26 MAY 2017
Tinashe Kapuya resigns from Agbiz

Tinashe Kapuya, Head of Agbiz International Trade and Investment Intelligence, has resigned to take up a position with the new administration of the USAID-funded Southern African Trade and Investment Hub.  Tinashe will take up his new position as an Agribusiness Specialist at the Trade and Investment Hub as of 1 June 2017.  
Tinashe said: "It has been such a great privilege working for Agbiz, and I wish to thank all Agbiz members for their kind support and encouragement throughout my tenure." 

He also expressed his gratitude for Agbiz team, saying: "My sincere thanks go to the CEO, Dr John Purchase; the Chairman, Mr Schalk Pienaar; the Executive Committee of Agbiz; and the entire Agbiz staff - It has been a joy and a pleasure to work with, and for, such a distinguished group of professionals."
"Agbiz wishes Tinashe well and looks forward to close collaboration with him and the Trade and Investment Hub as we work together to endeavour to grow agribusiness trade and investment in the region," Dr Purchase said .
Minster Zokwana delivers Budget Vote Speech to Parliament

Minister Zokwana delivered the Budget Vote Speech for the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) to Parliament on Wednesday.  
"Agbiz welcomes the minister's call for a minute of silence to honour farmers and farmworkers alike who have lost their lives over the past year. Safety and security remains an imperative for our farming communities to thrive in," 
says  Agbiz CEO, Dr John Purchase. The minister emphasised the transformation imperative for the sector, stating that: "... my department continues to work with local business and labour to rebuild confidence, promote investment and improve prospects for more inclusive growth. The agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors need broad-based economic transformation that creates jobs and business opportunities, reduces inequality and boosts income growth."  Dr Purchase says that Agbiz will continue to work with the minister on transformation to achieve the goals as stated. Minister Zokwana also emphasised the positive prospects and outlook for the agricultural sector, despite the concerning outlook for the overall economy. Agbiz is in full agreement with this assertion and will continue to seek opportunities to ensure inclusive growth of the sector.  
SA faces stiff maize export competition

In his Business Day column on Thursday, Agbiz economist  Wandile Sihlobo said,  t he South African maize industry has made a remarkable rebound and it is expecting a bumper crop this season. "However, new developments have compelled me to revise parts of my recent maize export market analysis, particularly regarding maize export opportunities within the African continent.  The dynamics in African agricultural markets have changed dramatically. While South African maize farmers are struggling to break-even due to lower prices, white maize prices in East Africa are well above R7 200 a tonne, which is treble the current prices on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange," Sihlobo wrote  Read more»  
Western Cape an exception amid signs of recovery in agriculture 

It is often said the macroeconomic standing of the agricultural sector has diminished, an argument supported by the sector's declining share of GDP, which fell from 4.2% in 1996 to 2.3% in 2015. However, what is not captured in this narrative is that the value of the agricultural sector has grown 40%, from R50.5bn to R71.4bn over that period. This translates to a fairly modest average annual growth rate of 2.1% over the past two decades, which explains why agriculture's relative share to the economy has been declining. Agriculture is not becoming insignificant - it is just that other sectors, particularly the services sector, have grown at a faster rate from a lower base. Click to read the full article written by Agbiz economists, Wandile Sihlobo and Tinashe Kapuya. 
*This article was first published in Business Day on 24 May 2017
SA's annual food producer price inflation falls

The notable uptick in agricultural production has kept market prices under pressure over the past few months and food processors continue to benefit from this improvement. Data released on Thursday, showed that South Africa's food producer price inflation slowed to 6.4%year-on-year in April 2017 from 6.9% in March 2017. The fall in the producer price index is set to provide some relief for consumers over the coming months, as lower producer prices are transmitted to the retail and consumption end of the food chain.  Agbiz economists,  Wandile Sihlobo and Tinashe Kapuya, provide more information in the  linked update»
SA's annual food inflation falls to the lowest level in 18 months 

Last month's deceleration in food inflation, to 6.7% year-on-year, means that South Africa's food prices are at the lowest levels in 18 months. This is a reflection of the benefits of higher agricultural output this year following good weather conditions across the country.  Agbiz economists, Wandile Sihlobo and Tinashe Kapuya provide more information in the  linked update»
REMINDER: Agbiz / IDC Agribusiness Confidence Index

The sector is faced with a wide variety of challenges, ranging from an uncertain political environment, global and local economic volatility and climate change. Therefore, it is important to analyse and determine the confidence levels in the agribusiness sector. The Agbiz / IDC Agribusiness Confidence Index is set up in such a way to ensure it measures the business confidence, which determines business decisions, and to a lesser extend capture the emotions and emotional influences on the sector.  Agbiz members are kindly reminded to  respond to the Agbiz / IDC Agribusiness Confidence Index survey for the second quarter of 2017 and to submit response by Tuesday, 30 May 2017, by clicking on the following link https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ConfidenceIndexQ2, or by completing the linked printable version and sending it to email: wandile@agbiz.co.za
Daily view on commodity markets

Daily commentaries on agricultural commodity markets and macro-economic trends are available on the Agbiz website  www.agbiz.co.za
Top leaders in agriculture to address challenges facing agri-investment in Africa

This year's Agribusiness Africa Conference will take place on 4 and 5 July at Emperors Palace in Johannesburg.  Click here for a preview of the programme.

DuPont leaders joined together with public, private sector and government leaders on Tuesday  to officially open the Africa regional technology center in Delmas, South Africa. This technology center will accelerate new product development across multiple crops for farmers. With construction recently completed, the center comprises a network of strategically placed research facilities and testing locations across the continent.  " The global network of research facilities and testing locations demonstrate DuPont's ongoing commitment to research and development to accelerate seed product development for African farmers, helping them better manage pests and crop disease, climate volatility and soil fertility," said Alejandro Munoz, Vice President, Global Commercial Business, DuPont Pioneer - Media release»

Agritourism South Africa (ASA) exhibited at NAMPO last week. Managing director of ASA, Jacqui Taylor, says many farmers showed interested in ways to add value to their current farming operations, while others were interested in diversifying their risk by identifying opportunities to earn additional sources of revenue - Read more»  
Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform tables report to Parliament

The Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform, having considered the Strategic Plans (2015-2020), the 2017/18 Annual Performance Plans, and budget allocations for the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, the Commission on Restitution of Land Rights and the Ingonyama Trust Board, tabled its Portfolio Committee Report in Parliament this past week. Please click on Report of PC on Rural Development and Land Reform to Parliament to peruse. 

The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) has published the linked Agro-processing Support Scheme Guidelines that are intended to enable enterprises to present their applications to the dti, and provide a framework for the dti to evaluate such applications. 

Find  linked the Nation in Conversation's NAMPO broadcast schedule.  

The White House budget on Monday proposed $46.54 billion in cuts to federal government funding for the agriculture sector over the next 10 years.
President Donald Trump's biggest cut would come in the form of a $38 billion bite out of farm supports, including new limits on federal subsidies for crop insurance premiums and caps for commodity payments.   Read more»
*Source: Reuters
SA Large Herds Conference
5-7 June 2017 | Champagne Sports Resort
Contact:  Julie McLachlan on julie@mpo.co.za
IFAMA 2017 World Conference
18-21 June 2017 | Miami, Florida, USA
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Avi Africa 2017 Conference, Congress & Exhibition 
20-22 June 2017 | Emperors Palace | Johannesburg
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Workshop on Bioinformatics and Wheat Genomics
28 June 2017 | Worcester, Western Cape
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11th Agribusiness Africa Conference
4-5 July 2017 |  Emperors Palace | Johannesburg

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

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
Contact:  Julie McLachlan on  julie@mpo.co.za

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
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