16 October 2020
Economic reconstruction and recovery plan lacks emphasis on implementation and deliverables
"While there are positive features to the latest economic reconstruction and recovery plan announced yesterday, it needed to say much more about implementation processes and timelines," says NWU Business School economist Prof. Raymond Parsons. "The fact that the long-awaited economic reconstruction and recovery plan announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in Parliament is intended to again reflect the broad goals of the National Development Plan as an overall guide is welcome," says Prof. Parsons  There were some positive features to the key four-point plan outlined by the president to address SA's huge post-Covid-19 socioeconomic challenges. There was recognition by Ramaphosa about the urgency required in addressing the economic crisis, the imperative need to promote job-rich growth, to steadily narrow down the priorities to make them more manageable, and to build business confidence in the period ahead. But is not a bold reform plan and there was insufficient emphasis on implementation and deliverables. Please click NWU media statement to peruse.
Vuyo Mahlati broke the gender, race mould in SA's agriculture     
Agriculture has for a long time been dominated by men - from leadership positions, to primary workers - where only a third of the labour force are women. Similarly, black farmers in staple commodities such as maize, wheat, potatoes, or even those in citrus farming, constitute about 10% of the commercial production outputs combined. This makes the death of Dr Vuyo Mahlati even harder to swallow. Mahlati gave so much of her life to trying to improve the lives of all South Africans. She fought for the prosperity of all, and to make the agricultural sector more inclusive, both in terms of race and gender. Please click here to read a tribute by Wandile Sihlobo, written for and first published in Business Day. 
dtic presents to Parliamentary Portfolio Committee
Earlier this week, the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (dtic) made a presentation to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry on the ongoing trade negotiations and existing trade agreements and trade relations. The presentation focused, amongst others, on African economic integration, SACU, SADC, TFTA, and AfCFTA. Please click here to peruse.
Transnet reports lower volumes due to Covid-19
Earlier this week, Transnet briefed the Select Committee on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the freight and port business operations. It stated that low customer demand due to the impact of Covid-19 has resulted in year to date volumes for all key rail, port and pipeline commodities being significantly
lower compared to the previous financial year and current budget. Please click here to view.
Agbiz policy brief on the Expropriation Bill, 2020 tabled in Parliament

On 9 October 2020, the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure published the Expropriation Bill, 2020 in the Government Gazette along with an explanatory memorandum. This procedure is required by the Rules of the National Assembly before a Bill is tabled in Parliament by the Executive. Agbiz has compiled a policy brief to keep members and stakeholders informed of the context, process and impact of the proposed legislation. Please click here to access the complete document.
Some good news on the cards for SA's farmers

We are just over two weeks before the Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) releases data on South African farmers' intentions to plant summer crops for the 2020/21 season. The available data such as tractor sales, weather outlook, and commodity prices, which could be read as 'leading indicators', suggest that this could be yet another good season for South Africa's agricultural sector. The focus on 28 October 2020, which is a day when the data will be released, will mainly be on maize, sunflower seed, soybeans, groundnuts, sorghum and dry beans, which are all major summer grains and oilseeds. The aforementioned tractor sales, which are an important early indicator of farmers' expectations for the upcoming season, have been robust since June 2020. The recent sales for September 2020 showed a 23% y/y increase, with about 529 units sold. Agbiz chief economist Wandile Sihlobo discusses the latest data in the linked article, written for and first published on Fin24.
Prices remain sticky even as crops thrive

One feature that has characterised global agricultural markets over the past few weeks is rising prices. The growing demand from China as the country rebuilds its pig herd, which was decimated by African swine fever, combined with dry weather conditions that adversely affected crops in Europe, have been the major price drivers.
The higher agricultural commodity prices are now visible in the FAO Global Food Price Index, which was up 5% year on year in September at 97.9 points. The grains subindex, which has underpinned the overall Global Food Price Index, was up 14%. Wandile Sihlobo explores this subject in the linked article, written for and first published on Business Day.
Zimbabwe could import more of South Africa's maize towards the end of this year and into 2021

In the 2019/20 marketing year, Zimbabwe's maize imports, specifically from South Africa didn't gain much momentum until the start of 2020. This is when Zimbabwe's maize stocks were already depleted following a season where the country produced roughly 777 000 tonnes, which is way less than its annual consumption of about 1.8 million tonnes. The same is likely to unfold in the 2020/21 marketing year. Although Zimbabwe's maize production improved to an estimated 850 000 tonnes, the country will still need to import at least a million tonnes of maize to meet its annual consumption needs. So far, South Africa, which is usually a major supply of maize to Zimbabwe has exported only 187 037 tonnes of maize to the country. Wandile Sihlobo elaborates on this topic in the linked blogpost.
KykNET interview - Wandile Sihlobo discusses South Africa's agricultural conditions   

Wandile Sihlobo spoke to Divan Botha of the kykNET programme Winslyn about the specific contribution of the citrus and grain sectors to agricultural growth. He also gave and overview of the agricultural industry over the past six months, prospects for 2021 and a special discussion of the sectors in which things are going particularly well. Please click here to view the interview.
Youth unemployment: what are we getting wrong?

Youth unemployment in South Africa is often quoted to be well above 60% and rising uncontrollably. Entities are developed to try and address it, money is spent, but we do not see results. Youth job creation is a unique problem that requires a unique solution. Not only are we dealing with a large part of our population that cannot find work, the generation in question has a different
outlook to any of the generations that came before it. Exhaustive articles have been written about the way millennials and younger generations think, spend, eat, sleep and work. The bottom line is
that this generation requires a workplace that looks different from the workplaces in the past and will probably be the driving force behind large-scale changes to the way we work. Jahni de Villiers of Labour Amplified discusses this subject in the linked article.
The location differential explained

Producers should use the location differential and the JSE reference price as a guideline and do their homework on the prices at which their grain and oilseeds will be delivered to end-users. Contrary to popular belief, grain handlers and storekeepers are not the end-users of grain and oilseeds where price formation takes place. Agbiz Grain general manager Wessel Lemmer unpack this subject in the linked article, written for and first published in Landbouweekblad.
PlaasTV interview: discussing mycotoxins

In an interview with Lise Roberts on PlaasTV, Wessel Lemmer from Agbiz Grain talked about mycotoxins and the contribution Agbiz Grain's members make to ensure safe food for consumers. Please click here to watch the interview.
Application process for the state land release of agricultural land commences
The Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Thoko Didiza announced the commencement of the application process for the state land release of agricultural land. Online application forms will be available on 15 October 2020. Other application forms will be available as from the 16 October 2020 for collection in provincial and district offices. Please click here for more information on the process.
Systems maintenance at SARS

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has indicated that there will be systems maintenance at SARS on Friday, 16 October 2020, from 18h00 to 21h00. The maintenance will affect cargo reporting / manifest processing [CPS/RCG] from 18:00 to 21:00. Stakeholders are therefore urged to submit priority road manifests by 17:00 on Friday, 16 October 2020 to avoid any delays. Customs services will be available during maintenance at land border posts should you require any assistance.
A long, uneven and uncertain ascent 

The Covid-19 pandemic continues to spread with over 1 million lives tragically lost so far. Living with the novel coronavirus has been a challenge like no other, but the world is adapting. As a result of eased lockdowns and the rapid deployment of policy support at an unprecedented scale by central banks and governments around the world, the global economy is coming back from the depths of its collapse in the first half of this year. Employment has partially rebounded after having plummeted during the peak of the crisis. Read more in the linked IMF blogpost by the IMF chief economist, Gita Gopinath.  
Rwanda in talks with EU, US firms to produce cannabis for export

Rwanda is in talks with four European and American companies about growing and processing cannabis for export to meet rising pharmaceutical demand for the narcotic, although its consumption is still banned in the country.  The move could help boost Rwandan state revenues, hit by the effects of Covid-19, officials said on Wednesday. The central African nation joins a host of countries that have legalized, or are considering legalizing, cannabis to some degree, as attitudes towards the drug slowly change and investments in its medical benefits grow. Read more in the linked Reuters article.
Senwes-Suidwes merger in implementation phase

Member logo_Senwes
The operational implementation of the merger between Agribel Holdings Limited, its subsidiary, Senwes Ltd and Suidwes Holdings commenced on 12 October 2020. The primary acquiring firms are Agribel and its subsidiary, Senwes. The offer to the Suidwes shareholders is currently in the implementation phase. Following the implementation phase, Senwes will be the sole shareholder of Suidwes. Since the transaction's approval in August 2020, all the companies involved have done much planning regarding the merger and the structuring of the different operational businesses. Please click the linked media statement to peruse.
These are South Africa's Top 10 Sauvignon Blanc wines

Sauvignon Blanc South Africa has revealed the winners of the 2020 Sauvignon Blanc SA Top 10 competition and this year's champion wines come from no less than seven different regions. This exciting result for South Africa's only competition exclusively devoted to Sauvignon Blanc was announced during a virtual awards event on Wednesday 14 October 2020. Read more about the winners in the linked media statement.
 Weekly newsletter from CGA

Justin Chadwick, CEO of the Citrus Growers' Association of Southern African, shares the latest news in the citrus industry in his weekly update - From the desk of the CEO. Please click here to peruse.
The latest 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.

For more information and to register, please visit the Agbiz website. 

For more information, please visit the congress web page. 
PMA Fresh Summit 2020
13-15 October 2020 Virtual event
Fresh Summit has always been the family reunion for the produce and floral industries where buyers and sellers come together to do business, and this year is no different. You'll get all the connections, content, and community you expect - and more!

 2020 AgriAllAfrica Agribusiness Conference - POSTPONED TO 2021
Theme: "Imagined responses to Covid-19: Progress with the development of solutions"
6 May 2021 | CSIR | Pretoria 
Enquiries: Marianna.duplessis@gmail.com | +27 063 076 9135

MPO Virtual Annual National Congress
4 November 2020 
Contact Julie McLachlan: julie@mpo.co.za or 083 740 2720
Agbiz Congress 2021
Theme: "Building resilient and sustainable agri-food ecosystems".
7-9 April 2021 | Sun City Convention Centre | South Africa

Second International Congress of Biological Control (ICBC2) 
26-30 April 2021 | Davos, Switzerland
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.
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