27 September 2019
'More inclusive' Nedlac needed for crafting of growth-igniting compact

B usiness and government acknowledged on Thursday that the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) needs to be more inclusive and representative if it were to have any chance of crafting a social compact that lifts the South African economy out of its current low growth and job-shedding trap.   In an address to the 24th Nedlac Summit in Johannesburg, Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) president Sipho Pityana called for what he described as a "new agenda for sustainable change". However, he questioned whether Nedlac in its current form was capable of being a catalyst for such an agenda. Please click here  for the complete article by Terence Creamer for Engineering News.
Agbiz presents to the global legal fraternity on climate change, African agriculture and the law

This week, the International Bar Association hosted its 72nd annual conference in Seoul, South Korea where 6 000 leading lawyers from across the globe gathered to debate the most important issues currently facing the industry. This year the Agricultural Law Committee convened a session on Combating climate change: contributions of the legal profession, farming and the uptake of biotechnology. Agbiz head of Legal Intelligence Theo Boshoff was invited to do a presentation focusing on legal reform to combat climate change, with a specific emphasis of the African perspective; his presentation is linked. Other presenters included Prof. Chris van Winden from the Netherlands, Valarie Johnston from the FAO and Jaisingh Dhumal from ICICI Bank in India. 
Public consultation workshops on Feeds and Pet Food Bill, Fertilizer Bill

The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development invites members of the public, industry stakeholders, farmers, academics and all other relevant stakeholders to participate in the Public Consultation Workshops on the Feeds and Pet Food Bill as well as the Fertilizer Bill. Animal feeds and fertilisers in South Africa are regulated in terms of the Fertilizers, Farm Feeds, Agricultural Remedies and Stock Remedies Act (Act 36 of 1947). Since 1947, there have been significant changes in animal feeds, fertilisers and the manner in which they are processed. These changes have resulted into consideration for review of the regulatory framework in order to put more emphasis on food and environmental safety as well as reducing regulatory burden. The department has drafted legislation that is intended to replace parts of the Fertilizers, Farm Feeds, Agricultural Remedies and Stock Remedies Act (Act 36 of 1947) as it relates to the regulation of animal feeds and fertilisers and would like to consult with stakeholders on the draft Bills. Please click media release for the proposed dates and venues.
Contained cost pressures a welcome relief in SA agriculture

In a Business Day column on 4 September 2019, Agbiz chief economist Wandile Sihlobo noted that South African farmers have had one of the toughest years because of the combined effects of the drought and animal disease that affected production and trade. But this is only one side of the story. Another side of the story relates to agricultural input costs, which, positively, have been relatively contained compared to this time a year ago. To recap, in September 2018, South African farmers faced an average 20% year-on-year increase in fertiliser prices and a more than R1/litre increase in the diesel price. In 2019, however, the local fertiliser prices were down by 9% year-on-year on average in August, according to data from Grain SA. Admittedly, this does not put absolute fertiliser prices at levels prior to August 2018, but it is much welcome relief given that farmers are financially constrained after a drought season. Wandile Sihlobo discusses this subject in the linked article, written for and first published in the Business Day.
SA winter crop harvest estimates revised down
The dry and warm weather conditions experienced in the Western Cape since the end of August 2019 have taken a toll on winter crops and the impact is evident at a national level given the significance of the province. Figures released yesterday containing the latest projections from South Africa's Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) show that the country's 2019/20 wheat, barley and canola production forecasts were lowered by 6%, 3% and 14% from last month to 1.81 million tonnes, 389 260 tonnes and 88 800 tonnes, respectively. Aside from the Western Cape, most other winter crop producing provinces harvest expectations are somewhat stable compared to levels seen in August. Wandile Sihlobo discusses the latest data in the linked article.
IFAMA 2020 - a call for paper abstract submission

At the IFAMA 2020 conference in Rotterdam, home of the biggest port in Europe, today's pressing food and agricultural challenges will be addressed drawing upon the triple helix expertise of academics, business and government. Societal, human development challenges and goals mean that companies in agri-food need to transform, impacting their daily operations but also their future strategic outlooks. The conference will host multiple stakeholders of the global food system and include academia, business as well as combined (discussion) sessions and panels. Moreover, we expect around 30 international student teams to compete in the renown IFAMA student case competition. The IFAMA 2020 organisers invite you to submit a paper abstract. Deadline for submission of abstracts is 15 October. Click on paper abstract submission for specifications papers should meet in order to be considered and on IFAMA 2020 for more information on the conference.
The US is growing more maize than it can handle

This year's US maize crop isn't looking great. Soggy spring weather in many parts of the Midwest delayed planting, and warmer-than-normal temperatures lately have been posing their own problems. Still, while the 13.8-billion-bushel maize harvest currently projected by the US Department of Agriculture would be the smallest since 2015, it's about 40% more than US maize farmers were bringing in just two decades ago, and more than three times the average harvest in the 1960s. Please click Bloomberg article to peruse.
South Korea confirms fourth case of African swine fever

South Korea confirmed on Tuesday its fourth case of African swine fever at a hog farm in a town 40 km north of its capital Seoul, just a week after the deadly disease was first discovered in the country. The agriculture ministry confirmed the fourth case of swine fever in the town of Paju, near the border with North Korea, after reporting the county's third case late on Monday. Since South Korea's first outbreak of African swine fever was discovered on 17 September, more than
15 000  pigs have been culled, according to data from the agriculture ministry, or about 0.1% of the country's pig population of 12.3 million pigs. Please click here for the complete article.
SASAS hosts students and industry at ALFA Expo

The SASAS Northern Branch, together with speakers, sponsors, and students, came together again on 17 September at the ALFA Expo in Parys for the second Student Industry Day of 2019. The aim of this event is to bring final-year and post-graduate students in animal science from the northern region into contact with industry. Approximately 200 students from the University of Pretoria, the University of Bloemfontein, and North-West University attended the day, which was themed: "The top three." Media release
AfriCultuReS - enhancing agricultural systems with remote sensing
Agricultural companies can benefit greatly from a broad range of climatic, production, biophysical and economic information as well as the use of specific tools to boost the flow of information in a user-friendly manner. It is however important to determine which tools would be most important to the grain and oilseeds value chain. Agbiz can assist in determining these tools. AfriCultuReS is a project that aims to design, implement and demonstrate an integrated agricultural monitoring and early warning system that will support decision-making in the field of food security. The final aim is to produce a web and/or mobile tool that supports early decision-making for various stakeholders in food production. AfriCultuReS will apply geospatial science to sustainable agricultural development, natural resource management, biodiversity conservation, and poverty alleviation. Please click here for more information and a link to the survey.
Producer prices of red meat decrease

Producer prices of lamb are currently 15.3% lower than a year ago and stand at R68.86 (plus VAT) per kilogram for Class A lamb. Beef producer prices are 0.5% lower at R45.97 (plus VAT) per kilogram for Class A beef. This is extremely good news for consumers as lamb, mutton and beef prices have fallen over the period. This is in contrast to what has happened to food inflation over the past year. For example, bread and cereal prices rose by 8.6%, fish by 7.5% and fruits and vegetables by 4.3%. Please click RPO media release 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.
Agbiz Information Days - save the dates

Agbiz will once again be hosting Information Days in Klerksdorp, Pretoria and Paarl during the  first two weeks of 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. The programme, more information and how to register for the Information Days will be distributed soon.

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.
VKB Information Days
Theme: "The future of agriculture in SA"
3 October 2019  | Siesta Guesthouse  | Frankfort
4 October 2019 | Protea Hotel Ranch Resort | Polokwane

Vehicle Telematics and Intelligent Mobility Conference
17-18 October 2019 | Emperors Palace Convention Centre | Kempton Park

2019 AFMA Symposium
29 October 2019  | CSIR International Convention Centre | Pretoria

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