21 APRIL 2017
On the 24 March the Department of Water and Sanitation promulgated regulations laying out the procedure that will need to be followed by an applicant seeking a water use license in terms of the National Water Act. Draft regulations were published for public comment just over two years ago and hence the regulations published in March now have binding legal effect. Although there is no formal opportunity to pass comments at this stage, Business Unity South Africa, supported by Agbiz, is attempting to secure a meeting with the Department to engage on the new regulations.  Theo Boshoff, Agbiz Manager: Legal Intelligence, provides more information in the linked article»

Although there are lag effects between the decline in agricultural commodity prices and retail food prices, the benefits of the uptick in agricultural production are already reflected in food prices. South Africa's annual food and beverages inflation fell to 8.7% year-on-year in March 2017, which is the lowest level in 14 months.   Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz Head: Economic and Agribusiness Intelligence, provides more information in the linked update»

The weaker ZAR/USD exchange and higher Brent crude oil prices means agribusinesses and farmers could be paying 3% more for a litre of diesel next month. Recent data from the Central Energy Fund shows that petrol (95 ULP Inland) and diesel (0.05% Wholesale Inland) prices could increase by 55 cents per litre (c/l) and 37 c/l, respectively, on 03 May 2017. This could bring the retail price of petrol up to R13.85 per litre from the current level of R13.30 per litre. Wholesale diesel price could increase to R11.87 per litre from R11.50 per litre. This coincides with a harvesting period for summer crops and a planting period for winter crops.  Wandile Sihlobo provides more information in the linked document»
Daily view on commodity markets

Daily commentaries on agricultural commodity markets and macro-economic trends are available on the Agbiz website  www.agbiz.co.za
El Niño to develop in the Spring of 2017?

The Climate Prediction Center/NCEP/NWS and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society issued their latest ENSO Advisory on 13 April 2017.   ENSO-neutral conditions are favoured to continue through at least the Southern Hemisphere autumn of 2017, with increasing chances for El Niño development by late winter and spring. ENSO-neutral conditions continued during March, with near-average sea surface temperatures (SSTs) across the central equatorial Pacific and above-average SSTs in the eastern Pacific. The upper-ocean heat content anomaly, averaged across the central and eastern Pacific, decreased to near zero during March, a reflection of above-average temperatures at depth in the east offset by below-average temperatures in the central Pacific. Atmospheric convection remained suppressed over the central tropical Pacific and enhanced over the Maritime Continent. Overall, the ocean and atmosphere system is consistent with ENSO-neutral conditions. Please click on ENSO Advisory to peruse full press release.
Land Bank sets aside R1bn to support black farming investments in 2017

Land Bank has set a target of disbursing "at least" R1-billion in 2017/18 to support investments by black entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector and to begin transforming a loan book that is still overwhelmingly composed of funding to established commercial farmers - Read more»
Government bursary holders support free higher education

Two Grootfontein Agricultural Development Institute students, who are beneficiaries of government bursaries schemes, threw their weight behind the growing campaign for free higher education during the government's Imbizo focus week meeting at the Middleburg campus of the Eastern Cape institute -   Read more»
USAID's Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub

The Trade and Investment Hub is a five-year trade and investment facilitation project for Southern Africa. It's the fourth generation of trade hubs funded by USAID that have helped increase trade and investment across the region. The project is expected to increase global competitiveness and intra-regional trade and improve food security in Southern Africa -  Read more»
Cheese Festival
28-30 April 2017 | Sandringham, Stellenbosch

Fertasa Annual Congress
3-4 May 2017 | Durban
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Second workshop of the Crop Estimates Liaison Committee (CELC) 
12 May 2017 | Pretoria
RSVP as soon as possible to  mariana.purnell@agbizgrain.co.za

Red Meat Abattoir Association Conference and Congress
17-19 May 2017 | Stellenbosch
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NAMPO Harvest Day
16-19 May 2017 | Bothaville
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Annual Road Transport Legislation Workshop
23 May 2017 | Stellenbosch
25 May 2017 | Durban 
8 June 2017 | Pretoria 
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Jobs Summit 2017
23 May 2017 | Sandton
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SA Large Herds Conference
5-7 June 2017 | Champagne Sports Resort
Contact:  Julie McLachlan on julie@mpo.co.za
13th African Dairy Conference and Exhibition
12-14 June 2017 | Premier Hotel OR Tambo
Contact:  Julie McLachlan on julie@mpo.co.za
IFAMA 2017 World Conference
18-21 June 2017 | Miami, Florida, USA
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Workshop on Bioinformatics and Wheat Genomics
28 June 2017 | Worcester, Western Cape
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11th Agribusiness Africa Conference
4-5 July 2017 |  Emperors Palace | Johannesburg

Agbiz Grain Mini-Symposium
15 August 2017 |  CSIR, Pretoria
Enquiries: mariana.purnell@agbizgrain.co.za 

PMA Fresh Connections Southern Africa Conference and Trade Show
16-17 August 2017 |  CTICC, Cape Town

Skills Development Summit
31 Aug - 1 September 2017 | CSIR, Pretoria
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MPO National Congress
20 September 2017 at Protea Hotel King George, George
Contact:  Julie McLachlan on julie@mpo.co.za

International Conference on Global Food Security 
3-6 December 2017 | Cape Town  International Convention Centre 
Conference Theme: Food Security: Global challenges, local solutions
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