16 February 2018

Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) welcomes the appointment of President Cyril Ramaphosa and views his appointment as a key milestone in the revival of business and investor confidence in South Africa.  "The positive movement of the local currency following the events of the past few days is indicative of the importance of political certainty, accountability and good governance in advancing South Africa's economic fortunes. As the business community, we stand ready to work in partnership with the President Ramaphosa in creating a conducive environment for sustainable and inclusive economic growth," said BUSA CEO Tanya Cohen. Download media release here»

With recent changes on the political front, Media24 earlier this week published remarks from some economists and agricultural leaders
. Dr John Purchase, CEO of Agbiz, shares his thoughts on Zuma's exit in the  linked news article»  [Afrikaans].

The ANC decided at its conference in December that it would propose amendments to the constitution to seize land without compensation to speed up the process of giving black people more land that they were stripped of during white rule. ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa has assured people that the policy on the expropriation of land without compensation will be implemented in a manner that will not cripple the country or destabilise the agricultural sector.  Theo Boshoff, Wandile Sihlobo and Sifiso Ntombela have authored a discussion paper on the land reform debate.  This past week, Theo Boshoff joined SABC News live to discuss the paper. Watch the interview here»

Food security remains a topical issue in many African countries, where maize is, by and large, the staple food. Kenya remains a net importer of maize, following a harsh drought in the 2016/17 production season. The thin resources available in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe remain stretched as drought and fall armyworms threaten the 2017/18 maize production season. South Africa also started the 2017/18 production season on a bad footing, as I highlighted in this column the difficulties brought by extreme dryness in the western sections of the Free State and North West provinces at the beginning of the year.  Read more  in Wandile Sihlobo's Business Day column published on 15 February 2018.

After experiencing a decline in employment in the first three quarters of 2017, South Africa's agricultural sector recorded a 5% q/q rebound in employment in the fourth quarter to 849 000 jobs. This quarterly increase was mainly in field crops, horticulture and livestock sub-sectors. The provinces driving it were the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. Overall, while the quarterly uptick is encouraging, agricultural employment is still down when compared to the corresponding period the previous year. Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist, provides more information in the linked update»

Food prices have been in the headlines for some time in South Africa - from drought related concerns to the abundance of supplies on the back of a big harvest. However, there's has been little discussion or explanation of the price transmission mechanism in the food industry. This has led to a situation where some consumers expect a decline in maize prices to lead to a similar movement in maize meal prices.  Read more in Agbiz economist, Wandile Sihlobo's  linked blog post»

Click here to read the daily market view on commodities and the weekly wrap.  

Over 180 South African companies are already doing business in Nigeria and the MATON, which is an acronym for Mining, Agricultural, and Tourism Opportunities in Nigeria, is a trade show/conference created to enhance awareness of the enormous potential of the various states in Nigeria. MATON 2018 taking place on 4 and 5 April 2018 in Pretoria will provide a platform to interact with key decision makers in the Nigerian government   Read more»
- www.businesslive.co.za
A new agribusiness powerhouse is heading for listing on the JSE after proposals by Western Cape-based Overberg Agri and Acorn Agri to merge.  
Overberg Agri offers grain-storage services, a retail facility, mechanisation equipment, financial services and packaging solutions as well as holding investments in Boltfast (steel fasteners), Bontebok Limeworks, the Bredasdorp Abattoir and Moov (fuel distribution). It also owns a 2.1% stake in JSE-listed consumer brands giant Pioneer Foods.   Acorn has investments in fruit marketing companies ACG Fruit (73%), Grassroots Group (59.5%) and Montagu Dried Fruit and Nuts as well as a 25% stake in Lesotho Milling. It also has a holding of 11.1% in Port Elizabeth-based agribusiness BKB  -   Read more»
Companies can have a "blind spot" when it comes to the impact of climate change. Climate risks are frequently seen as an issue too complex and too distant to quantify, rendering the perception that they are too indistinct and abstract to justify a given business decision. Predictions of rising sea levels or other physical impacts by 2050 or 2100 do not align to typical corporate operational and strategic planning timelines of 12 to 36 months. In other instances, companies also respond to climate risks narrowly via corporate social responsibility (CSR) goals in the area of sustainability reporting. Consequently, they have focused the management of climate risks to being compliant with regulatory or market standards. For more information, click the link to download Marsh & McLennan Companies' Global Risk Center's Climate Resilience 2018 Handbook
Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa has unveiled a new national investment policy statement that outlines guidelines for investing in the country.  The statement is one of the ways Zimbabwe's government is attempting to attract investors and revitalize the country's poorly performing economy. If implemented effectively, the policy may result in an increase in agriculture production and growth in the nation.  Priority sectors in the 34-page  document include mining, manufacturing, agriculture, infrastructure development and dam construction.  The new policy may open the door to trade opportunities in the areas of non-genetically modified seeds, rice, food ingredients, consumer-oriented products, animal feed, plant varieties, wheat, sorghum and legumes.    Read more»
Agbiz CEO interviewed by Grootplaas ahead of the upcoming 2018 Agbiz Congress

In an interview with Grootplaas, Dr John Purchase CEO of Agbiz sums up what delegates who attend the 2018 Agbiz Congress can expect to learn at this prestigious event. Themed "Uncertainty Creates Opportunity", the topics will focus on factors that create uncertainty in the sector, and how agri leaders and farmers who are integrated in the value chain can form strategies to seize opportunities. Listen to interview» [Afrikaans]

Agbiz Congress: 7-8 June 2018
Welcome Function: 6 June 2018
Gala Dinner: 7 June 2018
Agbiz AGM: 8 June 2018

The congress theme is: Uncertainty Creates Opportunity. We encourage you to visit the congress website regularly for updates. To obtain more information, please  click here»

SPONSORS:   All our sponsors are important to the success of this prestigious event.  Please  click here  to see who our confirmed congress sponsors are.
DELEGATE REGISTRATION:   Click here to register»
Enquiries:   Natasha Swanepoel
+27 12 807 6686 or  natasha@agbiz.co.za

Enquiries:  Jennifer Roets
+27 12 807 6686 or  jennifer@agbiz.co.za
SABS workshops in developing a National Standards Development Agreement (SDA) for the Agro-processing Sector
Africa Energy Indaba Conference & Exhibition
20 - 21 February 2018 I Sandton Convention Centre

Agbiz AgriBEE Information Session
21 February 2018 - Pretoria
22 February 2018 - Cape Town

Agbiz Information Session
1 March 2018 | Pretoria
More information will follow soon
AgriSETA / QCTO Training Workshop for the Grain Industry
6  March 2018 |  Auditorium, Grain Building, Pretoria
RSVP by 26 February 2018 -   annelien@agbizgrain.co.za

Skills Development Summit
6-7 March 2018 | Gallagher Convention Centre | Midrand
PLEASE NOTE: The Skills Development Summit, which was due to be held at the CSIR International Convention Centre in Pretoria on 15 and 16 February 2018, has been postponed to 6 and 7 March 2018. It will now be held at Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand.

Undercover Farming Expo
7-8 March 2018 | CSIR | Pretoria
Enquiries:  suzanne@pop.co.za

Glenconnor Agricultural Association Agri Info Day
14 March 2018 | Mayogi Bomas, R75 onroute to Kirkwood
Aimed at promoting information-sharing among farming disciplines in the Eastern Cape region, The Co-op is proud to announce its involvement as main sponsor of this event. The programme lineup of this Agricultural Information Day is extraordinary with inspiring speakers that are synonymous with the global agricultural industry.

Landbouweekblad konferensie
Herlewingslandbou is boere se kostedoeltreffende wapen teen stygende insetkoste en klimaatsverandering
19-20 March 2017 | Reitz

GOSA Symposium 2018
22-23 March 2018 | Mossel Bay
More information

International Sorghum Conference 
9-12 April 2018 | Cape Town
More information

MATON 2018
4-5 April 2018 | Pretoria
More information

FERTASA Annual Congress
19 April 2018
Premier Hotel OR Tambo | Johannesburg
15- 18 May 2017 | NAMPO Park | Bothaville 
More information

21 to 25 May 2018
The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), The World Academy of Sciences Regional Office for sub-Saharan Africa (TWAS-ROSSA) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) are seeking candidates to participate in the inaugural regional training workshop on science diplomacy to be held in South Africa.  More information

World Potato Congress
27-31 May 2018 | Peru | South America

FW Agribusiness Africa Conference
18-19 July 2018 | Emperors Palace
Enquiries: Marianna du Plessis, e-mail  africa@caxton.co.za
Agbiz membership
Being a member of Agbiz provides various benefits and opportunities

- 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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