Book your exhibition stand and reach your target audience

A trade exhibition is a new feature at the Agbiz Congress 2020. This will provide the ideal platform for organisations to reinforce their brands and build brand awareness amongst a relevant audience. The programme has been specifically designed to maximise the opportunity for delegates to visit the exhibition area as well as being the venue for the welcome function and all refreshment breaks.

Grab this opportunity to showcase your organisation's latest innovations and new products or services to a pertinent audience.

Please click here for more information and to book an exhibition stand.
14 February 2020
Agbiz responds to the 2020 SONA
"Agbiz welcomes the greater realism articulated in the State of the Nation Address (SONA) by President Cyril Ramaphosa today, and especially welcomes the emphasis on inclusive economic growth to address key challenges facing South Africa. Considerable reference was made to developing social compacts between government, business, labour and communities to answer these numerous challenges, including especially the high unemployment rate. Agbiz is involved in a number of these initiatives, including various master plans for the broader sector that are currently being drafted, and supports this approach by the government," Dr John Purchase, CEO of Agbiz, indicated in an Agbiz media statement. Please click here for the full address by President Ramaphosa.
Proparco engages Agbiz on climate finance in South Africa

Proparco recently met with Agbiz on a climate finance facility that is being made available through the South African commercial banks. Proparco is a development finance institution jointly held by Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and by public and private shareholders that was founded 40 years ago. Proparco's mission is to catalyse private investment in emerging and developing countries with the aim of supporting growth and sustainable development (www.proparco.fr ). Proparco finances operations which aim at being economically viable, socially equitable, environmentally sustainable and financially profitable. The climate finance facility for South Africa focuses on clean energy, agriculture and housing and is currently being discussed with the major commercial banks (Agbiz members). So there is as yet no finality on the pricing of the facility, but it is expected to be lower than normal commercial rates. There is a list of eligible technologies that will qualify for the climate finance facility and the facility will span over a 12-year period. Normally Proparco considers investments requiring a minimum of US$10 million and above, but will be negotiable. Please also peruse the Proparco Terms of Reference that provides considerable background information. Given the expected continuous and debilitating disruption of electricity supply by Eskom over at least the next five years, so called load-shedding, agribusinesses are urged to consider clean energy investments to become energy secure.
Agbiz awards 2020 Centenary Bursary

The prestigious Agbiz Centenary Bursary 2020, to the value of R36 000 has been awarded to Reabetswe Monchonyane. She graduated from North-West University with a degree in Agricultural Economics and has been admitted to study towards a MSc in Agricultural Economics at the University of Pretoria with Prof Sheryl Hendriks as her study leader. Her master's degree dissertation/thesis will be on the role of agribusinesses in sustainable agricultural development for food security considerations. Agbiz will assist in the planning of the study and contribute to achieving the objectives thereof, where necessary.
KykNET programme investigates the impact of FMD

Agbiz CEO Dr John Purchase participated in a programme on the impact of the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak on  kykNET Verslag (DStv, channel 144) that was aired on 6 February, Please click here to view the programme.
Agbiz presents at colloquium on calculation of "just and equitable" compensation
Agbiz presented at a colloquium on the calculation of just and equitable compensation hosted by North-West University on 6 February. The colloquium brought together academia, economists, lawyers, valuers, industry role players and the Restitution Commission to discuss the role and impact of the presidential advisory committee's recommendation that a 'compensation policy' be developed to assist land reform acquisitions. The presentation delivered by Agbiz, as well as that of the other speakers, can be viewed at this link
SA agriculture jobs up marginally in Q4, 2019
The Quarterly Labour Force Survey data for the fourth quarter of 2019 show that South Africa's primary agricultural employment increased by 4.2% (or 
36 000  jobs) from the corresponding period last year to 885 000. The notable job gains were mainly in the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Free State and Limpopo. This was largely in the horticulture, field crops and livestock subsectors. These activities, however, were not evenly spread across all provinces. We believe that the Western Cape, Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal job gains were mainly in horticulture and field crops (specifically winter crops). While the slight improvement in the livestock subsector employment could be in the Free State. Agbiz chief economist Wandile Sihlobo discusses the latest data in the linked article .
Understanding SA's agriculture trade patterns
After reaching a record level of US$10.6 billion in 2018, South Africa's agricultural exports fell by 8% year-on-year (y/y) in 2019 to US$9.8 billion. This, however, was unsurprising as agricultural production data for 2019 showed a notable decline in a number of exportable commodities because of the drought. The temporary ban on exports of livestock products and wool in 2019, following the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease at the start of the year, also contributed to the decline in exports. Be that as it may, the top exportable agricultural products for 2019 included citrus, wine, grapes, apples and pears, sugar, macadamia nuts, wool and maize, amongst other products. Wandile Sihlobo discusses this subject in the linked article.
SA tractor sales down notably in January 2020
The South African agricultural machinery market started the year on a bad footing. Tractor sales were down 14% y/y, with 333 units sold. This is the lowest monthly sales data that has been recorded over the past six years. This sales data is, however, unsurprising as it is a continuation of the 2019 tractor sales trend. That year, farmers' incomes were constrained because of poor harvests on the back of drought and biosecurity issues, amongst other aspects. Wandile Sihlobo discusses the data in the linked article.
A mixed bag of grains
The World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report, produced by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), was released earlier this week. The commodities we typically pay close attention to in this report are wheat, maize and soybeans, for various reasons however. Wandile Sihlobo states in the linked article that "global wheat prices could be favourable in the near term for importing countries (and South African consumer). The same is true for maize but the benefit will be from the anticipated improvement in domestic supplies. Meanwhile, soybeans could be the opposite".
Finding common ground 
Agbiz chief economist Wandile Sihlobo's first book Finding Common Ground: Land, Equity and Agriculture will be published early in April this year. The book is a selection of key articles from his regular Business Day column, framed with insightful commentary and context. The book covers the broad themes that have marked current discussions and outlines the challenges and opportunities faced by South Africa's agricultural sector, including the contentious and complex issue of land reform, how agriculture can drive development and job creation, the importance of trade in growing South Africa's agriculture, and cannabis as an exportable commodity, amongst others. The Kindle version is already available to pre-order on  Amazon.
US revokes WTO subsidy preferences for some developing nations

The Trump administration is changing a key exemption to America's trade-remedy laws to make it easier to penalise about two dozen so-called developing countries including China, India and South Africa.  The US on Monday narrowed its internal list of developing and least-developed countries in order to reduce the threshold for triggering a US investigation into whether nations are harming US industries with unfairly subsidised exports, according to a US Trade Representative notice. In doing so, the US eliminated its special preferences for a list of self-declared developing countries that includes: Albania; Argentina; Armenia; Brazil; Bulgaria; China; Colombia; Costa Rica; Georgia; Hong Kong; India; Indonesia; Kazakhstan; the Kyrgyz Republic; Malaysia; Moldova; Montenegro; North Macedonia; Romania; Singapore; South Africa; South Korea; Thailand; Ukraine; and Vietnam. Read more in the linked article, first published on Engineering News.
IRMSA releases 2020 risk report

The Institute of Risk Management South Africa recently released the  IRMSA South Africa 2020 Risk Report. It includes a robust "look-back" analysis of the risks included in previous editions (2015 to 2019). In addition, the report evaluates key current developments and forward-looking views and consider the scenarios. From this, the report defines the 12 top risks South Africa will face in 2020. The specific aim is to increase the report's value for the real management of risk in organisations' day-to-day activities. The authors specifically linked the risk management effort to future scenarios that inform our strategies and included more information and sources to guide organisations to make better risk-informed decisions. Please click here to read the ebook.
Feed regulators and industry from around the world discuss critical issues at the 13th IFRM

The 13th International Feed Regulators Meeting (IFRM) was held on 27 and 28 January in Atlanta, US.  De Wet Boshoff and Liesl Breytenbach of AFMA joined 140 feed industry representatives and government officials from more than 30 countries around the world to participate in discussions on critical issues facing the feed sector with the International Feed Industry Federation (IFIF) and the Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The delegation included representatives from Africa (Ghana, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Uganda), regulators from Europe (EU, EFSA, Netherlands, Switzerland), Middle East (UAE), Asia Pacific (Australia, Bhutan, Myanmar) as well from the Americas (US, Canada, Jamaica, Dominican Republic) and the FAO and Codex.  De Wet Boshoff attended the meeting in his capacity as a member of the AFMA Board, and member of the International Feed Industry Federation (IFIF) Board, while Liesl Breytenbach attended in her capacity as AFMA's technical and regulatory affairs manager, and a member of the IFIF Regulatory Committee. You can access the 13th IFRM documents, including all presentations at this link.
NAMC notice for comments: SACTA levy

The NAMC has released a notice that will be published in the Government Gazette of Friday, 14 February 2020  regarding an application to the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development by the South African Cultivar and Technology Agency (SACTA) for the continuation of the cultivar and technology levies on winter cereals for a three-year period. The levy for wheat, barley and oats will be R30 for the next two seasons from 1/10/2020 to 30/9/2022 and R32 for the third season ending 30/9/2023.  The providers of seed for winter cereal production in South Africa, the producers of winter cereals and the off-takers of such crops in the industry value chain are the major beneficiaries of the new genetics and technology which this levy supports.   As directly affected groups in the winter cereal industry, all these role players are kindly requested to submit comments  regarding the proposed levy  to the NAMC before 28 February 2020. To ensure clarity regarding the differences between die SACTA levy and the WCT levy, kindly see the linked table.
NSTF-South 32 Awards will focus on plant health

The United Nations General Assembly declared 2020 as the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH). The year is an opportunity to raise global awareness on how protecting plant health can help end hunger, reduce poverty, protect the environment, and boost economic development.The National Science and Technology Forum's (NSTF) theme for 2020 is "Plant health", aligned to the United Nations' IYPH2020. As such, the 2020 NSTF-South32 Awards special theme award will be made for research and development (R&D) and innovation in plant health.
Discussion forum planned on plant health

The National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) Discussion Forums are platforms that provide constructive interaction and discussion with government and stakeholders on priority areas of concern to the SET and innovation community.The NSTF is planning a discussion forum on plant health (aligned with IYPH) on 6 and 7 May 2020 in Pretoria. More information will be available in future issues of the NSTF eNewsletter. To subscribe to the eNewsletter, visit the NSTF website.
Pannar awards best salesperson

From left: Flip Botha, Francois Mellet and John Odendaal.
Francois Mellet was named Pannar Seed Salesperson of the Year for the 2019 season. Francois represents Pannar in the Standerton and surrounding areas. The runner-up award went to Willem du Plessis, sales representative in the Bethal area. Francois and Willem are congratulated on their outstanding performance and rapport with customers throughout their territories. They have used their sales experience, technical knowledge, passion for Pannar and ability to market the company's wide range of different crops and cultivars to their customers and to provide a professional service. 
Agriculture sector education training SDF roadshow

AgriSETA invites all its existing and new skills development facilitators (SDFs) to attend the annual skills development facilitator workshops that are planned to take place in all regions listed below. The purpose of these workshops is to share and discuss developments that impact the submission of your mandatory grant application. Topics to be discussed at the workshops include(1) AgriSETA online submission (training on the new system) and (2) mandatory grants submissions. Please click here for more information and the dates and venues.
Latest news from the FPEF

For the latest news from the Fresh Produce Exporters' Forum, (FPEF) please click on the latest edition of Keeping it Fresh.
News from the pork industry

Read more about the latest developments and news in the pork industry in the South African Pork Producers' Organisation's (SAPPO) newsletter, SAPPO Weekly Update.
Visit Africa Agri Tech for latest innovations in agri

Innovation and disruption are buzz words across every industry sector and it is no different for agriculture. Africa Agri Tech, to be hosted at Times Square, Menlyn Maine from 18 to 20 February 2020, will explore how these innovations may be harnessed to the benefit of all players. This event sets the stage for farmers, growers, producers, processors, suppliers, associations and all industry stakeholders to come together and discuss conceptual developments for the benefits of this industry sector and food production. Please click here for more information and the programme of events.
Diarise annual CCMA Labour Conference
The CCMA is convening its 3rd Annual CCMA Labour Conference at Emperor's Palace, Ekurhuleni on 11 March. It is organised by the CCMA and hence any interested party can attend. If you would like to attend the event, please RSVP by following this link to complete the registration form and for more information about the conference.This conference is an annual event intended for the CCMA and its stakeholders, where prominent and leading professionals share a stage to deliberate on the ever-changing and demanding labour market environment, in which the CCMA plays a pivotal role. In light of the aforementioned context, and being cognisant to the current socio-economic climate and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the 2020 CCMA Labour Conference will focus on employers and the business community under the theme "The role of employers in the changing world of work". 
Africa Agri Tech South Africa
18-20 February 2020  | Time Square | Menlyn Maine | Pretoria
More information

AFMA Forum 2020
Theme: "Explore today for a better tomorrow"
3-5 March 2020 | Sun City | South Africa

Skills Development Summit & Achiever Awards 
4-5 March 2020 | CSIR Convention Centre | Pretoria
Contact  Gordon Campbell: gordon.campbell@skillssummit.co.za

Women in Tech Africa 2020 Conference 
18-19 March  | Century City Conference Centre  | Cape Town

GOSA Symposium 2020
19-20 March 2020 | Diaz Hotel & Resort | Mossel Bay
Theme: "2020 and beyond"

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

Agbiz Congress 2020
Theme: "Building resilient and sustainable agri-food ecosystems".
15-17 July 2020 | Sun City Convention Centre | South Africa

3rd African Symposium on Mycotoxicology joint MYTOXSOUTH conference 
6-9 September 2020 | Stellenbosch

Soya Bean for Human Consumption Symposium
17 September 2020  | Pretoria
Why join Agbiz?
  • Agbiz is the only organisation that serves the broader and common over-arching business interests of agribusinesses in South Africa.
  • Agbiz addresses the legislative and policy environment on the many fronts that it impacts on the agribusiness environment.
  • Agbiz facilitates considerable top-level networking opportunities so that South African agribusinesses can play an active and creative role within the local and international organised business environment.
  • Agbiz research provides sector-specific information for informed decision-making.
  • Agbiz newsletter publishes members' press releases and member product announcements.

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