 March 2019 | Boardwalk Hotel | Port Elizabeth

The Solar Show Africa 2019
26-27 March 2019 | Sandton Convention Centre | Johannesburg

The Water Show Africa 2019
26-27 March 2019 | Sandton Convention Centre | Johannesburg

The Energy Efficiency Show Africa 2019
26-27 March 2019 | Sandton Convention Centre | Johannesburg

Global Cherry Summit 2019
25 April 2019  | Monticello Conference Center | San Francisco de Mostazal, Chile

Ensminger Pig Symposium
22-23 May 2019 | Kopanong Hotel and Conference Centre | Benoni

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

10th SA Veterinary and Paraveterinary Congress
15-18 July 2019 | Emperors Palace | Kempton Park

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