23 November 2018
Wandile receives accolade for his role in the South African agricultural sector

At a gala event held in Stellenbosch, Agbiz head of Agribusiness Research Wandile Sihlobo received the Agricultural Writers SA  2018 Agriculturist of the Year award The Agricultural Writers SA also announced the winners of the 2018 National Farmer and New Entrant into Commercial Agriculture. 

Annually, the Agricultural Writers SA acknowledge outstanding achievements of commercial farmers, new entrants into commercial agriculture, and agriculturists. One of the aims of these awards is to give prominence to the role that farmers and agriculturists play in the agricultural sector in South Africa. It is also important to note that the award recipients also impact on the broader economy of the country and the southern African region. The main sponsors of the event is Bayer, Santam Agriculture, Sanlam and Rovic Leers.

The three national winners are:
  • 2018 National Farmer of the Year: Pieter Graaff, a farmer from Ceres in the Western Cape (middle).
  • 2018 New Entrant into Commercial Agriculture: Leonard Mavhugu, a farmer from the former Ciskei region of the Eastern Cape (left).
  • 2018 Agriculturist of the Year: Wandile Sihlobo, an agricultural economist from Gauteng. Press release
Positive outcomes from the Jobs Summit

In October, President Ramaphosa welcomed the business sector and prominent trade unions to the Jobs Summit to discuss the issues around job creation. The agricultural sector was well represented. In a Grootplaas interview, Agbiz head of Legal Intelligence Theo Boshoff elaborated on the outcomes of this initiative.   Click here  to watch the interview with Theo Boshoff.
Carbon Tax Bill introduced into National Assembly

On Tuesday the 20th of November, the Minister of Finance formally introduced the Carbon Tax Bill into the National Assembly. The Speaker will outline the process that is to be followed from here. A number of changes has been made to the Bill, reportedly as a result of comments received during the public participation process. Click here for more insights by Agbiz head of Legal Intelligence Theo Boshoff.
Kenyans can celebrate food price relief, but they are not out of the woods

Celebrations were in order when Kenya recovered from the 2017 drought, when food price inflation was at double digits, causing political tension during the general election. However, while food price inflation eased from double digits in 2017 to 0.5% year on year in October following a general recovery in agricultural production, the country is not completely out of the woods. Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz head of Agribusiness Research, provides more insights in the linked article, written for and first published in Business Day.
What do young South African think about land reform?

In response to the Constitutional Review Committee's recommendation that section 25 of the Constitution be amended, Wandile Sihlobo wanted to find out what young South Africans want from land reform and tweeted:
"Thinking of YOUNG people's voice in South Africa. What is your land reform ideal? Think long term - what do you want to see in 20 years or so? Please drop a comment or DM. I will put all comments in the form of an article tomorrow and see if it can be accommodated in policy." It was an interesting and interactive process with many responses (comments and direct messages). Click here to read Wandile Sihlobo's blogpost, summarising the key points.
Dagga belt could bring high returns for horticulture

Notwithstanding the potential unintended consequences, and the fact that legislation is still required to outline the conditions under which cannabis could be commercially produced, Wandile Sihlobo thinks there should be some research on the possibilities of legalising marijuana for international trade purposes.  Click here for Wandile Sihlobo's article, written for and first published on Fin24.
The decision by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) to raise interest rates by 25 basis sends a negative signal to the economy at this stage. Recent economic data convincingly indicates that the SA economy is still struggling to emerge from the H1 2018 'technical recession' and in wanting to break out of its 'low growth trap'. It is difficult to reconcile the MPC reducing its growth forecast for 2018 yet again from its previous 0.7% to 0.6%, with its decision to now raise interest rates. Monetary policy should have continued to give the economic recovery, about which the IMF recently said confidence was being lost, the benefit of the doubt. Press release
Invitation to attend/sponsor the 2019 Ensminger Pig Symposium

Everything you want and need to know about pig feeding, through to modern welfare techniques, and gene and genomic selection comes under the spotlight at the 2019 Ensminger Pig Symposium. This co-located event to the centenary anniversary of the Pig Breeders Society of South Africa (PBS) will be hosted for the first time in Africa in Gauteng from 22 to 23 May 2019. Please click here for more information.
FAO Report
Free State Agriculture (FSA) is extremely disappointed, but not surprised, about the recommendation of the Constitutional Review Committee after a monthly process of public participation to amend Section 25 of the Constitution. It will work with all organizations, who is pursuing the same goal, to prevent this broken and politically-manipulated process run its course.  This is according to Francois Wilken, President of FSA, after the committee on 15 November 2018 recommended that Section 25 of the Constitution should be amended to allow expropriation without compensation. Press release
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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