26 October 2018

There is a broad consensus that agricultural development is key to unlocking the economic possibilities of the communal areas in South Africa. The National Development Plan confirms as much. The dominant view among development economists is that if the government would extend tradable titles to residents in the communal areas of former homelands these would enable occupiers to mortgage their land to obtain finance, with investments and economic prosperity following. Click here to read an article by Wandile Sihlobo, Mzukisi Qobo and Theo Boshoff written for and first published on Business Day.

In South Africa, the research performance by the public sector via the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) has declined in recent years and consequently, the private sector is forced to embarked on a much larger role in South Africa's agriculture research than before. Click here to read an article published in Landbouweekblad about the financial challenges the ARC currently faces.

The Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) is making an annual bursary of R35 000.00 available to a South African student registered for a master's or PhD degree in either agricultural economics or agribusiness management related fields, at any recognised South African university.  Terms and conditions apply. Please click here for more information and the application form. 
The 'intentions to plant' data provided tentative evidence that South Africa could have another good production season, which might keep the country's grain supplies in good shape at least until 2020. This is under the assumption that the expected El NiƱo, which we cautioned about in our previous notes, could be fairly weak and potentially occur later in the summer season as some forecasters already suggest. Figures released this afternoon by the national Crop Estimate Committee shows that South African farmers intend to increase the area planting for summer grain and oilseed by 5 percent from 2017/18 season to 4.03 million hectares. Most summer crops showed an uptick, with the exception of sunflower seed and groundnuts. This is partly driven by the favourable agricultural commodity prices. Click here for Wandile Sihlobo's article.
The medium-term budget policy statement has addressed some of our bread-and-butter issues, but now that it is behind us it is time to reflect on another: food security. We have seen some rather pessimistic media coverage of the SA agricultural sector over the past couple of months due to policy uncertainty. On October 16, the Economist Intelligence Unit highlighted the contribution of the SA agricultural sector to ensuring food security, ranking SA 45th out of 113 countries in the 2018 global food security index, making it the only African country within the top 50. Wandile Sihlobo provides more insight in an article wirtten for and first published on Business Day.
South Africa's food and non-alcoholic beverages price inflation accelerated to 3.9% y/y in September 2018, from 3.5% y/y in the previous month. This is the highest rate in five months. The uptick was not widespread across the food basket, the key drivers were mainly milk, eggs and cheese; vegetables, non-alcoholic beverages; oils and fats as well as fish. Meanwhile, meat price inflation decelerated from levels seen the previous month, with bread and cereals; fruit; and sugar, sweets and desserts still in deflation, albeit slowly pulling back due to recent increases in raw commodity prices.  Wandile Sihlobo provides more insight in the  linked article.
The Agricultural Writers SA North acknowledged the outstanding achievements of three commercial farmers, a new entrant into commercial agriculture, and three agriculturists. Awards were handed over to them on Friday evening in Pretoria at a function sponsored by Bayer SA. Agbiz head of Agribusiness Research Wandile Sihlobo received the Gauteng Agriculturist of the Year Award. The candidates will all participate in the national awards ceremony of the Agricultural Writers SA in Paarl on 16 November when the National Farmer, New Entrant into Commercial Agriculture and Agriculturist of the year will be announced. Press release.
The latest medium-term budget policy statement shows that South Africa's fiscal arithmetic and growth outlook remain weak and vulnerable, says North-West University Business School Economist Prof Raymond Parsons.
Please click here to peruse.
The disease report and maps of the disease reports for September 2018 are  supplied by the Ruminant Veterinary Association of South Africa (RuVASA) a group of the South African Veterinary Association.  The National Veterinary Strategy as drawn up by DAFF has chosen bovine brucellosis as the model disease to be controlled. We are now nearly three years down the line and most people in South Africa are now aware of this zoonotic disease. Please click here for five core facts about brucellosis.
Click here to read the second edition of the Western Cape Department of Agriculture's SmartAgri Barometer of 2018/2019.
Register now for the Paarl session
Registration for Paarl sesssion closes 5 November 2018. 
1 November 2018: Leriba Lodge, Centurion @ 08:30
15 November 2018: d'Olyfboom Family Estate, Paarl @ 08:30 

AFMA Symposium
Theme: Local is 'lekker'
30 October 2018 | CSIR International Convention Centre |  Pretoria
More information

Energy Food Water Nexus for South Africa
What specific concern does your industry hold in terms of the sustainability of Water in SA? The south African National Energy Association (SANEA) is inviting you to participate in its Conversation Exchange Forum to discuss issues related to the energy food water nexus for South Africa.
31 October-1 November 2018 | Johannesburg

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

Skills Development Summit
12-13 March 2019   | CSIR International Convention Centre | Pretoria
Contact: Gordon Campbell 
Tel: 021 680 7155 / 073 540 9854
Email: gordon.campbell@capemedia.co.za

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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