28 June 2019
Practical steps to make the SONA vision a reality

The State of the Nation address delivered by President Ramaphosa set out five fundamental goals for South Africa. Three of these goals, namely; eliminating hunger, growing the economy faster than the population growth rate and creating 2 million job opportunities, are partially premised on economic growth in the agricultural and agribusiness subsectors. To enable the private sector to grow and create job opportunities, the President stressed the need to improve the ease and speed of doing business. As a business association, this is music to our ears. To get the ball rolling, a few quick-wins are listed that should be prioritised to improve business conditions for the agribusiness sector. Agbiz head of Legal Intelligence Theo Boshoff provides more insight in the linked article.
Report highlights investment trends in energy sector

The World Energy Investment (WEI) report is the world's benchmark for tracking investment trends across the
energy sector. Now in its fourth edition, the report continues to enhance its role as a timely and valued analytical tool - with a new look and feel - to help inform
decision-making by governments, industry and the financial community alike. The  latest report emphasises the opportunities for the energy system to attract the scale and types of investment that would align with a more secure and sustainable energy system.
BUSA and the CCMA launch online platform to assist small businesses with labour law advice

Busi ness Unity South Africa (BUSA), of which Agbiz is a member, recently launched an innovative, web-based resource on labour matters in conjunction with the CCMA. The web tool is designed to assist small businesses who do not have the resources required to hire in-house legal council or HR managers with key aspects relating to labour law. The web tool includes practical advice on how to recruit and appoint staff, manage employees, or how to deal with disputes in line with the country's laws. Whilst the web tool is in no way a substitute for formal legal or HR advice, it includes useful resources such as contract templates and summaries of the country's laws and CCMA rules and procedures.  The web tool is open to the public and can be accessed via BUSA's website or by following this link . guideline document  is also included which aids users in making the most of this resource.
SA horticulture is blooming, but there's still room for growth

Fresh fruits
The expansion in most agricultural subsectors in South Africa has been export-driven, particularly in the horticultural sector. This sector is labour intensive, and the expansion also brought jobs.  This somewhat compensated for the dwindling labour participation trend in other agricultural subsectors over the past few decades due to technology advancement and consolidation of farms. The gains in horticulture have largely been the reason South Africa's agricultural jobs have been stable over the past decade, bringing the average number employed in the industry to 767 000 between 2008 and 2018. Agbiz chief economist Wandile Sihlobo shares his insight in the linked article written for and first published on Daily Maverick.
Tanzania maize surplus comes to its neighbours' rescue

Tanzania is likely to emerge as Southern and East Africa's saviour in its maize shortfall. Zimbabwe, Kenya and Mozambique are experiencing a maize deficit and will collectively need to import about 2.5-million tonnes in the 2019/2020 marketing year to satisfy domestic demand. Wandile Sihlobo discusses this possibility in the linked article, written for and first published in Business Day.
SA summer crop estimates paint a mixed picture

The data released by South Africa's Crop Estimates Committee earlier this week reinforced our view that South Africa's maize supplies for the 2018/19 production year are shaping up better than feared in January 2019. This was when dryness in the western parts of the country threatened to delay and reduce plantings. The committee left its 2018/19 maize harvest estimate data essentially unchanged from last month, at 10.9 million tonnes. About 5.5 million tonnes is white maize, with 5.4 million tonnes being yellow maize. Please click here to peruse Wandile Sihlobo's article.
Keep an eye on the US maize market

The data released by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) show that about 96% of the intended area for maize across the US had been planted on 23 June 2019, compared to 100% at the corresponding period last year. So, the season is generally late, and that can influence yields. Why is this the case? Blame it all on excessively wet weather conditions which slowed plantings in the US farm-belt over the past couple of weeks. Please click here for Wandile Sihlobo's blogpost on this topic.
Rebuilding leadership is the first step to delivering on SONA commitment

President Cyril Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address on 20 June 2019 was remarkable partly for its simplicity, its clear commitment to addressing fundamental quality-of-life challenges, and direct reference to building human and institutional capacity. The SONA was blissfully short on mind-numbing lists of to-do's. The SONA is meant to offer direction and prioritisation. This is certainly what it did. Dr Miriam Altman, director of Altman Advisory, adjunct professor at UCT's Mandela School of Public Governance, and a commissioner on the National Planning Commission in the Presidency, shares her view in the linked article written for and first published on Daily Maverick.
SA table grape industry celebrates milestone 125-year history

The South African Table Grape Industry (SATI) launched a book chronicling its 125-year history titled The South African Table Grape Industry 125 Years in Pursuit of Excellence The book was launched at SATI's AGM held in De Doorns, in the Hex River region on 23 May 2019. Table grape producers from across the country attended as well as some of the affiliate companies of SATI such as the SAPO Trust, Fruit South Africa and Culdevco. Representatives from the National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC), Perishable Produce Export Control Board (PPECB), the Agricultural Research Council's Nietvoorbij facility, as well as exporters organisation FPEF. were also present. Please click here for an article on the launch first published on Fresh Plaza.
Bullish trend in SA soft citrus and lemon exports continues

The production and export of soft citrus, lemons and limes is expected to continue its strong growth in  the 2018/19 MY, based on the increase in area planted, high level of new plantings coming into full  production and improved water management techniques by farmers who have been forced to adapt to  the frequent drought conditions. Duty-free exports of citrus to the United States under the African  Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) are expected to continue their strong  annual growth, as the United  States is still considered a premium market. Please click on the Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report to peruse.
Five facts on fintech

From artificial intelligence to mobile applications, technology helps to increase your access to secure and efficient financial products and services. Since fintech offers the chance to boost economic growth and expand financial inclusion in all countries, the IMF and World Bank surveyed central banks, finance ministries, and other relevant agencies in 189 countries on a range of topics and received 96 responses. A new paper details the results of the survey alongside findings from other regional studies, and also identifies areas for international cooperation - including roles for the IMF and World Bank - and in which further work is needed by governments, international organisations, and standard-setting bodies. Read more about some of the trends that emerged in the survey in the linked IMF blogpost.
Assist the WWF with survey on a just transition in SA

The WWF is doing a scoping project on 'just transition' in South Africa. They are requesting stakeholders to complete and circulate the survey to their members.  The linked survey will take 5-10 minutes to complete. All responses will be treated with the strictest confidentiality, only aggregated data will be presented, and, no personal information will be shared.
2019 Cannabis Conference
Theme: The big business of cannabis
27-28 June 2019 | Emperors Palace Convention Centre Johannesburg
More information

13th Agribusiness Africa Conference 
10 July 2019 Premier Hotel | OR Tambo Airport
More information

PMA Fresh Connections: SA Conference and Trade Show  
30-31 July 2019 | Century City | Cape Town

Emerging Farmers and Agro Processing Conference 2019
30-31 July 2019 | CSIR International Convention Centre | Pretoria

Global Trade Show of Networking and Match-Making South Africa 2019 (GTS 2019) 
29 to 31 July 2019 | Gallagher Convention Centre | Midrand

Agbiz Grain 2019 Symposium 
14 August 2019  |  CSIR International Convention Centre | Pretoria

Global Trade Show of Networking and Match-Making South Africa 2019 (GTS 2019)
29 to 31 July 2019 | Gallagher Convention Centre | Midrand
First African Conference on Edible Insects
14-16 August 2019  | Harare | Zimbabwe

Fertasa Soil Fertility & Plant Nutrition Symposium
Theme: "Back to basics for the future"
21 & 22 August 2019  |CSIR International Convention Centre | Pretoria 
Peritum Agri-HR Summit 2019
21-22 August 2019 Bloemfontein

ARC Agri Indaba
29-30 August 2019 | Animal Production Campus Irene | Pretoria

PSA Seed Growers' Forum & PSA Congress
17 & 18 September 2019 | Cape Sun Hotel  | Cape Town

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

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