15 March 2019
Agric value chain submits five-year plan to government

The past week a delegation of the agric value chain, co-ordinated by Dr John Purchase, CEO of Agbiz, met with the Director General of the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) in the Presidency on two occasions as part of the on-going Public Private Growth Initiative (PPGI) highlighted in the 2019 SONA by President Ramaphosa. The purpose of the meeting was threefold:
  1. To submit five-year industry plans to DPME and relevant line departments of government (23 industries are participating in this initiative)
  2. To start addressing the inhibitors of investment and growth impacting negatively on industries.
  3. To submit to government bankable and viable projects for implementation support.
Of critical importance is the time frames that were decided on to integrate the five-year industry plans into the next five-year Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) of government, as well as structured monitoring and evaluation engagement structures to ensure counter-accountability.
At the two engagements, David Bridgeman of the World Bank also presented a discussion framework for South Africa Investment Promotion Strategy & Target Sector Assessment, in which the agriculture and agribusiness sectors feature as major priority focus areas. Please click on World Bank Discussion Framework to peruse. Agbiz has over the past couple of months had numerous engagements with World Bank officials as they have developed a comprehensive South African diagnostic.
Substantial progress made to conclude a roll-over EPA between SACU, Mozambique and the UK 

In a media statement issued earlier this week, Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies said progress had been made to finalise a roll-over Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), Mozambique and the United Kingdom (UK). Minister Davies was briefing the media in Parliament on the rollover of the EPA between SACU, Mozambique and the UK. SACU and Mozambique have been discussing with the UK the rollover of the EPA to avoid trade disruption post-Brexit. "The objective of the process is to ensure as far as possible the continuity of the terms of the SADC-EU EPA following the UK's exit from the EU by agreeing to a separate trade agreement that mirrors the terms of the SADC-EU EPA." Please click here to peruse.
On 13 March 2019, the UK government outlined its 'no-deal' trade plans after the UK Parliament voted against the Brexit deal on 12 March 2019. The plan would mean that 87% of imports by value would be eligible for zero-tariff access. However, tariffs would be maintained to protect certain industries. A total of 469 tariff lines will remain dutiable with varying levels and types of duties, including ad valorem, specific, mixed duties; tariff-rate quota based duties. These will affect the following sectors: automotive vehicles, clothing and textile, lamb, beef, pork, poultry, rice, fish, fertiliser, fats and oils, sugar and molasses, ceramics and related products, cheese, tyres and wheels, butter, rum, bananas, fresh beans, bioethanol and spirits, cocoa, polyethylene, clove and vanilla. Please follow the link for list of UK MNF duties post-no-deal-Brexit.
Please click here to view the relevant UK Government portal for any additional information on the UK's tariff regime post-Brexit. 
Some trade has resumed following the FMD outbreak 

In a media statement issued earlier this week, Minister Senzeni Zokwana stated that the continuation of trade in safe commodities has been prioritised by the task teams. The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has successfully negotiated the revision of veterinary health certificates for beef to Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lesotho, Mozambique, Qatar, Swaziland and the United Arab Emirates. Trade in pork from foot-and-mouth disease-free pig compartments has been re-opened to Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia (partially), Seychelles and Swaziland. Negotiations with Namibia (for beef) and Botswana (for pork) are still underway. The markets for dairy products have largely been restored. Some markets for the export of hides, skins and wool are still affected and robust negotiations are underway, particularly for products that have been processed to ensure the destruction of the foot-and-mouth virus. Minister Senzeni Zokwana met with the Chinese ambassador to discuss the continuation of trade and acceptance of South Africa's safe commodities. Stricter proceedings to ensure necessary assurance for future trading have been affirmed. Please click here for the complete media statement.
Agbiz CEO participates in GTR Africa 2019

Global Trade Review (GTR) Africa 2019 returned to Cape Town this past week to reflect on africa's endless potential as a growth market for global trade. It further created a crucial networking forum for corporates and financiers alike. The Agribusiness panel, of which Dr Purchase, CEO of Agbiz, was a panel member had the theme of 'Filling the breadbasket: The importance of a thriving Agribusiness Sector', and explored the issues od food security, government support policies and policy implementation, private sector engaement and smallholder investment as keys to the continent's agriculture and agribusiness future. The panel discussion further delved into the latest trends impacting on African Agricultural Trade and export finance, profiling opportunities across a wide range of countries in highlighting key challenges and obstacles in realizing Africa's agricultural potential. More on www.gtreview.com.
Citrus producers convene to 'grow the future together'

The Citrus Growers' Association (CGA) of southern Africa hosted their very successful 2019 Citrus Summit in Port Elizabeth this past week, with more than 600 delegates participating in a most informative event. Agbiz was well represented with Wandile Sihlobo presenting on "Confidence in the Agriculture and Agribusiness Sectors", and Dr John Purchase presenting on "AgriBEE - Working for you", against the backdrop of the Summit theme of "Grow the future together - balancing growth and inclusivity". Dr Purchase indicated the processes and milestones since the inaugural B-BBEE strategy and B-BBEE Act of 2003, up to the latest AgriBEE Sector Code gazetted in December 2017, and the developments around the AgriBEE Enforcement Guidelines developed by DAFF. All enterprises within the respective agricultural value chains need to take serious cognisance of these developments and understand that to ensure the sustainability of your business, you will have to develop and implement a B-BBEE strategy. Dr Purchase further elaborated on the participation on the Public Private Growth Initiative (PPGI), as highlighted in the President's recent State of the Nation Address (SONA), and the considerable progress made with developing a Five-Year Agric Value Chain Plan that will now be incorporated into Government's Five-Year Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF), currently being developed by the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME), together with other government departments.
Confidence drives growth in SA agricultural economy
This week, Agbiz chief economist Wandile Sihlobo participated at the Citrus Growers' Association's Citrus Summit, and the South African Feedlot Association's Cattlemen's Conference. At both sessions, he emphasised the need for conducive policies which would boost confidence, and thereafter investment and economic growth. Business, consumer, and agribusiness confidence has been subdued for some time in South Africa, and the so-called "Ramaphoria" at the beginning of 2018, was short-lived, and didn't lead to any material uptick in investment, and household expenditure. Going forward, this will need to change, and over and above, there is a need for concrete reforms to increase competitiveness of South African producers, and to increase productivity and skills of the workforce in order to realise meaningful private sector investment growth. Without robust private sector investment growth and a productive and skilled workforce, South Africa will not be able to address the issue of much needed jobs. You can access Wandile's presentation here.
Recovery in agricultural machinery sales speaks to increased plantings

South Africa's agricultural machinery sales data confirms the Crop Estimates Committee's view of increased summer grain and oilseed plantings between January and February 2019 in the western parts of the country. To recap, last month the Crop Estimates Committee lifted its estimate for South Africa's 2018/19 summer grain and oilseed plantings by 3% from January 2019 to 3.7 million hectares. While this data present all summer grains and oilseeds, the notable upward revisions in plantings were on white maize, sunflower seed, and sorghum - crops that are predominantly planted in the western parts of South Africa. Wandile Sihlobo provides more insight in the linked article.
Notable uptick in South Africa's sorghum production

Early in the year, Wandile Sihlobo highlighted the decline in the production of sorghum, with area plantings having reached 28 800 hectares in the 2017/18 production season - the smallest area on record in a dataset starting from 1936/37. This was a disappointing picture, given that sorghum, aside from human consumption purposes, was once seen as key to the development of the biofuel industry in South Africa and, in turn, job creation in rural areas. These industrial plans never kicked off, and South Africa began to look at the development of export markets as a way that would boost production - another option that was also never followed through for whatever reasons. Wandile Sihlobo elaborates in the linked blogpost.
Appropriate interventions and partnerships work to enhance small-scale farmer development - Dr Simela 

Dr Langa Simela, Business Development Manger at Absa Agribusiness and  Agbiz Deputy Chairperson, was the keynote speaker at the 2nd edition of the SUMMIT organised with AXEMA and SIMA in conjuction with Farmer's Weekly, South Africa. It was hosted in France on 26 February 2019.  The 2019 SUMMIT theme was "Agribusiness in Africa - positioning agriculture as a business and economic sector. The topic of Dr Simela's presentation was "Equipment and technology to enhance small-scale farmer development in Africa". Her presentation is linked here.
Strategic, financial and cybersecurity risks
will dominate the risk landscape 

The Association for Financial Professionals® (AFP) 2019 AFP Risk Survey - The  Evolving Treasury Ecosystem, examines the use of non-traditional vendors by treasury departments globally, the pros/cons of using them and, most importantly, highlights the risks that might arise as a
result and notes the approaches organizations are taking to minimise those risks. This survey is the eighth
in the series and also provides insights into the greatest risks impacting organizations currently and through the next three years. Responses from 391 treasury practitioners form the basis of this report. Please click on AFP MCC Risk Survey Report to peruse.
Scholarships available at university in China

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries introduced the DAFF-China Scholarship programme in 2011 as a vehicle to build capacity. This scholarship aims to address areas identified as scarce and critical in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors.  For the 2019/20 academic year the department is offering fully funded postgraduate scholarships with universities in the People's Republic of China. The successful candidates will be enrolled at the People's Republic of China at Jilin Agricultural University in Changchun. The scholarship is open only for South African citizens who wish to further their studies and pursue careers in the identified scarce skills offered by the university mentioned. Follow this link f or more information. Click here for the application form.
Fit-for-purpose competition laws: amendments of competition laws in Botswana, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe

In the past year, various countries in SADC have considered amendments to their competition laws. Botswana, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe have amended or are proposing amendments to their competition laws in order to make the legislations more applicable to their economic and social contexts. These developments are consistent with a shift in developing countries from transplanting aspects of their competition laws from international frameworks, to a focus on using competition policy as a tool for addressing particular challenges within their local economies. Please click here for an article published on www.competition.org.za.
Digital industry policy framework

Advances in technologies are disrupting production processes in unprecedented ways across industries around the world. These changes are bringing new opportunities for improving productivity and competitiveness in various sectors but are also bringing new challenges. History has shown that successfully managing the structural changes driven by technology is crucial for ensuring wider benefits. It is therefore critical to understand the nature of the disruptions for different industries. The Industrial Development Think Tank (IDTT) supported by the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) is working on a programme of research deepening understanding of processes of technological change in the context of industry 4.0. This will inform a digital industrial policy framework and a policy issues paper.within their local economies. Please click here for an article published on www.competition.org.za.
Celebrate International Consumer Rights Day

VKB postpones Land Reform Information Days

The VKB Land Reform Information Days that was sceduled for 18 March in Polokwane and 20 March in Frankfort are postponed until after the election.
IFC / Agbiz Water Efficiency in Agri-processing Workshop 

The International Finance Cooperation (IFC), member of the World Bank Group, and the Agricultural Business Chamber, Agbiz, invite you to take part in a workshop dedicated to water efficiency in agri-processing. This event is an opportunity for various groups of stakeholders, including private companies, sector associations, development partners and policymakers, to discuss the issues and challenges related to water use that the sector is currently facing. IFC and Agbiz are also inviting to discuss regulatory aspects of water use, and ho sustainable water use could be incentivised through policy measures and collective action. Each session will include a presentation by the session leads, followed by case-study presentations by industry and a panel discussion.
Date:  25 March 2019 
Time: 10:00
Venue: Grain Building Auditoiurm | Pretoria
Landbouweekblad conference on regenerative agriculture
Theme: Let nature earn you money
19 March 2019  |  Morgensrust  |  60 Owl Street, Joostenbergvlakte

Agritech Roadshow
The Produce Marketing Association (PMA) with the Israel Trade Office will be showcasing some of the most innovative technologies and solutions in the fresh produce industry.
25 March 2019  | Pretoria
27 March 2019  | Polokwane
28 March 2019  | Stellenbosch
NWU Precision Conference
4 April 2019 | North-West University  | Potchefstroom Campus

Sustainable Agriculture Summit Africa 2019
11-14 April 2019  | Mövenpick Hotel and Residences | Nairobi | Kenya

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
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

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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