22 February 2019
Agbiz responds to Minister Mboweni's 2019 Budget Speech

This year's Budget Speech comes against the background of tough macroeconomic conditions, characterised by weak economic growth, less effective tax administration and collection, and rising demand for government expenditure, amongst other factors. The frank assessment by Minister Mboweni, as well as the recognition that economic growth is fundamental to fiscal sustainability, is welcomed, Agbiz stated in a media release following the Budget Speech. Please click here to peruse.
Organised agriculture's blueprint for growth and development

President Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address earlier this month contained repeated references to dialogue and cooperation during the past six months or more between government, business,  labour and communities at numerous levels. These groups represent the so-called social partners within Nedlac, the National Economic Development and Labour Council, which functions under the Nedlac Act (35 of 1994) and within which certain outcomes were agreed between parties during the Jobs Summit. But there were also specific references to the Public-Private Growth Initiative (PPGI), led by Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Dr Johan van Zyl of Toyota International, and Mr Roelf Meyer of In Transformation Initiative (ITI), to develop sectoral plans in order to achieve vital economic growth. Agbiz CEO Dr John Purchase gives more background in the linked article.
Agbiz announces recipient of 2019 Agbiz Centenary Bursary

Agbiz has awarded the 2019 Agbiz Centenary Bursary to Lerato Ramafoko (24) who has completed a BSc Agriculture degree with an agricultural economics major, at North-West University. Lerato is now enrolled at Stellenbosch University for a master's degree in agricultural economics with Prof Nick Vink as her supervisor. Her proposed research will focus on the trade-off relationship between food security and the environment.  Lerato has an exceptional academic record and her lecturers commended her for her eagerness to learn, her dedication to her work and her ability to tackle new challenges.  Agbiz established the Agbiz Centenary Bursary in recognition of Agbiz members who have celebrated 100 years of existence. The primary objective of the annual bursary to the value of R35 000 is to promote master's or PhD level research in agribusiness related fields and Agbiz is certainly proud to be associated with and to support the research of  Agbiz Centenary Bursary holders.
Ministerial consultation sheds light on the direction of water management in SA

On the 15th of February, Minister Nkwinti from the Department of Water and Sanitation hosted a consultative forum on transformation in the water sector. Although the size and nature of the consultation made it difficult to meaningfully participate, the consultation shed some light on four key aspects related to water management in South Africa.  Agbiz head of Legal Intelligence Theo Boshoff gives feedback in the linked article.
SA food and non-alcoholic beverages inflation unchanged in January 2019

South Africa's food and non-alcoholic beverages inflation remained unchanged in January 2019 at 3.0% y/y. But we think going forward there will be upside pressures which will emanate from a general increase in agricultural commodity prices, albeit having slowed somewhat from levels seen at the start of the year. The increases will, however, not be steep due to expectations of a decline in meat prices. We think South Africa's food and non-alcoholic beverages inflation could average about 5% y/y in 2019. A gbiz head of Agribusiness Research Wandile Sihlobo provides more insight in the  linked article .
Changing weather patterns a challenge for farmers

Crop conditions have generally improved across the country, and are likely to be in good shape for some time as the precipitation forecasts for the next couple of weeks are positive, according to the South African Weather Service. The local weather bureau sees a possibility of above-normal rainfall over the next two months in summer rainfall areas, which should support the late-planted areas. While this is a welcome development, it is worth noting that this is not a normal rainfall pattern for South Africa. The crop would typically be maturing around April, but this time things are different due to late plantings, on the back of delayed rainfall. Please click here for Wandile Sihlobo's article, written for and first published in Business Day.
Now the drought is coming for your peanut butter

Although I use peanut butter almost daily, for some reason I had not looked at its production pipeline in the past couple of months until today when I received a call from a Zambian trader looking to export peanuts (groundnuts) to South Africa. This prompted me to do some back of the envelope calculations on the South African supplies for the 2019/20 marketing year, which starts on 01 March 2019.  In the process, I realised that South African farmers planted 19 200 hectares in the 2018/19 production season (corresponds with 2019/20 marketing year), which is the lowest area on record in a dataset covering the past 83 seasons. The reduction in plantings is mainly underpinned by drier weather conditions experienced at the start of planting season, a period between October to December 2018. Wandile Sihlobo provides more insight in the linked article written for and first published on Fin 24.
Please click here to listen to a Radio 702  interview with Wandile Sihlobo on this topic. 
Minister Mboweni shows commitment to fiscal sustainability, says Prof Parsons 

The 2019/20 Budget Speech given to Parliament this week by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni confirms fiscal sustainability depends on a dramatic and sustainable boost in South Africa's growth rate on the basis of structural reform," says North-West University Business School economist Prof Raymond Parsons. Please click here for the media statement.
Comments invited on proposed amendments to statutory measures

The wheat, sunflower and soybean forums requested ministerial approval to amend an existing statutory measure (that relates to maize and wheat imports and exports), namely to:
* Include soybean and sunflower in the records to be kept and weekly returns to be issued to SAGIS on imports and exports (amendment of Notice No 605 dated 4 June 2008), and to
* Include wheat, soybean and sunflower in weekly declarations to SAGIS on intentions to import or export, eight weeks prior to the date on which the vessel transporting these products arrive or depart from South Africa (amendment of Notice No R 503 of 18 May 2018). Directly affected groups in the wheat, sunflower and soybean industries are kindly requested to submit comments or objections regarding the proposed amendment to the NAMC in writing (fax 012 341 1911 or e-mail lizettem@namc.co.za) on or before 1 March 2019, to enable the Council to formulate its recommendation to the Minister in this regard. Please click here for more information.
IRMSA Risk Report available now

The IRMSA Risk Report is one of many navigation tools that IRMSA provides to create opportunities for collaboration between all role players impacted by risk. This report creates a sound basis for risk conversations that should inevitably lead to collaboration between all parties involved and result in an inclusive approach when making decisions and managing uncertainty. The IRMSA Risk Report should form part of the risk practitioners' tool box and transform the presence and value proposition of risk management in the boardroom by moving ever closer to contributing towards creating a relevant context and foresight.  The report is meant to be an input into the risk management process and contributing to better context setting, strategy development and decision-making.  Please click here to peruse.
Get the latest on land reform at VKB's information days

VKB will be hosting two information days on land reform issues - on 18 March in Polokwane and 20 March in Frankfort.  Get first-hand information from Dan Kriek, president of Agri SA, and Dr John Purchase, CEO of Agbiz on the current state of affairs. Please click here for more information on the programme. To register, please complete the linked registration form.
Scholarships offered in Thailand for master's studies

The Thailand International Cooperation Agency (TICA) Programme invites applications for scholarships for postgraduate study in Thailand
commencing in July 2019. The department would like to invite eligible applicants who wish to further their studies and pursue careers in the identified scarce skills to apply for the master's level study offered by the Thailand International Cooperation Agency (TICA) Scholarship Programme. Scholarships are available for master's studies at three accredited universities to professionals who are South African nationals. Please click here 
for more information. Interested candidates should apply by submitting documentation with completed application form
New helpline assists farmers to combat livestock theft

"To better assess the enormous impact of livestock theft, see trends and gather information to combat it." According to Dr Jane Buys, Safety and Risk Analyst at Free State Agriculture (FSA), these are some of the reasons why a stock theft helpline was started in the Free State. "Crime statistics show that between 67% and 80% of stock theft is not reported," she says. The helpline, launched by Free State Agriculture (FSA) and the Red Meat Producers' Organisation (RPO) - in collaboration with the National Wool Growers' Association (NWGA) in the province - will among other things help to make statements and monitor investigations. It has been in operation since 1 February 2019 and plays a supporting role to the South African Police Service (SAPS), within the Rural Safety Strategy, to act proactively. The SAPS in the Free State has also given its official support for the initiative. Press release
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

SAFA Cattlemen's Conference
14 March 2019 

GTR Africa 2019
14-15 March 2019 | Cape Town International Convention Centre  |  Cape Town

Landbouweekblad conferences on regenerative agriculture
Theme: Let nature earn you money
11-12 March 2019  | VKB Showgrounds  | Reitz  | Free State
13-14 March 2019  Ottosdal Showgrounds  | Ottosdal  | North West
19 March 2019 | Morgensrust | 60 Owl Street, Joostenbergvlakte

Sustainable Agriculture Summit Africa 2019
11-14 April 2019  | M√∂venpick Hotel and Residences | Nairobi | Kenya

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

SA Large Herds Conference
3-5 June 2019  The Boardwalk  Port Elizabeth

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

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

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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