2 August 2019
R eport takes the debate on sustainable land reform forward

"Land reform is imperative to take South Africa forward, both through restitution and to broaden the ownership of land to many citizens that did not previously have access to property rights and tenure security. Exactly how to effect sustainable and fair land reform by enacting just redress, social dignity and human settlement considerations, while improving the competitiveness of agriculture and ensuring food security, is a complex question that requires interrogation of the report and further debate. In the end, we do need to agree on a path that resolves the land question as best possible, even though you will in all probability not be able to please all the people all the time," Agbiz CEO Dr John Purchase said in a media statement following the release of the report of the Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture. Nompu Siziba of  SAfm Market Update and Ryk van Niekerk of  RSG Geldsake spoke to Dr Purchase about the latest events in the discussions around land reform. Please click  SAfm and RSG to listen to the linked interviews.
Presidential advisory panel's report on land reform: why context is important

The release of the final report of the Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture was highly anticipated and therefore attracted a flurry of media coverage. At this juncture it is worth taking stock of the process and considering the effect which the recommendations may have on land reform policy. Agbiz head of Legal Intelligence explains in the linked article why context is important when assessing the report. Please click here to listen to Theo Boshoff's interview with Voice of Cape about the report.
Land panel report looks post-apartheid failures square in the eyes
One of the many strengths of President Ramaphosa's land panel report is that it does not shy away from the corruption, patronage and nepotism that have often dogged post-apartheid land reform, writes Jeremy Cronin in the linked article, written for and first published on News 24. Cronin is a member of the SACP's central committee, and a former member of the ANC's national executive committee. 
High Court clarifies the duties of municipalities to supply farm occupiers and labour tenants with services

The Kwa-Zulu Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg recently reaffirmed the constitutional and legal obligations of local government to supply basic services to occupiers and labour tenants living on farm. In a new development, the court ordered the local municipality to formulate a plan that will see the progressive roll out of basic sanitation, potable water and refuse removal to occupiers living on farms. Agbiz head of Legal Intelligence Theo Boshoff elaborates in the linked article.
What is needed for SA agriculture to boost jobs?

Job opp
The latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey data (Q2: 2019) show that South Africa's primary agricultural employment fell by 0.2% from the corresponding period last year to 842 000. The subsectors that faced a notable reduction were mainly field crops, the game industry and forestry. In the case of field crops, the reduction in employment was unsurprising following a reduction in activity in the fields on the back of a poor harvest in the 2018/19 season, all of which is underpinned by unfavourable weather conditions earlier in the season. From a regional perspective, a notable decline in employment was recorded in the Northern Cape, Free State and Limpopo, whilst other provinces saw a marginal uptick. Agbiz chief economist Wandile Sihlobo shares his views in the linked article.
The heavens have opened, but Western Cape agriculture still needs more rain

While memories of Day Zero warnings in late 2017 and early 2018 might be fading in Cape Town residents' minds, the effects of the severe water shortages are still felt in some farming communities - and agricultural production has not fully recovered from the damage of the 2017 drought. The slow agricultural recovery in Western Cape farming has been evident in a poor harvest in wine grapes and horticultural products in 2018 and 2019. This occurred despite the recent improvement in rainfall. The province will have to receive average or above-average rainfall for a few more seasons for orchards to bounce back to pre-2017 levels. Please click here for Wandile Sihlobo's article, written for and first published on Daily Maverick.
Lessons from Africa: High time for SA to refine its cannabis licensing mechanism

A number of countries in Africa have in the recent past reformed their cannabis regulations - moving it away from being a prohibited drug to a source of income as an exportable commodity. This is motivated by the promise of riches, with many policymakers viewing the burgeoning cannabis industry as offering prospects for boosting rural economic growth and job creation.  It is thus not surprising that reforms in the regulatory regime have been championed mostly by politicians and lawmakers. This is in contrast to trends in advanced industrial economies such as Canada, the US, Germany, and Italy where citizens and private businesses have been the leading advocates for decrim inalisation and legalisation of cannabis and its products. Mzukisi Qobo, associate professor at Wits Business School and Wandile Sihlobo elaborates in the  linked article , written for and first published on  Daily Maverick .
WTO report confirms that trade restrictive measures are increasing 

World Trade Statistical Review 2019 published by the World Trade Organization (WTO) looks into the latest developments in world trade, with a detailed analysis of the most recent trends for trade in goods and services. According to the report, world merchandise trade grew by 3.0% in 2018, slightly exceeding GDP. This was significantly lower than the 4.6% growth recorded in 2017. This loss of momentum is partly due to increasing trade tensions and historically high levels of trade restrictions. The report confirms that trade restrictive measures are on the rise. Trade covered by import restrictive measures recorded in the last trade monitoring report (mid-October 2018 to mid-May 2019) is estimated at US$ 339.5 billion. This is the second-highest figure on record, after the US$ 588.3 billion reported in the previous report (mid-October 2017 to mid-October 2018). If trade is to pick up in 2019-20, trade tensions must be resolved. Please click World Trade Statistical Review 2019 to peruse.
How not to think about job creation

Labour-market deficiencies are often blamed for high unemployment. That may be the case, but more often the problem is other production inputs, such as machines, energy, transportation, finance, rules and their enforcement and security. Countries need to focus not just on the labour market, but jobs diagnostics more broadly to figure out problems' real causes, writes Prof. Ricardo Hausmann, director of the Growth Lab at Harvard University, and governor for Venezuela at the Inter-American Development Bank in the linked article, written for and first publsihed on Daily Maverick.
China lifts ban on SA wool imports

A Cape Wools SA media release states that he General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China (GACC) announced on 23 July that, subsequent to their risk assessment of the foot-and-mouth disease situation in South Africa, they are lifting the ban of imported cloven hoofed animals and their products. This applies to all areas of South Africa, apart from Limpopo, the Ehlanzeni area of Mpumalanga and the Umkhanyakude area of KwaZulu-Natal.
This would apply to animals and their products where a bilaterally negotiated veterinary export health certificate is already in place. Fortunately for the wool industry, a newly negotiated health certificate is in place that enables the export of greasy wool to China to resume, subject to the temperature and time requirements in terms of the OIE Terrestrial Code (4°C for four months, or 18°C for four weeks, or 37°C for eight days). Press release

News from SAPPO

SAPPO Weekly Update is the weekly electronic newsletter of the South African Pork Producers' Organisation. Please click here for the latest edition.
Agbiz Grain 2019 Symposium 
14 August 2019  |  CSIR International Convention Centre | Pretoria

Global Trade Show of Networking and Match-Making South Africa 2019 (GTS 2019)
29 to 31 July 2019 | Gallagher Convention Centre | Midrand
First African Conference on Edible Insects
14-16 August 2019  | Harare | Zimbabwe

Fertasa Soil Fertility & Plant Nutrition Symposium
Theme: "Back to basics for the future"
21 & 22 August 2019  |CSIR International Convention Centre | Pretoria 
Peritum Agri-HR Summit 2019
21-22 August 2019 Bloemfontein

ARC Agri Indaba
29-30 August 2019 | Animal Production Campus Irene | Pretoria

PSA Seed Growers' Forum & PSA Congress
17 & 18 September 2019 | Cape Sun Hotel  | Cape Town

VKB Information Days
Theme: "The future of agriculture in SA"
3 October 2019  | Siesta Guesthouse  | Frankfort
4 October 2019 | Protea Hotel Ranch Resort | Polokwane

2019 AFMA Symposium
29 October 2019  | CSIR International Convention Centre | Pretoria

AFMA Forum 2020
Theme: "Explore today for a better tomorrow"
3-5 March 2020 | Sun City | South Africa

Agritech Africa
17-19  June 2020 | Cape Town International Convention Centre  | Cape Town
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