17 August 2018

The Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) launched its Baseline 2018 Agricultural Outlook 2018-2027 on 15 August. The outlook covers agricultural production, consumption, prices and trade in South Africa for the period 2018 to 2027. It was also a celebration of the 15th year that BFAP has guided the policy arena, generating intelligence for the agro-food industry, partnering with private and public sector stakeholders, and to inform on relevant issues. BFAP used this opportunity to launch a brand-new corporate identity that personifies its objective of producing rigorous multi-disciplinary analyses to support strategic and operational decision-making. Cick here  to read more.
Throughout their series of bi-weekly articles in Business Day over the last 10 weeks, Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz head of Agribusiness Research, and Prof Johann Kirsten, director of the Bureau for Economic Research at Stellenbosch University, have endeavoured to constructively contribute to the land reform debate. While they flagged some unintended consequences of the proposed expropriation without compensation policy, they always argued for an efficient land reform process, with minimal State involvement to quickly restore land rights to the majority of South Africans. Click here to read their article written for and first published on Business Day.
At this time of the year in the agricultural markets, the harvest prospects for the northern hemisphere and weather forecasts for the southern hemisphere are typically discussed, as the 2018/19 planting season is fast approaching for the latter. But this time around, the typical discussion has been eclipsed by the uncertainty in the global trade environment caused by the trade dispute between the US and China. Agbiz head of Agribusiness Research, Wandile Sihlobo, provides  more insight.
Seeing that fellow South Africans are talking about farm sizes today, Wandile Sihlobo thought it would be useful to brush up a short essay he wrote a few months back on this subject. In May 2018, he participated in a panel discussion hosted by Nation in Conversation at Nampo in Bothaville. The discussion focused on the importance of the economies of scale and the question panelists had to answer was down to this: does farm size matter in South Africa? Click here for the full article.

The Produce Marketing Association (PMA) hosted its 8th annual Fresh Connections: Southern Africa Conference and Trade Show from 15 to 16 August 2018 at the CSIR International Convention Centre in Pretoria. It included an expanded trade show, top conference speakers, industry sessions and the opportunity to network with over 600 decision makers from 14 countries in the local and global fresh produce supply chain. Click here  for more information.

Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) made a written submission to the multiparty Constitutional Review Committee, chaired by MP Vincent Smith, which is tasked with reviewing section 25 of the Constitution to pave the way for land expropriation without compensation. As the apex business organisation in the country, BUSA has made itself available to participate in parliamentary hearings conducted by the committee to articulate the views of organised business on the issue. Business is unclear how the announcement made by President Cyril Ramaphosa on expropriation without compensation will affect the process undertaken by the committee. Please click here to peruse the full media statement.

The Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) in partnership with Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) launched the Anti-Corruption #ThumaMina pledge campaign on 7 August 2018. The campaign aims to galvanise the business sector, public servants and society at large to take a firm and visible stand against corruption. Members of the BUSA board, as well as other business stakeholders, all pledged to contribute meaningfully towards the government's mission to clampdown on corruption. Press release

VALUE4HER , a new project of CTA, the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Co-operation, will empower women entrepreneurs working in the agricultural sector - agripreneurs - by giving them the skills, knowledge and access to markets, finance and services they need to build their businesses. The project is calling for women-led agribusinesses to register to become part of the first intelligence network targeting women-led agribusinesses in Africa. Press release

This is a reminder to enter the Toyota New Harvest of the Year Competition 2018 before the closing date at the end of next week. Thanks to all the companies and organisations that already entered a candidate(s) for the competition, and those who have forwarded the entry forms and details to other relevant people/organisations and possible candidates. The winner will receive the prestigious 2018 Toyota New Harvest of the Year trophy and a Toyota Hilux bakkie. The nominating agency will receive a cash prize of R10 000 from Toyota SA which could be used for the development and assistance of more (HDI) farmers. Click here for more information and the entry form.

Click here for Potatoes SA's Newsletter for August 2018. 

The fifth Agbiz Grain Symposium will take place on Tuesday, 21 August at the CSIR in Pretoria. This year's theme is "Value chain impacts".

All the relevant role players in the grain industry, those involved in storage and handling of grain, as well as others involved in the grain value chain, will be attending. About 120 delegates are expected at the symposium.

The symposium will be an all-day event. The programme will be interactive to provide a platform for exchange of information, to engage in discussions, to share opinions and to ask open questions. Confirmed speakers who will present at the symposium are from Department of Transport, the University of Pretoria and the CSIR, plus a few surprises.

In line with the theme "Value chain impacts", sessions are dedicated to "On the move"; "On the farm"; "On the net"; "In the science"; and "In the future". The topics will comprise several issues affecting the entire grain value chain. The first session will cover road and rail transport in the grain industry. The second session is devoted to matters pertaining to the accessibility of information on the internet for the primary agricultural sector as well as the vitally important aspect of on-line security for a business and its employees. One session will be dedicated to scientific matters such as essential information regarding mycotoxins and endocrine disrupters which can affect the grain industry negatively. The symposium will close with presentations about the future of agriculture, focusing on visionary, but useful technologies.

We will end the day with time to network and exchange information with the exhibitors.  Click for more information.
AFASA 2018 Agribusiness Transformation Conference 
19-21 August 2018 | Destiny Hotel and Convention Centre | Kempton Park
More information

Agbiz Grain Symposium
21 August 2018 | Pretoria
Enquiries: Mariana Purnell, mariana.purnell@agbizgrain.co.za

FERTASA Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition Symposium
21 August 2018 | CSIR | Pretoria
Enquiries:  candice@fertasa.co.za

BIO Africa Convention 2018
27-29 August 2018  | International Convention Centre | Durban

Ripe for the picking? Exploiting South Africa's potential in fruit to grow employment and increase participation 
29 August 2018 | CCRED Seminar Room | Rosebank
RSVP infoccred@uj.ac.za

AGRI 5 Commodities Workshop and Expo
20-21 September 2018  East London Show Grounds
Contact info: 011 056 6856

Africa Fertilizer Agribusiness Conference
24-26 September  | Cape Town
More information

56th Annual Conference of the Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA)
25-27 September 2018 | Lord Charles Hotel | Somerset West
Media release

Urban Agri Africa 2018 Summit
25-26 September 2018 | Sunnyside Park Hotel | Parktown
More information

Second African Congress on Conservation Agriculture
9-12 October 2018 | Johannesburg

Science Forum 2018
Theme: Win more, lose less: Capturing synergies between SDGs through agricultural research
10-12 October 2018 | Stellenbosch

Second International Conference for Food Safety and Security
St George's Hotel, Pretoria
15-17 October 2018 | St George Hotel | Pretoria

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