29 March 2018

business-technology.jpg Given the motion recently passed by Parliament for the Constitution Review Committee (CRC) to consider whether Section 25 of the Constitution should be amended to allow for "Expropriation without Compensation" and to make proposals to Parliament by 31 August 2018, a Land Dialogue was organised by various organisations and hosted by Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) for 27 and 28 March 2018. Ministers Gwede Mantashe and Maite Nkoana Mashabane provided opening addresses, where after panel discussions and commissions were held to discuss various aspects of land, also as it related to dignity, heritage, human rights, food security, investment, agricultural production and land  reform models, mechanisms and means. Dr John Purchase, CEO of Agbiz, presented in the 2nd Panel on Accelerating Land Redistribution for Economic Development. Diverse positions were taken by the various participants on what the problems and failures with land reform had been to date, and also on whether a constitutional amendment to Section 25 was at all necessary to effect expropriation without compensation. Agbiz, also represented by Theo Boshoff, experienced the 2-day dialogue as constructive and positive. The closing session conducted by Mr Vincent Smith, Chairman of the CRC, and the wrap up by Dr Mathole Motshekga, of the Justice Portfolio Committee and the CRC, were both positive engagements, with the common thread emerging that it should not be necessary to amend the constitution, but that mechanisms and other legislative initiatives would be necessary to accelerate predictable and orderly land reform. This dialogue can be deemed to be the start of the consultation process for the CRC and would set the tone for all future engagements. Next week the CRC will gazette the programme for firstly the provincial consultations, as well as for the national consultations to follow. On the 9th of April 2018 Agbiz will be hosting a briefing session for members and interested parties that will be participating in these provincial consultations. Agbiz members are strongly encouraged to participate in these consultations.

Theo Boshoff provides more information  in the linked article»

Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist, commended SA's food security status in his  personal blog  in February. This was after the Economist Intelligence Unit placed South Africa at 44th place out of 133 countries worldwide in the 2017  Global Food Security Index . "This essentially makes South Africa the most food secure country in the continent. Some conflated the blog post with land reform issues, arguing that the proposed expropriation without compensation policy would tamper with the progress made thus far. But, my intention was to shed light on the meaning of food security.   Read more in Wandile's Business Day column which first appeared on 29 March 2018. Link: https://agbiz.co.za/news/706/105/Disease-outbreaks-show-food-safety-underpins-security

The National Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) reaffirmed its view that South Africa is in for a good grain and oilseed harvest this season (albeit being less than the record achieved in 2016/17 season). The CEC revised its production estimates upwards by 2% from last month to 14.8 million tonnes. The notable uptick was on white maize, sunflower seed, sorghum and soybeans production.  Wandile Sihlobo provides more information in the linked update»

Click here to read the daily market view on commodities and the weekly wrap.  

Trade wars can be costly and devastating on the economies of those countries involved as they often limit the exchange of products and service, subsequently reducing countries' ability to exports and generate incomes. From the South Africa's agricultural perspective, international trade expands business opportunities, increases access to alternate inputs and improves productivity in the sector.   This is exemplified in January 2018 when the sector generated R10.285 billion from foreign markets thus contributing 12.7 percent to total country's exports. This came after an impressive sector performance in 2017, where agriculture pulled the South African economy out of a technical recession despite battling with severe drought in the Western parts of the country.   South Africa's agricultural prosperity is largely driven by the level of trade openness in trading partners such as the United States of America (USA), United Kingdom and China, amongst others.   Sifiso Ntombela, Agbiz Head: International trade and investment provides more information in the linked article»

The recent mergers of several large global agrochemical and seed companies, their diversification and highly progressive technological approach bring new, innovative technology to agriculture. To keep up with this, the role of the handlers/storage facilities of grain and oilseeds will gradually be expanded.  Mariana Purnell, General Manager of Agbiz Grain, provides more information in the  linked article»

The revised AgriBEE Sector Code was published in the Government Gazette of 8 December 2017.  The AgriBEE Code had to be brought in line with the amended generic Codes of Good Practice and Agbiz played a leading role in developing the new AgriBEE Sector Code. Melcus Nel, director at Signa and Agbiz Council representative on the Agbiz Transformation Desk, provides answers to some of the most frequently asked questions - 
Click here»

The decision by Moody's to retain South Africa's international and domestic credit rating at investment grade and the change in outlook to stable is a mark of greater confidence in the country, stated Business Unity South Africa (BUSA).   "The decision by Moody's to maintain South Africa's investment grade rating is an indication that recent developments have paid off," stated BUSA CEO, Tanya Cohen  - Read more»

According to SAWIS (SA Wine Industry Information & Systems) viticulturists and cellars estimate that 2018 will record the smallest crop since 2005.  The fourth harvest estimate was performed mid March, at which time close to two thirds of the harvest had been taken in by cellars - Read more»

The IFAMA Board agreed to expand the highly successful "Students Case Competition" to a similar competition for YOUNG PROFESSIONALS, directed at young people (not older than 35 years), working for five to ten years and showing promise as future leaders/managers. IFAMA invites Agbiz members, as an industry leaders, to nominate and sponsor young persons to participate in the first IFAMA YOUNG PROFESSIONAL CASE STUDY COMPETITION in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 23-27 June 2018 - Read more»  

For further information contact Prof Johan van Rooyen, IFAMA President and Director of the Centre for Agribusiness, Stellenbosch University on e-mail: cjvr@sun.ac.za

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries introduced the DAFF-China Scholarship programme in 2011 as a vehicle to build capacity and a pool of graduates at postgraduate level from international universities in areas identified as scarce and critical in agriculture, forestry and fisheries. For the 2018/19 academic year the department is offering fully funded postgraduate scholarship with university in the People's Republic of China. This scholarship is to address areas identified as scarce and critical in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors. The successful candidates will be taken in the People's Republic of China at Jilin Agricultural University in Changchun.  The scholarship is open for only for South African citizens who wish to further their studies and pursue careers in the identified scarce skills offered by the three universities mentioned.  Click here for conditions of the scholarship»
2018 Agbiz Congress | 69 Days to go!

With the agribusiness environment changing constantly, the congress theme "Uncertainty creates Opportunity" will pay attention to the key issues of transformation confronting South Africa and its agriculture system, and the impact technology will have on the competitiveness of South Africa's industries.

This year, we will be adding to our fantastic repertoire of speakers, as well as inviting back some of your favourites, the people that impressed you most over the years - Draft programme»

Click here to see the list of companies and organisations already registered to attend this event.

Accommodation at the Boardwalk Hotel in Port Elizabeth where the congress is taking place, is selling out fast but a few rooms are still available. Please use the block code to book a room: AGBIZGRP18  More information»

Closing date for registration: 4 May 2018
Congress: 7-8 June 2018
Welcome Function: 6 June 2018
Gala Dinner: 7 June 2018
Agbiz AGM: 8 June 2018

International Sorghum Conference 
9-12 April 2018 | Cape Town
More information

Interactive agricultural workshop for traders and market participants
12-13 April 2018
For further queries please contact:
Michelle Deavall: michelle.deavall@thomsonreuters.com

FERTASA Annual Congress
19 April 2018
Premier Hotel OR Tambo | Johannesburg
More information

Farmer's Weekly tour to AgriTech tour to Israel
6-11 May 2018
More information: Marianna du Plessis, email africa@caxton.co.za

15-18 May 2017 | NAMPO Park | Bothaville 
More information

21 to 25 May 2018 | South Africa
The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), The World Academy of Sciences Regional Office for sub-Saharan Africa (TWAS-ROSSA) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) are seeking candidates to participate in the inaugural regional training workshop on science diplomacy to be held in South Africa.  More information

World Potato Congress
27-31 May 2018 | Peru | South America

Potatoes SA Transformation Symposium
7 June 2018 | Pretoria
More information

Vision 2030 Summit
20-21 June 2018 | Emperors Palace | Gauteng
More information

IFAMA World Conference
23-27 June 2018 | Buenos Aires | Argentina
More information

Regional Trade Facilitation Forum for grain stakeholders in the Eastern & Southern Africa region
28 June 2018 | Lusaka | Zambia
The Forum is expected to convene sellers and buyers of grain commodities from the Southern and Eastern Africa regions to network and execute trade deals.
Invitation letter
Registration form

FW Agribusiness Africa Conference
18-19 July 2018 | Emperors Palace
Enquiries: Marianna du Plessis, e-mail africa@caxton.co.za

PMA Fresh Connections Southern Africa Conference and Tradeshow
15-16 August, 2018 |  CSIR | Pretoria

AGRI 5 Commodities Workshop & Expo
Date: 20th -21st September 2018
Venue: East London Show Grounds
Contact info: 011 056 6856
Agbiz membership
Being a member of Agbiz provides various benefits and opportunities

- 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.
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