25 October 2019
Diarise the international agrifood conference IFAMA 2020

The Rotterdam region will host the 30th edition of IFAMA. This prestigious conference will be held from 15 to 18 June 2020. This four-day event will bring 1 000+ agri-food professionals and students together from all over the world. The participants of IFAMA represent over 50 different countries with a mixture of governmental representatives, professionals varying from start-ups to multinationals, farmers and growers, and academics from leading universities in the field of agri-food. Please click IFAMA 2020 Prospectus for more information on this conference that will address today's pressing food and agricultural challenges. 
South African government publishes the Integrated Resource Plan 2019

The Department of Energy published the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2019, on Friday, 18 October. The publication of the IRP 2019 comes at a critical time when South Africa is facing challenges associated with the insecurity of energy supply, costing the economy billions of rands. The recent stage 1 and stage 2 load shedding incidents have been estimated to have drained the economy of approximately R1.2 billion per day. It is therefore encouraging for government to be working towards permanently arresting the energy supply challenges with increased capacity using renewable energy. Not only has the cost of renewable energy gone down drastically, but it is also easy to build renewable energy plants within pre-determined budgets. The IRP 2019 can be found on the this link.
Motsepe donates R100m for job creation

Job creation
Billionaire Patrice Motsepe's foundation has donated R100 million towards a fund for job creation and skills training.
This latest donation is a response to the 29% unemployment rate. It will be administered through 33 religious and faith-based organisations Motsepe says are close to his heart, as they have been working together for many years. The foundation will support the fund financially until more funders can be brought on board. Read more in the linked article, first published on Engineering News.
SA farmers optimistic about the 2019/20 production season
South Africa's summer crop farmers are upbeat about the 2019/20 production season as is evident in the farmers' intentions data released by the Crop Estimates Committee (CEC)  yesterday. The data showed a potential 7% y/y increase in area plantings to 3.9 million hectares. The crops underpinning this potential uptick in area plantings are maize (white and yellow), sunflower seed, soybeans and groundnuts, partly because of relatively attractive domestic market prices. On 23 October 2019, sunflower seed, soybeans, yellow maize and white maize prices were up by 10% y/y, 29% y/y, 17% y/y and 21% y/y, respectively. Meanwhile, sorghum and dry beans hectares could decline notably from the area planted in 2018/19 production season. Please click here for insights from Agbiz chief economist Wandile Sihlobo
Thoughts on South Africa's food price inflation
South Africa's food price inflation is relatively contained and I am beginning to think that the 3.6% y/y average we expected for 2019 might be an overestimate, says Wandile Sihlobo. The average for the nine months data we have thus far is about 2.9% y/y, which means to average at 3.6% y/y in 2019, the next three months will have to show a notable uptick. There are two food categories that could potentially present an uptick: bread and cereals (maize) and meat. Wandile Sihlobo discusses this subject in the linked article.
Brexit risks to SA agriculture are now minimal, but not eliminated
The news cycle has mainly centred on Brexit last week as talks between the United Kingdom and the European Union culminated in a Brexit deal. As Brexit unfolds without a clear and predictable outcome, the question is, what are the implications of various possible outcomes for South Africa and the region's agriculture sector? Wandile Sihlobo and Dr Tinashe Kapuya explored this subject further in the linked article, written for and first published on Daily Maverick.
How Israel became a world leader in agriculture and water management

For many in the world, Israel has emerged as a modern and innovative nation in the field of agricultural water management. This new report outlining its success, was launched at the recent 2019 Borlaug Dialogue, under the auspices of the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change.  Israel has overcome overwhelming challenges such as water scarcity and poor land conditions to be a world leader in agriculture and water management technologies - spanning the spectrum of low to high-tech solutions for smallholder farmers and large conglomerates. The report identifies how Israel developed its current capabilities from its starting point - when agricultural and institutional capacity and its GDP per capita were at similar levels to those of many developing countries today. 
Every country is unique and each has to chart its own course, and yet certain principles and insights are universal. The lessons one can draw from the way Israel structured itself from the early years are relevant for governments, farmers, markets, and development partners. Israel has much to offer others from its experience in "making the desert bloom" - building a thriving agriculture sector under conditions of considerable adversity.
Africa is on the rise and while half its territory is as yet uncultivated, this continent has the potential not only to feed itself, but to be the primary exporter of food products to a hungry world. Numerous African leaders seek to learn from Israel's agricultural miracle. The Institute's report examines the drivers behind Israel's agricultural success, highlighting the key principles that should be applied across Africa, and providing insights for developing countries seeking to drive and implement a transformative agenda in their respective agricultural sectors.
World's second-biggest mohair industry restarts as monopoly ends

Mohair sales in Lesotho, which produces a fifth of the world's supply of the luxury fiber, have restarted after the government buckled to pressure from farmers and ended a controversial monopoly handed to a Chinese entrepreneur. 
The first auction conducted by locally-owned Maluti Wool and Mohair Centre took place on 7 October and the first shipments of the fibre were made on 17 October, said David Telford, the company's managing director. Record prices were achieved and farmers will be paid by 28 October, he said. Read more on this development in the linked article, first published on Bloomberg.
China offers tariff-free quota for 10m tonnes of US soybean purposes

China on Tuesday offered 10 million tonnes of tariff-free quota to major Chinese and international soybean crushers to import soybeans from the United States, according to two people briefed on the matter.  The quota to import US soybeans was offered to state-owned crushers, privately owned crushers and major international trading houses with crushing plants in China at a meeting called by the state planner, said the sources who were briefed by people that attended. Read more in the linked article, first published on Nasdaq.
News from AFMA

The AFMA e-News covers highlights of articles published in the latest AFMA Matrix magazine, as well as other news relevant to the wider industry and value chains. Please click here for the latest edition.
The latest climate-smart news

The latest edition of Smart-Agri Barometer offers a very full basket of climate-smart articles. Please click here to peruse.
Get the latest news from SAPPO

For the latest news from the South African Pork Producers' Organisation, please click SAPPO Weekly Update to peruse.
Seats for Agbiz information days are selling fast, book yours today

Agbiz will once again be hosting information days in Pretoria and Paarl during  November to inform role players and stakeholders of the current challenges in  the policy and legislative environment, as well as highlight developments and opportunities in the  agribusiness sector.  Prof. Ferdi Meyer, director of the Bureau for Agricultural Policy (BFAP), and  Theo Venter, political and policy specialist and lecturer at the NWU Business School, will be guest speakers. 

PLEASE NOTE - The Agbiz Information Day, scheduled to be hosted in Klerksdorp on 1 November, has been postponed to early 2020. 

Agbiz Congress 2020 registration now open

It is our pleasure to inform you that the Agbiz Congress 2020 will be held at Sun City in North West from 15 to 17 July 2020.  Held every second year, the Agbiz Congress 2020 is one of the major events on the food, feed, fibre and wine sectors' agenda in South Africa. We anticipate attracting more than 400 delegates to the 2020 congress, which will feature presentations and discussion panels from local and international speakers, as well as a student case competition and various networking opportunities.

Themed "Building resilient and sustainable agri-food ecosystems", the congress will provide the key forum for identifying the critical developments needed over the coming decades to ensure agri-food value chains are managed sustainably for the benefit of current and future generations. New practices, methods and technologies are required to build robust and inclusive value chains, and thus sustainable agri-food networks and food security.

Don't miss out on this exciting opportunity to engage in these critical discussions, and showcase and promote your business on the agribusiness stage. We are looking forward to seeing you at the Agbiz Congress 2020 from 15 to 17 July 2020 at Sun City!

Please click here for more information and to register.
Workshops on AARTO legislation

The AARTO legislation has remained in the news over the last few weeks, and everyone is awaiting the implementation of the legislation. The  Road Traffic Infringement Authority (RTIA)  indicated that the Regulations, in terms of the AARTO  Act, as it is amended by Act 4 of 2019, will be published by the end of September 2019. AARTO w orkshops are scheduled for middle October 2019 onwards.
2019 AFMA Symposium
29 October 2019  | CSIR International Convention Centre | Pretoria

Landbouweekblad and PALS' land symposium
14-15 November 2019 | Kaleo Guest Farm | Koue Bokkeveld
Enquiries: jacolette.kloppers@landbou.com

4.0 Industrial Revolution Agri Tech Conference 2019
28-29 November 2019  | The Lanzerac | Stellenbosch
More information

Nedbank Vinpro Information Day
Theme: "Touch and change"
23 January 2020 | KIKS | Cape Town

Africa Agri Tech South Africa
18-20 February 2020  | Time Square | Menlyn Maine | Pretoria

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

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
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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