24 January 2020
Public Private Growth Initiative signals progress despite difficult conditions

Representatives from the private sector, corporate CEOs, leaders from over 20 economic sectors and from government met in Sandton on 21 January to discuss the progress made on various Public Private Growth Initiative (PPGI) projects and action plans. At the meeting, economic sectors as diverse as manufacturing, forestry, tourism, agriculture and chemical manufacturing reported a closer working relationship with the South African government. These improved relationships have led to shared projects and the resolution of several bottlenecks to doing better business. Says Michael Peter, executive director of Forestry SA: "Water-use licences are finally being sorted out, we have made progress with Transnet on freight and for the first time in six years we are seeing movement on the recapitalisation of state forestry." Please click on PPGI press release to peruse.
Land Bank's downgrade by Moody's investor service

The Land and Agricultural Development Bank of South Africa (Land Bank) has noted the downgrade to its issuer rating by Moody's to Ba1 from Baa3. In its media release Moody's refers to its decision to downgrade the bank as being informed by its assessment that ongoing fiscal challenges suggest that the South African government will be selective in dispersing financial support to state-owned enterprises, hence in the rating agency limits its government support uplift to three notches from four previously. The negative outlook on Land Bank primarily reflects the increasing risk of a weakening capacity of the South African government to support Land Bank in case of need, as captured by the negative outlook on the sovereign rating. Land Bank media release.
Time for Africa - opportunities remain wide open for African poultry investments

The sub-Saharan African poultry and egg industries have developed fast over the last decade, and this is increasingly attracting interest from local and international investors. Rabobank identified this opportunity in its 2017 report Time for Africa in which the bank highlighted the key drivers for investments in African poultry. Rabobank thinks opportunities for investors remain wide open. In the new report, the bank provides an updated view that also includes an egg industry perspective.
DWS requires the compulsory installation of water meters and monthly reporting of water used for commercial irrigation
On Friday 17 January, the acting Director General of the Department of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation (DWS) published a notice in the Government Gazette requiring all irrigators to install water meters and report their monthly consumption. This notice specifically relates to those water users who do not form part of a water user association nor an irrigation board. Water users were given 30 working days to comply. Agbiz head of Legal Intelligence Theo Boshoff discusses the implications of these regulations in the linked article.
South Africa must get on China's agricultural radar
One of the key themes that dominated agricultural markets in 2019 was US-China trade tension. This caused trade diversion, as Chinese agricultural traders looked at other markets for goods they would have imported from the US. One of the countries that benefited most was Brazil, which saw its agricultural exports to China grow 35% between 2017 and 2018, to $31bn. With a phase one trade agreement having been reached between the US and China this past week, there is now a sense of relief. The question that has arisen, however, is whether the agricultural supply chains will readjust back to their pre-2017 state. Agbiz chief economist shares his insights in the linked article.
What to expect from food price inflation this year
South Africa's food price inflation averaged 3.1% y/y in 2019, which is well below market expectations. 
What many analysts seem to have underestimated was the length of the period that meat prices would remain subdued for, and its influence thereafter on the overall food price inflation headline number. This is because meat contributes 35% of the food inflation basket - a significant share. Wandile Sihlobo explores this topic in the linked article, written for and first published on Fin 24.
Tentative stabilisation, sluggish recovery?

In the October World Economic Outlook, the IMF described the global economy as in a synchronised slowdown, with escalating downside risks that could further derail growth. Since then, some risks have partially receded with the announcement of a US-China phase one trade deal and lower likelihood of a no-deal Brexit. Monetary policy has continued to support growth and buoyant financial conditions. With these developments, there are now tentative signs that global growth may be stabilising, though at subdued levels. In this update to the World Economic Outlook, the IMP projects global growth to increase modestly from 2.9 percent in 2019 to 3.3% in 2020 and 3.4% in 2021, writes IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath in the linked blogpost
General manager vacancy at Agbiz Grain

A sought-after opportunity in a challenging position for the right candidate to apply his/her expertise and full potential. The above-mentioned vacancy currently exists at the Agbiz Grain head office in Pretoria. Agbiz Grain is a fully-fledged and dedicated desk under the Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) and was established in November 2014 by the 12 commercial grain handling or storage companies in South Africa. This is a strategic significant post that reports directly to the chairman and board of directors. The ideal candidate is an energetic leader and motivator with high personal standards. Please click here for more information.
Vaccinate against Rift Valley fever

The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) would like to remind owners of cattle, sheep and goats to vaccinate their animals against Rift Valley fever (RVF). The recent good rainfall in certain areas of the country will result in an increase in the numbers of mosquitoes that transmit this disease. RVF is a serious viral disease that is spread through mosquitoes that causes abortions and death in young cattle, sheep and goats. People coming into contact with the blood and other body fluids of infected animals can also develop RVF. Press release
AFMA Forum programme released

The 10th AFMA Forum themed "Explore today for a better tomorrow", which will be held at the Sun City Convention Centre from 3 to 5 March 2020, will bring together animal nutritionists, veterinarians, feed manufacturers, feed formulators and technical sales consultants from South Africa and further afield. Attendees will learn from the cream of international and local experts who will be sharing their expertise on topics ranging from feed science and research to best practices for animal health and food safety. Another highlight is the Ruminant Formulation Workshop that will be taking place from 2 to 6 March 2020. Press release
Africa Agri Tech offers multi-tiered expo and conference

Africa Agri Tech to be hosted at the Sun Arena and Maslow Hotel in Pretoria from 18 to 20 February offers three days of discovery, exploration and networking. The event offers a multi-tiered expo and conference programme that will investigate the impact of the latest advances in science and technology, empowering agricultural producers to achieve greater efficiency, productivity and profitability going into the future. Africa Agri Tech focuses on assisting producers to navigate the evolving agricultural ecosystem. A fully integrated expo floor will showcase future trends, technologies and techniques available. Agbiz CEO Dr John Purchase discusses the importance of technology in agriculture in the linked video .
Important information regarding the use of chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrifos-methyl

The linked document provides updates on regulatory changes regarding active substances approval and associated MRL changes in the European Union and urgent actions to be taken. Chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrifos-methyl are broad spectrum organophosphorus insecticides and acaricides used to control soil and foliage pests. On 6 December 2019, the European Commission decided not to renew the authorisation of both active substances chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrifos-methyl. In the EU, member states will withdraw authorisations for plant protection products containing chlorpyrifos by 16 February 2020. Disposal, storage, placing on the market and use of existing stocks within the EU will be banned by 16 April 2020.
Invitation for nomination to serve in the accounting authority of FoodBev SETA

The Food and Beverages Manufacturing Sector Education and Training Authority (FoodBevSETA), on behalf of the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, Dr Blade Nzimande, invites nomination for applications from suitably qualified persons to serve as members of the FoodBev SETA Accounting Authority for the term 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2025. 
Nominations are invited from relevant organised labour, organised employers, recognised professional bodies as well as civil society with interest in the food and beverages manufacturing sector, or should be actively involved in community or skills development. Please complete the linked declaration of interest and nomination form should you wish to nominate a suitable candidate.
Latest news from SAPPO 

News from the South African Pork Producers' Organisation is available in the latest edition of the  SAPPO Weekly Update . Please click here to peruse. 
L ast chance! Discounted early bird registration ends 31 January 2020

REGISTER TODAY and don't miss your chance to save up to R500 on your registration fee.

Accommodation reservations are processed on a first-come, first-served basis, so don't be disappointed - BOOK TODAY to secure a room and qualify for the discounted accommodation rates.

Please click here for more information and to register.
Africa Agri Tech South Africa
18-20 February 2020  | Time Square | Menlyn Maine | Pretoria
More information

AFMA Forum 2020
Theme: "Explore today for a better tomorrow"
3-5 March 2020 | Sun City | South Africa

Skills Development Summit & Achiever Awards 
4-5 March 2020 | CSIR Convention Centre | Pretoria
Contact  Gordon Campbell: gordon.campbell@skillssummit.co.za

GOSA Symposium 2020
19-20 March 2020 | Diaz Hotel & Resort | Mossel Bay
Theme: "2020 and beyond"

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

Agbiz Congress 2020
Theme: "Building resilient and sustainable agri-food ecosystems".
15 - 17 July 2020 | Sun City Convention Centre | South Africa

Soya Bean for Human Consumption Symposium
17 September 2020  | 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.
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