23 June 2017
Portfolio Committee slates DAFF over slow pace of legislation

On 13 June 2017 the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries conducted an oversight meeting into the affairs of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. The MPs grilled their counterparts in the Department over what they perceived as the slow pace of legislative reform, especially regarding the Amendments to National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) and the Preservation and Development of Agricultural Land Bill (PDALB). Theo Boshoff, Agbiz Head: Legal Intelligence, provides more information in the linked article»
Agriculture confidence keeps sprouting

"Earlier this week, the South African Reserve Bank Governor, Lesetja Kganyago, remarked that at the present moment the country's fundamental economic problem is weak confidence. Kganyago's comments come after the Bureau for Economic Research's Business Confidence Index plunged to 29 index points in the second quarter of this year - the lowest level since the 2009 recession. This is reflective of the current political uncertainty and weak business activity," writes Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz Head: Economic and Agribusiness Intelligence, in his Business Day column -   read more»
Meat drives up SA's food inflation

Last month's slight uptick in South Africa's food inflation mirrors the tail-end effects of the 2015- 16 El Niño induced drought in the livestock sector. As farmers continued to restock their herds, the slaughtering activity eased a bit with that resulting in the increase in meat prices. However, the expected recovery in the poultry sector could soften the pace of an increase in overall meat inflation over the coming months.   Wandile Sihlobo provides more information in the linked update»

Fuel price is set to decline for a second consecutive month on 05 July 2017. This time around, we expect a significant cut of 5% from the previous month for both diesel and petrol price. Although this relief is set to come during a relatively quiet period in the agricultural sector, maize and some horticultural growing areas will still be harvesting and thus, stand a chance to benefit from the possible fuel price cut.  Wandile Sihlobo provides more information»

Maize and soybean are the key ingredients of animal feed production in the world. Over the recent past production of these commodities has increased drastically, driven to a large degree, by growing demand from animal feed and biofuel industries. The growth in animal feed demand has been spurred on by an increase in demand for high protein food - especially within the growing middle class. Notable growth in the past few years has been in Africa and Asia. In this article, we briefly explore the maize.  Wandile Sihlobo provides more information»
Daily view on commodity markets

Daily commentaries on agricultural commodity markets and macro-economic trends are available on the Agbiz website

Job vacancy The following job vacancy is available within Agbiz to be filled as soon as possible  -   Manager: International Trade and Investment Intelligence . The primary objectives of the position are to develop and grow international trade and investment intelligence and opportunities for members by conducting thorough research and liaising with trade and investment specialists, including trade negotiators.   Applications close end of June 2017.    More information»

Annelien Collins has joined Agbiz Grain on 19 June as Secretary /Personal Assistant to the  General Manager,  Mariana Purnell.   Annelien has experience in the retail and industrial sector and has proved herself more than capable to take on this position .  

The recent sovereign downgrades of South Africa announced by the global credit agencies and news that the economy is now in recession do not bode well for the consumer and business sector. This is despite the recent positive news from Stats SA indicating that the agricultural sector had increased 22% in the first quarter of 2017 and that South Africa expects a record maize harvest this year.  These are the views of Wessel Lemmer, Senior Agricultural Economist at Absa - Read more»

The first ever silo Solar PV in the Senwes group and in South Africa was launch in the first week of June at Hennenman silo. This comes after the company launched the installation of 2 392 solar panels with a total capacity of 753.48kWp in June 2016 at their head office in Klerksdorp - Read more»

Presentation on 400 CIS funded co-ops
The linked presentation was done on 14 June to the Portfolio Committee on Small Business Development by the Department of Small Business Development.

DRDLR presents to SCOPA on budget
The linked presentation was made by DRDLR to SCOPA on 2 June.  It contains some interesting analyses of budget, spending and targets.

Presentation on one hectare policies and strengthening of relative rights
The linked presentation was presented by DRDLR to the Portfolio committee on 7 June

Strengthening of relative rights pilots 
The linked presentation  was presented by DRDLR to the Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform on 14 June. It summarises the SRR policy imperatives, the lessons learned and the expected outcomes. It will further highlight the status update, delivery of hectares, budgets spent, status update and anticipated impact.

The 2017 unemployment figures released by Stats SA at the beginning of June paint a worrying picture of South Africa's job market.  Young people aged 15-24 remain vulnerable in the labour market, with an unemployment rate of over 54%.
So how do we attract young people back into agriculture, grow skills, increase employment and improve food security?   More information»

Bright young students are invited to apply for postdoctoral, PhD and Masters Fellowships at the SACIDS Africa Centre of Excellence for Infectious Diseases of Humans and Animals in Southern and Eastern Africa -
Workshop on Bioinformatics and Wheat Genomics
28 June 2017 | Worcester, Western Cape
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Africa's Big 7
25-27 June 2017 | Gallagher Convention Centre |Johannesburg
Skills training sessions for smallholder/urban farmers (25 June 2017)

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11th Agribusiness Africa Conference
4-5 July 2017 |  Emperors Palace | Johannesburg

ExtruAfrica 2017
1-4 August 2017
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
Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition Symposium
23 August 2017 | CSIR, Pretoria
Enquiries: candice@fertasa.co.za

Agro-processing Investment & Technology Summit
29-31 August 2017 | Premier Hotel | OR Tambo International Airport | Johannesburg 
Skills Development Summit
31 Aug - 1 September 2017 | CSIR | Pretoria
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South African Association for Food Science & Technology (SAAFoST) 22nd Biennial International Congress and Exhibition 
3-6 September 2017 | Century City Convention Centre | Cape Town

SA Innovation Summit
6-8 September 2017 | Cape Town

13th African Dairy Conference and Exhibition
12-14 September 2017 | Premier Hotel OR Tambo
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MPO National Congress
20 September 2017 | Protea Hotel King George | George
Contact:  Julie McLachlan on julie@mpo.co.za

Potatoes SA Congress
28 September 2017 | Premier Hotel OR Tambo | Johannesburg

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