2 November 2018

On Thursday, 1 November Agbiz hosted a half-day information session focusing on the current challenges in the policy and legislative environment, as well as developments and opportunities in the agribusiness sector. Close to 100 role players and stakeholders, representing agribusinesses, financiers, producers and agri-associations attended the event at Leriba Hotel in Centurion. Agbiz CEO Dr John Purchase elaborated on the current challenging and complex environment and gave more insight on organised agriculture's engagement with President Cyril Ramaphosa and the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation.  Prof Ferdi Meyer of the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy and the University of Pretoria focused on the investment environment and gave a commodity outlook. He stressed that South African farmers and agri-businesses  have shown resilience during challenging times. Expropriation without compensation, Jobs Summit outcomes and other legal and policy updates were addressed by Agbiz head of Legal Intelligence Theo Boshoff, and Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz head of Agribusiness Research, gave insights on South Africa's agricultural labour market in the context of changing farm structures. Click here for more information on the day and to access the presentations.

Agbiz and its CEO Dr John Purchase are featured in the November edition of Leadership magazine. The article focuses on the leadership role Agbiz plays in creating a favourable agribusiness environment for its members as well as its influence on policy and the legislative environment. This edition will also be distributed at the African Agri Investment Indaba and Agri Trade Congress Africa to be held in Cape Town at the end of the month. Please click here to read the full article.

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. The closing date for applications is 7 December 2018.

The draft National Policy on Comprehensive Producer Support published by DAFF on the 3rd of August 2018 has now been referred to Nedlac where organised business, labour and government can engage on its contents. Agbiz forms a central part of the business delegation. The policy seeks to coordinate the producer support initiatives undertaken by government with that of the private sector to ensure that the greatest impact is achieved. As a general point of departure, business welcomed the initiative by government and placed special emphasis on the cooperative nature in which DAFF seeks to drive producer support going forward. Please click here for Agbiz head of Legal Intelligence Theo Boshoff's article.

The Department of Transport published the Economic Regulation of Transport Bill, 2018 for further public comment.  The draft Economic Regulation of Transport Bill, 2018 was published in Government Gazette No.41437, Notice No. 632 of 12 February 2018 for public comments. The draft Bill was subsequently revised after the public comments. The revised draft Bill is published for further comments.  The Bill was published in Notice No. 1135 of 24 October 2018 in Government Gazette No. 41992. Comments may be submitted until 23 November 2018.  The Government Gazettes are available at www.gpwonline.co.za.  

T he Commissioner for Workman's Compensation will be hosting information sharing sessions across the country over the next two weeks to inform employers of the proposed, new Employers Assessment Model.  The sessions are scheduled as follows: 
02 November 2018
OR Tambo International Premier Hotel
09h00 - 11h00
05 November 2018
Umhlanga Gateway Hotel
09h00 - 11h00
06 November 2018
Pietermaritzburg Ascot Wedding and Conference Venue
09h00 - 11h00
08 November 2018
Port Elizabeth Summerstrand Hotel
09h00 - 11h00
09 November 2018
East London, East London ICC
09h00 - 11h00
14 November 2018
Cape Town, Sun Square City Bowl
09h00 - 11h00

Agbiz members who would like to attend are requested to RSVP with the Department of Labour directly, by contacting Franco Mabuya (Franco.Mabuya@labour.gov.za ) or Mothusi Legwale (Mothusi.Legwale@labour.gov.za). 
The benefits of improvements in the Western Cape's weather conditions are evident in the third quarter agricultural jobs data, which boosted the overall sectoral employment by 3% y/y to
842 000  jobs. The other provinces that made a notable contribution were Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, North West and Limpopo, through the increased activity in the field crops and livestock subsectors. While this is encouraging in a climate where South Africa is exploring strategies that could unlock job creation in the agricultural sector, the country is still far behind its target of creating a million agricultural jobs by 2030 as envisaged in the National Development Plan. What's more, if the underutilised land in the former homelands and other parts of the country are not brought into full production with a key focus on labour intensive crops, notable job creation in agriculture will remain a pipedream.  Click here for more insights in Agbiz head of Agribusiness Research Wandile Sihlobo's article.
Admittedly, it is too early to tell how most Southern African countries will cope with the expected weak El Niño in the summer season. Typically, an El Niño weather phenomenon would lead to drier weather conditions in most countries on the continent, almost similar to what we witnessed in the 2015/16 drought years. However, when it is weak, as expected, the impact could be minimal. Wandile Sihlobo provides more insight in the linked article, written for and first published in Business Day.
Over a third of South Africa's population lives in rural areas. Women tend to have less access to economic prosperity although they make up a substantial percentage of those who farm on small holdings. Oxfam's report "Starting with people: A human economy approach to inclusive growth in Africa" made me think of all the remarkable women farmers I had met on my trips into our magnificent countryside. Click here to read the blogpost by Jacqui Taylor, CEO of Agritourism South Africa, that was published i n the run-up to the 1st World Congress on Agritourism. She will deliver a keynote speech titled "Agritourism in Africa" at the world congress on 8 November.
As the scale and impacts of climate change become increasingly alarming, meat is a popular target for action. Advocates urge the public to eat less meat to save the environment. Some activists have called for taxing meat to reduce consumption of it. A key claim underlying these arguments holds that globally, meat production generates more greenhouse gases than the entire transportation sector. However, this claim is demonstrably wrong. And its persistence has led to false assumptions about the linkage between meat and climate change. Prof Frank M. Mitloehner, professor of Animal Science and air quality extension specialist at the University of California, Davis provides more insight in the linked article.

Click here for another edition of Keeping it Fresh - one of the FPEF's communication tools to keep their members updated about matters which affect our members and our industry.
Register now for the Paarl session
Registration for Paarl sesssion closes 5 November 2018. 
15 November 2018: d'Olyfboom Family Estate, Paarl @ 08:30 

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

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

Ensminger Pig Symposium
22-23 May 2019 | Kopanong Hotel and Conference Centre | Benoni
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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