29 March 2019
Agbiz and the IFC host workshop on water use efficiency in agri-processing

On 25 March, Agbiz and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, jointly hosted a workshop on water use efficiency in agri-processing. Agbiz members and other companies involved in the agricultural, manufacturing, paper and pulp value chains gained insight into the matter through presentations and panel discussions that included representatives from the IFC, private companies, industry associations, academia, government and community cooperatives. Please click here  for Agbiz head of Legal Intelligence Theo Boshoff's report on the workshop . The programme and presenations are linked here.
Government presents on Companies Amendment Bill and SEZ's at Nedlac TIC

The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) provided two unrelated updates and presented on these to Nedlac's Trade & Industry Chamber yesterday. The updates relate to:
* The Companies Amendment Bill: Although the department is in the process of incorporating public comments into a revised Bill, Agbiz expects the Bill to be tabled at Nedlac for a substantive engagement in May 2019 and will endeavour to be part of the Task Team; and
* Special Economic Zones (SEZs). Additional information on incentives and opportunities in SEZs can be made available on request. 
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, and the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government invite you to attend the first Special Economic Zone (SEZ) National Investment Conference in Durban next week.
Operation Phakisa for water and sanitation 

Last week the Department of Water and Sanitation hosted a provincial consultation workshop in preparation for the planned Water and Sanitation Operation Phakisa. The purpose of the workshop was to:
  • Present the key issues and possible solutions as shown in the National Water and Sanitation Master Plan
  • Confirm issues for the province
  • Present the framework of Operation Phakisa
  • Set out preparatory work for provincial involvement on relevant workstreams and uniform framework
  • Organise provincial support structure for Phakisa 
The National Water and Sanitation Masterplan (NW&SMP):
  • Points out the priority actions required until 2030 and beyond to ensure the water security and equitable access to water and sanitation services for all in South Africa.
  • Was developed in partnership with all relevant organs of state and water sector stakeholders, to give effect to local, national, regional, continental and international water and sanitation delivery targets and commitments.
  • Ensures integrated planning and development across the entire water value chain, as articulated in the recent SONA.
Please click on NW&SMP to peruse presentation.
Liaison with government is important

Agbiz CEO Dr John Purchase talked to Elsa Esterhuizen on KykNET's programme Grootplaas about why liaison with government is so important. Please click here to watch the interview.
Coordinated effort needed to mitigate climate change

The battle against climate change cannot be won if all the countries in the world do not stand together, especially the two big powers - China and the US, says Agbiz CEO Dr John Purchase. Lizma van Zyl talked to Dr Purchase in the RSG programme Die Kwik Styg. Click here to listen to the podcast.

Port damage will hinder Mozambique grain imports

The situation in Mozambique is devastating. Tropical Cyclone Idai, which hit the coastline of Mozambique on March 14, has caused a heavy loss of lives and affected more than 600 000 people, according to some estimates. The number will most likely rise after on-ground assessments. Amid continuing efforts to find survivors, one of the key concerns in the next days will be food insecurity due to damage to crop fields and port infrastructure. Agbiz chief economist Wandile Sihlobo elaborates in the linked article, written for and first published in Business Day.
SA's summer grains and oilseeds production estimates lifted marginally

Grain sorghum
South Africa's Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) lifted its estimates for the country's 2018/19 grains and oilseeds production by 0.4% from last month to 12.7 million tonnes. There were no adjustments in most commodities' production estimates with the exception of sorghum which was lowered by 3% from last month, while the maize estimate was lifted marginally, and thus overshowed the decline in sorghum, resulting into an overall increase in the grains and oilseeds estimate. With that said, the overall grains and oilseeds production estimate is still 16% lower than the 2017/18 harvest due to a reduction in area planted, and expectations of relatively lower yields in some areas. Wandile Sihlobo shares his insights in the linked article.
Recalibrating South African agricultural growth

In the recent issue of Agrekon, which is an agricultural economics academic journal, some of the most renowned agricultural economics professors, namely Johann Kirsten, Philip Pardey, and Colin Thirtle wrote a moving memorial tribute of the late Dr Frikkie Liebenberg, who was working at the University of Pretoria in the last years of his life. In a blogpost, Wandile Sihlobo writes: " Early on in my agricultural economics career at Grain South Africa (Grain SA), I was always intrigued by the "index number" theory, and South Africa's agricultural long-term productivity. No one has ever delved in the details of agricultural productivity growth like Frikkie did, and it is my considered opinion that his PhD is the best work, thus far, in this area in South Africa.  Frikkie's work invoked within me, a deep appreciation of agricultural economic history, and those who regularly follow my work and my blog may have noticed that I cite Frikkie's work frequently." Please click here to read a tribute by  Professors Kirsten, Pardey, and Thritle posted on Wandile Sihlobo's blog.
Great strides made in containment of FMD

In a media statement, Minister Senzeni Zokwana stated that the disease control strategy to contain the FMD outbreak in Limpopo is yielding positive results. "Though the outbreak is under control, this does not mean that it is resolved and that no further measures will be implemented. There is still a long road ahead but the danger is currently out of the way. It is therefore imperative that all parties that have been instrumental in the success thus far remain committed and work together to resolve this outbreak as soon as possible." Please click here to peruse.
SA needs a period of stable interest rates, says Prof. Parsons

The widely expected decision by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) to again keep interest rates unchanged was the right decision in present economic circumstances, says North-West University Business School economist, Prof. Raymond Parsons in media statement. "Both economic and political factors presently call for a predictable period of stable interest rates, especially as inflationary expectations in South Africa have moderated considerably. With changing global economic conditions, it would also be wise for the South African Reserve Bank to remain flexible regarding monetary policy and future trends in interest rates. In retrospect the hike in the repo rate in November 2018 was probably a mistake." Media statement.
Grain industry to benefit from New Voices Symposium

Are you looking to expand your team? Do you know just the right person? How easy is it to find candidates for new positions in the grain value chain - be it grain research, storage and handling, milling or processing industry? Do you have any out-of-the-box recruiting ideas to get back to promising applicants right away?  Mariana Purnell, general manager of Agbiz Grain and incoming chair of the Cereal Science and Technology Association (CST-SA) says the CST-SA will make your task a whole lot easier. Please click here for more information on this initiative.
New book on orange juice chain sees the light

Prof. Marcos Fava Neves recently published a new book - Orange Juice Chain - Past, Present and Future. The book offers information and analysis on:
* Ways to combat the global challenges to juice consumption.
* Competition with other beverages.
* Developing internal markets for juices.
* Consolidation of retailers and juice bottlers.
* Trends for the juice-processing industry
* Focus on orange-producing farms: increasing costs, disease and challenges to remain competitive.
* Sustainability, new consumers and juice marketing.
* How to develop and grow under strategic plans to increase markets and margins.
Please click here to access the book.
Wine harvest 2019 may be smaller

In a media statement, Vinpro announced that with close to two thirds of the 2019 wine grape harvest already in cellars, the most recent estimate indicates that the harvest may be somewhat smaller than last year. Media statement
Food and agri executive management programme

The 20th edition of Cornell and Sathguru's Food and Agri Executive Management Program (AMP) will be held from 21 July to 1 August, 2019 at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA. This exclusive programme offers intensive sessions on cross-cultural and cross-enterprise learning through case studies, panel discussions, debates with public and private sectors and representatives of the integrated agri and food chain system. It encourages in-depth interaction with world renowned faculty guided visits to sector-specific farms and enterprises who have excelled in their sphere.
To learn more about the programme, please follow this link and click on programme fee for fee details.
Invitation to consultative meeting on national awards for extension and advisory services

Private sector stakeholders who provide extension and advisory services to farmers are invited to attend the industry consultative meeting on the National Extension and Advisory Services Awards to discuss and plan on how the private sector can form part of the national awards.
Details of the meeting are as follows:
Date: 12 April 2019
Venue: Sheraton Hotel (Pretoria)
Time: 09:00 - 15:00
Institutions/organisations that provide extension and advisory services are kindly requested to indicate their availability to VonganiSH@daff.co.za on or before 5 April 2019.
Tutwa special focus: Africa

In the March edition of the Tutwa Newsletter, published by Tutwa Consulting Group, the focus is on Africa. Please click here to peruse.
NWU Precision Conference
4 April 2019 | North-West University  | Potchefstroom Campus

Sustainable Agriculture Summit Africa 2019
11-14 April 2019  | M√∂venpick Hotel and Residences | Nairobi | Kenya

Global Cherry Summit 2019
25 April 2019  | Monticello Conference Center | San Francisco de Mostazal, Chile

SA Large Herds Conference
3-5 June 2019  The Boardwalk  Port Elizabeth

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

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

Agritech Africa
19-21 June 2019 | Kenyatta International Conference & Convention Center (KICC), Nairobi  | Kenya

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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