19 October 2018

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has released its 2018 Global Competitiveness Report. In the midst of rapid technological change, political polarization and a fragile economic recovery, it is critical that we define, assess and implement new pathways to growth and prosperity. With productivity the most important determinant of long-term growth and income, the new Global Competitiveness Index 4.0 featured in this report sheds light on a newly emerging set of factors critical for productivity in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and provides a tool for assessing them. The key findings summarize the new tool as well as its results as revealed by global, regional and country level analysis. South Africa has dropped from 47th in 2016, to 61st in 2017, and now to 67th in 2018, indicating severe relative regression over the past three years and the necessity for serious introspection in order to return to a much higher level of competitiveness. Perusal of the WEF's 2 018 Global Competitiveness Report is strongly encouraged and can be accessed at:

For the past few years, Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz head of Agribusiness Research, has been among the most visible proponents of matters relating to agricultural economics in print and social media. He is not only highly regarded by the agricultural and financial media, but his influence and opinion can be seen in deliberations with government, political organisations and institutions. Over the past month, Wandile was appointed on President Ramaphosa's advisory panel to lend advice and support to the inter-ministerial committee on land reform. In addition, he was appointed as a member of the South African Statistics Council for the period 1 October 2018 to 30 September 2021, as well as member of the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC). The major objective of ITAC is to  foster economic growth and development in order to raise incomes and promote investment and employment in South Africa and within the Common Customs Union Area by establishing an efficient and effective system for the administration of international trade. The commission's core functions include customs tariff investigations, trade remedies, and import and export control.

SARS currently imposes administrative penalties only in respect of the non-submission of individual income tax returns. As from 7 December 2018, administrative penalties for late corporate income tax (CIT) returns will be imposed. These penalties will be raised in terms of  Section 210 of the Tax Administration Act 28 of 2011 and the required Government Gazette will be issued in terms of Section 210(2) of that Act. This will result in SARS imposing administrative penalties on over 30 000 companies who have failed to submit their annual CIT returns. Click here for more information.

The background and presentations at the Agbiz Grain Road to Rail Workshop of 8 October 2018 are now available on the Agbiz Grain website. The responses from all the workshop participants (storage and handling operators, the processors, transporters or traders) are being compiled and will provide the necessary inputs for the R2R Task Team who will meet soon to assess the ideas that can be used for the transformation of road to rail; concerns/fears regarding the current logistics situation; and suggestions of what can be done to change the system.
The R2R Task Team will:
* work on this comprehensive list of ideas as part of a possible transformation plan.
* prioritise and weight these ideas according to their impact on financial, transformation and efficacy considerations etc.
* provide a concept purpose for our initiative in order to outline our desired outcome - this will be a major input into the next session.
"In the meantime, I request that you make all parties in the grain value chain aware of this project and the requirement for their grain flow information to assist with the building of a grain flow model. Basing our proposals on facts and figures is the only way to bring about change in road and rail logistics as well as the possible migration to rail. I will thus be approaching all role players in due course to facilitate this process," says Mariana Purnell, general manager of Agbiz Grain.

The Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) is making an annual bursary of R35 000.00 available to a South African student registered for a master's or PhD degree in either agricultural economics or agribusiness management related fields, at any recognised South African university.  Terms and conditions apply. Please click here for more information and the application form. 

In terms of the Economic Partnership Agreement between the Southern African Development Community and the European Union, SADC countries have been granted quotas to export agricultural commodities to the EU under the Tariff Rate Quota (TQR) regime. This notice, issued by the director general of DAFF, sets out the procedure and criteria that exporters must follow to apply for an EU export tariff, enabling them to make use of the tariff rate quota. This document is therefore critically important for any agribusiness who seeks to export agricultural products to the EU. The criteria and procedure contained in this document will apply to export permit applications valid between the 1st of January 2019 and 31 December 2019. 

All relevant agricultural legislation is being reviewed in order to protect and ensure the long-term sustainable use of agricultural land and natural resources in South Africa. In order to do this, all agricultural protected areas and high value agricultural land need to be spatially demarcated at a National Level to inform the new legislation.
Agbiz Grain has thus partnered with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) to demarcate and verify agricultural zones for grain and oilseeds with the aim of developing a fully integrated national geo-referenced database comprising land capability and crop suitability. This spatial database and maps will inform the future activities of agriculture in South Africa, especially in support of Agbiz interventions leading up to the decision-making process to define outcomes of the Jobs Summit and land expropriation without compensation. Please click here to peruse.
Youth Unemployment
Last week, October 4, the National Economic Development Labour Council (Nedlac) convened the Presidential Jobs Summit whose renewed mission is to combat the country's stubbornly high unemployment rate. There was participation from all social partners - namely business, labour, government and the community constituencies - who all presented views on how to deal with the unemployment challenge. The Nedlac social partners signed off on initiatives and agreements that are expected to create 275 000 jobs per year, which would bring down unemployment down to 6% by 2030. To what extent will agriculture contribute to this reduction in unemployment? Wandile Sihlobo, head of Agribusiness Research at Agbiz, and agricultural economist Dr Tinashe Kapuya provide insight in an article written for and first published in Sunday Times. 
The growing need to boost rural economic activity through agricultural development has re-introduced the discussion on the subdivision of land to create as many small farms as possible to benefit rural communities.Turnover and technology matter because a small farm is not simply a smaller version of a large farm, writes Wandile Sihlobo.  Click here to read the aritcle by Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz head of Agribusiness Research, written for and first published in Business Day.
October 16 is World Food Day and perhaps the most fitting thing to do would be to boast about South Africa's progress in terms of food security, having been ranked by the Economist Intelligence Unit's 2017 Global Food Security Index the top in Africa.  
Perhaps the other suitable thing to do would be to commemorate the day by showing the famous chart of a decline in the share of the world population living in absolute poverty 1820-2015 by Oxford University economist Max Roser. Wandile Siholobo provides more insight in an article  written for and first published on Fin24.
 It seems like the global agricultural observers have not fully factored in the possible effect of a weak El NiƱo in their grain production forecasts, specifically on South Africa. First, it was the International Grains Council at the end of last month which left its estimate for South Africa's 2018/19 maize production unchanged from the previous month at 12.3 million tonnes. Last week, the United States Department of Agriculture followed suit, leaving its estimate for South Africa unchanged from last month at 13 million tonnes. Click here to read Wandile Sihlobo's blogpost.
Farming First has once again partnered with the World Food Prize Foundation to bring you the latest news, views and insights from the 2018 Borlaug Dialogue in Des Moines, Iowa. Themed "Rise to the challenge", the dialogue will debate the innovative solutions that are needed feed an estimated nine billion people by the year 2050 in the face of poverty, resource depletion and conflict.  Click here to read Farming First's pick of the top stories from day one of the symposium.
The Animal Feed Manufacturers Association (AFMA) recently published the third edition of the AFMA Member Updates. Information in this update is in line with AFMA's envisaged aim to share timely news with members. Click here to read the latest edition.
The International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ)  represents more than 5 000 communicators in 50 countries who support freedom of the press. These communicators focus on sharing new technologies and information relevant to the agricultural industry. Click here to read IFAJ's October 2018 newsletter.
Two days left to register for Pretoria session!
Registration for Pretoria session closes on 22 October 2018. 
1 November 2018: Leriba Lodge, Centurion @ 08:30
15 November 2018: d'Olyfboom Family Estate, Paarl @ 08:30 
[ Registration for Paarl session opens 23 October 2018]

World Food Day Commemoration
As part of October Food Security Month activities, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Senzeni Zokwana and the Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde will observe World Food Day on 16 October 2018. World Food Day is commemorated annually on 16 October to create public awareness of the world food shortage and to strengthen solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty.
Theme: "Our actions are our future. # A Zero Hunger World by 2030 is possible".
Please note that the date has been changed.
24 October 2018 | NG Church Hall |  Brandwacht, Western Cape
08:00 for 08:30
RSVP: Rony Moremi on RincertM@daff.gov.za/ 073 347 0391. 

Government Supply Chain Management Challenges, Latest Trends and Effective Strategies to Improve Operational Success
24-26 October 2018   |  Holiday Inn Hotel |  Pretoria

AFMA Symposium
Theme: Local is 'lekker'
30 October 2018 | CSIR International Convention Centre |  Pretoria
More information

Energy Food Water Nexus for South Africa
What specific concern does your industry hold in terms of the sustainability of Water in SA? The south African National Energy Association (SANEA) is inviting you to participate in its Conversation Exchange Forum to discuss issues related to the energy food water nexus for South Africa.
31 October-1 November 2018 | Johannesburg

African Agri Investment Indaba and Agri Trade Congress Africa
27-28 November 2018 | CTICC  | Cape Town

Smart Farming/Precision Agriculture Conference 2018
28-29 November 2018  | Radisson Blu Le Vendome Hotel | Cape Town

2019 DEKALB Create Conferences

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

CGA Citrus Summit  
1 2-14 March 2019 | Boardwalk Hotel | Port Elizabeth

Skills Development Summit
12-13 March 2019   | CSIR International Convention Centre | Pretoria
Contact: Gordon Campbell 
Tel: 021 680 7155 / 073 540 9854
Email: gordon.campbell@capemedia.co.za

Global Cherry Summit 2019
25 April 2019  | Monticello Conference Center | San Francisco de Mostazal, Chile
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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