24 August 2018

This past week, land reform and expropriation without compensation were high on the agricultural agenda and featured in many headlines in the media. Even US President Donald Trump joined the debate. 
Following a meeting between Agbiz, AgriSA and top ANC officials, i ncluding President Cyril Ramaphosa, to discuss the finer details of land reform,  Andries van Zyl of RSG Geldsake  spoke to Agbiz CEO Dr John Purchase. Van Zyl continued the discussion with Agbiz chairman Francois Strydom. Click here to listen to the discussion.
In an interview on the RSG programme Spektrum, Strydom said the role players in the industry cannot rest on their laurels when it comes to discussions and processes of land reform. He said the discussion with the ANC was an attempt to clear all the current uncertainties. To listen to this insightful interview, click here.

Theo Boshoff, Agbiz head of Legal Intelligence, shed some light on the land issues that made headlines in the past few weeks in an interview on the KykNET programme Grootplaas,
Click here  to watch the interview.

In an interview on the KykNET programme Grootplaas, Mariana Purnell, general manager at Agbiz Grain, talked about the 5th Agbiz Grain Symposium that took place this week in Pretoria. Click here to watch this interesting interview.

South Africa's food and non-alcoholic beverages price inflation remain unchanged for a third consecutive month, at 3.4% y/y in July 2018. Similar to the previous months, most food products inflation within the basket generally softened due to lower agricultural commodity prices, which in turn, were a reflection of available large supplies. The deceleration in meat price inflation was largely underpinned by lower pork prices. The only food category that showed a notable uptick was milk, eggs and cheese, which was partly due to the effects of avian influenza in South Africa's egg-laying flock.  Agbiz head of Agribusiness Research, Wandile Sihlobo, provides  more insight.
Following a notable increase in fuel prices over the past few months, September 2018 could bring a further uptick to an all-time high. It is still too early to be certain about the scale, but the current estimates suggest that prices of petrol and diesel could rise by a percentage point, respectively, from August 2018 levels. While this fuel price increase is set to come during a relatively quiet period in the agricultural sector, farmers in the eastern parts of the country will be at the initial stages of soil preparations for the 2018/19 production season which commences around mid-October 2018. The agribusinesses that operate in the transport industry will also feel a bit of pressure on input costs due to their exposure to road transport. Roughly 81% of maize, 76% of wheat and 69% of soybeans in South Africa are transported by road. On average, 75% of national grain and oilseed are transported by road. Wandile Sihlobo, provides  more insight.
In previous reports, we've mentioned a possibility of an El Niño event towards the end of this year, heading into 2019. This was according to estimates from the International Research Institute for Climate Society at Columbia University and the South African Weather Service.
While in some countries in the northern hemisphere this weather phenomenon typically leads to flooding, for South Africa it usually leads to droughts. This could negatively affect the agricultural sector, as evidenced in the 2015/16 drought periods.  Click here for Wandile Sihlobo's full article.

Red Meat Research and Development (RMRD) investigated the feasibility of developing alternative methods to assist in the control of movement of livestock from the foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) protection zone to the free zone. Unfortunately, data and information on the number of farmers and  livestock and the status of facilities within the protection zone are not readily available. The RMRD has embarked on a survey to obtain the latest available and most accurate information regarding the supply chain status, and in particular, the number of farmers and livestock in the area.  Click here  to read the report. .

"A watershed congress. Probably the most important in the history of agriculture in South Africa and the Free State." That is how Francois Wilken, President of Free State Agriculture (FSA), described his organisation's annual congress. According to Wilken, "there is nowhere in the world where farmers have to farm under the same pressures as South African farmers".
More than 250 guests attended the congress, where land expropriation without compensation was high on the agenda, on 15 and 16 August 2018 in Bloemfontein. The theme was 
'Back to Our Members"  and farmers had the opportunity to share and debate their concerns with FSA. Dr John Purchase, Agbiz CEO, was one of the speakers.  Press release

The National Animal Health Forum (NAHF) in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) and the Committee on Livestock Identification and Traceability System in South Africa (LITS SA) are seeking to appoint a qualified and extensively experienced service provider(s) to develop an evidence-based implementation/ business plan of action for the LITS SA Operational Policy Framework. The service provider(s) will also be required to assist the NAHF, DAFF and the LITS SA Committee in implementing the Terms of Reference (TOR) set out by the LITS SA Committee. Click here  for more information.
The B-BBEE Council and the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) have commissioned a research study in order to assess the utilisation and impact of Enterprise Supplier Development (ESD) spend by corporates.  The dti's service providers for this study are Impact Economics and Enterprise Analytics (the researchers).  As part of the research programme, the researchers will meet with companies (that are willing to participate), in order to conduct an interview and complete a survey. The dti has therefore requested BUSA to ascertain, from its members, which companies would be willing to participate in this phase of the research. Please click here  for more information.

Click here for Absa's AgriBusiness Trends on livestock. 
BIO Africa Convention 2018
27-29 August 2018  | International Convention Centre | Durban

Ripe for the picking? Exploiting South Africa's potential in fruit to grow employment and increase participation 
29 August 2018 | CCRED Seminar Room | Rosebank
RSVP infoccred@uj.ac.za

AGRI 5 Commodities Workshop and Expo
20-21 September 2018  East London Show Grounds
Contact info: 011 056 6856

Africa Fertilizer Agribusiness Conference
24-26 September  | Cape Town
More information

56th Annual Conference of the Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA)
25-27 September 2018 | Lord Charles Hotel | Somerset West
Media release

Urban Agri Africa 2018 Summit
25-26 September 2018 | Sunnyside Park Hotel | Parktown
More information

Second African Congress on Conservation Agriculture
9-12 October 2018 | Johannesburg

Science Forum 2018
Theme: Win more, lose less: Capturing synergies between SDGs through agricultural research
10-12 October 2018 | Stellenbosch

Second International Conference for Food Safety and Security
St George's Hotel, Pretoria
15-17 October 2018 | St George Hotel | Pretoria

First Bi-annual International Soy for Human Health Conference 2019
11-13 March 2019 | St George Hotel | 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.
The Agbiz Newsletter may contain a few links to websites that belong to third parties unrelated to us.  By making these links available, we are not endorsing third-party websites, their content, products, services or their events.  Agbiz seeks to protect the integrity of its newsletter and links used in it, and therefore welcomes any feedback.
In this newsletter