21 June 2019
Agbiz's reaction on the SONA

"In these tough economic times, it was refreshing to hear President Ramaphosa's recommitment to placing South Africa's economic growth at the forefront of the sixth administration's agenda," an Agbiz spokesperson said. "We were also pleased to hear the president's re-emphasis of the need to implement the National Development Plan (NDP) and the country's commitment to vision 2030. In this vision, the agricultural value chain plays a crucial role in the growth and stability of rural economies." Agbiz has long supported and argued for the implementation of Chapter six of the NDP over the past few years as it is the roadmap to inclusive growth in the sector and will address the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality. Please click here for the full Agbiz statement.
Government present to Nedlac on AfCFTA

The Department of Trade & Industry (the dti) presented a status update on the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) to the Nedlac Trade and Industry Chamber this past week. The AfCFTA has already been ratified by 23 countries, including South Africa, and entered into force on 30 May 2019. Currently tariff offers are being made and negotiated, and to this end the dti will be hosting a workshop with private sector on 21 June 2019 in this regard. While many protocols and capacity issues still need to be addressed and established, Heads of State are going ahead with the launch of the AfCFTA. While the AfCFTA is a step in the right direction and Agbiz supports it in principle, Agbiz is nevertheless concerned about a number of issues that hold considerable risk, including the Rules of Origin that first need to be concluded before implementation. Agbiz is engaging Government on these issues in Nedlac. Please click on AfCFTA presentation to peruse. 
National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy starts to take shape

Comments were due to be submitted to the Department of Environmental Affairs on the draft National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy (NCCAS) on 5 June 2019. The draft strategy sets out the high-level interventions which South Africa intends to implement to mitigate the effects of climate change on various sectors. On the one hand, the document is aimed at meeting the formal requirements as a party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), on the other hand, it sets out the steps needed to meet the challenges of the very real effects of climate change. Agbiz head of Legal Intelligence Theo Boshoff elaborates in the linked article.
After floods, Zimbabwe and Mozambique face huge maize shortfalls

The subject of maize needs will soon dominate the headlines in Zimbabwe and, to a certain extent, Mozambique. These two countries are set to record poor maize harvests due to droughts which delayed plantings at the start of the 2019 season, and when it finally rained, it became rather excessive, as was witnessed during Cyclone Idai at the start of the year. Agbiz chief economist Wandile Sihlobo elaborates in the linked article written for and first published on Daily Maverick.
Kenya needs massive maize imports

Kenya's maize production could fall by 10% year-on-year to 3.6 million tonnes in 2019, according to data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). As a result, Kenya may need to import about 1.0 million tonnes of maize this year (2019/20) in order to fulfil its annual needs. This will be the largest volume since 2017 when Kenya imported about 1.4 million tonnes. Please click here for Wandile Sihlobo's article.
Should South Africa explore the cannabis market?

The changing perceptions about cannabis around the globe, and its growing value raises a question of whether South Africa should put a concerted effort into research on this crop so that policymakers can better assess if its production benefits could be balanced by measures to mitigate unintended consequences. Wandile Sihlobo discusses this issue in the linked blogpost.
Global picture of public wealth

The International Monetary Fund's (IMF) new data on government assets show that when governments know what they own, they can make better use of the assets for the well-being of all their citizens.  The IMF makes these data free and publicly available for all to use because they believe transparency can help create better public policy. Advanced economies have larger balance sheets compared to emerging markets and low-income developing countries. This reflects the size of their public sectors, which generally provide more infrastructure and services. But advanced economies also have larger liabilities and, on average, lower net worth. Please click on the linked IMF blogpost to peruse.
Impact of trade wars evident

Justin Chadwick, CEO of the Citrus Growers' Association of Southern Africa, stated in a report that the 2018 China imports of fresh produce should provide some pointers regarding the impact of trade wars. In 2018 China imported 4.86 million tons of produce (a 26% increase over 2017) valued at US$6.95 billion (a 36% increase). In value terms the leaders were Chile (US$ 1.68 billion, 68% increase), Thailand (US$1.67 billion, 67% increase), Philippines (US$0.73 billion, 42% increase), Vietnam (US$0.72 billion, 12% increase) and New Zealand (US$0.44 billion, 25% increase). South Africa exported fresh produce valued at US$0.23 billion - an 8% increase. Conversely, the US exported US$0,27 billion - a decrease of 21%. Please click on CGA CEO Report for this and other citrus industry news.
Second Agri-Expo leader elected to international agricultural board

Dr Ivan Meyer, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, congratulates Breyton Milford on his appointment.
Breyton Milford, operations manager of Agri-Expo, has been elected as a trustee to the board of the Royal Agricultural Society of the Commonwealth (RASC). Milford (33) is the second member of Agri-Expo, and one of only two from Africa, to serve on the board. Milford has been a member of the RASC's Next Generation forum, for agricultural leaders younger than 40 years, since 2008. Only two seats on the board are allocated to Next Generation members. He follows in the footsteps of Johan Ehlers, CEO of Agri-Expo, who was elected as a trustee to the board in 2017. Milford and Ehlers currently are the only two trustees from Africa. Press release
Should we join the emerging cannabis economy or stand by and watch?

The cannabis economy has piqued public interest. South Africa has not yet fully legalised the commercial production and trading of cannabis. Yet the countries in which cannabis trading has been legalised continue to reap billions in profit, create more jobs and receive good tax revenue for those governments. Lubabalo Mabuyane, premier of the Eastern Cape and provincial chairperson of the ANC discusses the merits of commercial cannabis production in the linked article, written for and first published in City Press.
PMA Fresh Connections: Southern Africa bringing together the entire fresh fruit and vegetable supply chain 

The Produce Marketing Association's (PMA's) Fresh Connections: Southern Africa Conference and Trade Show is the only annual event in Southern Africa connecting the entire fresh produce supply chain. This year, Fresh Connections: Southern Africa will be taking place  in Cape Town at the Century City Conference Centre from 30 to 31 July. Now in its ninth year, Fresh Connections: Southern Africa has proven itself as a key connecting point for global and regional decision-makers from across the entire fresh fruit and vegetable supply chain including retailers, producers, importers/exporters, distributors, wholesalers, service and input suppliers, associations and government officials.   Press release
Subtrop Transformation Summit 2019
19 June 2019 | Ingwenyama Conference & Sports Resort | White River

Agritec Africa
19-21 June 2019 | Kenyatta International Conference & Convention Center (KICC), Nairobi  | Kenya

Trade Development Forum
24-25 June 2019 | Gallagher Convention Centre | Johannesburg

2019 Cannabis Conference
Theme: The big business of cannabis
27-28 June 2019 | Emperors Palace Convention Centre Johannesburg
More information

13th Agribusiness Africa Conference 
10 July 2019 Premier Hotel | OR Tambo Airport
More information

PMA Fresh Connections: SA Conference and Trade Show  
30-31 July 2019 | Century City | Cape Town

Emerging Farmers and Agro Processing Conference 2019
30-31 July 2019 | CSIR International Convention Centre | Pretoria

Agbiz Grain 2019 Symposium 
14 August 2019  |  CSIR International Convention Centre | Pretoria

First African Conference on Edible Insects
14-16 August 2019  | Harare | Zimbabwe

Peritum Agri-HR Summit 2019
21-22 August 2019 Bloemfontein

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

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