3 MARCH 2017
Theo Boshoff has been appointed as Manager: Legal Intelligence of Agbiz as of 1 March this year. Dr John Purchase, CEO of Agbiz says: "As Agbiz is increasingly challenged by policy and especially legislation matters, it has become critically necessary to provide a specialist legal service to our members in this regard. With Theo's appointment I am confident that Agbiz will increase its value proposition to our members even further." - Read media release» 

On 25 February 2017, the President of the Republic officially launched the outcome of the Operation Phakisa that took place in September and October 2016 focusing on agriculture, rural development and land reform. "Phakisa" comes from the Sesotho word meaning to 'hurry up' and is based on the Malaysian model of "Big, Fast, Results" which tasks public and private sector stakeholders to jointly identify bottlenecks constraining service delivery.   
At the end of a 5 week workshop the participants formulated a total of 27 initiatives aimed at growth and transformation in the sector.  Theo Boshoff explains more in the  linked article»

Minister Pravin Gordhan, Minister of Finance, presented in further detail the 2017/18 Budget to Nedlac Exco this past week. In depth insights into certain approaches adopted in the Budget were also provided by Min Gordhan and the DG of National Treasury, Mr Lungisa Fuzile. Business Unity South Africa (BUSA), strongly representative of both Black and White business interests and of whom Agbiz is a member, provided a comprehensive and generally positive response to Minister Gordhan's Budget.  Black Business Council (BBC) was on the other hand very critical of Minster Gordhan's Budget, accusing him of veering away from President Zuma's call for "radical economic transformation" in the recent SONA. Dr John Purchase of Agbiz, and as Convenor for Business in Nedlac's Trade and Industry Chamber, participated in the meeting. To peruse, please click on Budget 2017 presentation | Nedlac: Draft response to 2017 national budget | Black Business Council response to the 2017 budget

South Africa could potentially harvest a bumper crop in the 2016/17 production season. This comes after the Crop Estimate Committee's first production estimates for summer crops reached 16.21 million tonnes, up by 72% from the previous season. Moreover, this could be the largest crop since the 2013/14 production season, says Wandile Sihlobo, Head Economic and Agribusiness Intelligence at Agbiz - Read more»

With South Africa's maize crop set to reach 13.9 million tons this season, the focus will soon shift to the export markets. Writing in the London School of Economics Blog, Agbiz economist Wandile Sihlobo, identified a number of potential markets for South African maize industry - Read more»
"A recent report from the South African Weather Services suggested that an El Niño weather pattern, which is typically associated with hot and dry weather conditions, may potentially return around August 2017," writes Agbiz economist, Wandile Sihlobo in his Business Day column. "This would be an odd phenomenon, given that we recently came out of an El Niño induced drought period in 2015/16.  Although it would be premature to provide any certainty on this outlook, it is worth noting that the  Australian Bureau of Meteorology  concurs with our local Weather Services, which has noted a 50% chance of El Niño development later in 2017.   This will not affect the current summer crop as it has already reached pollination stages and likely to be a good season for grains and oilseeds. However, the challenge that is raised by these developments is whether South Africa and the continent at large is prepared to deal with these erratic weather patterns - Read more»
REMINDER: Agribusiness Confidence Index Survey

Agbiz members are kindly reminded to respond to the Agbiz / IDC Agribusiness Confidence Index Survey for the first quarter of 2017 and to submit their response before close of business on Friday, 03 March 2017, by clicking this link:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ConfidIndex2017Q41
For more information please contact Wandile Sihlobo on e-mail: wandile@agbiz.co.za
Daily view on commodity markets

Daily commentaries on agricultural commodity markets and macro-economic trends are available on the Agbiz website  www.agbiz.co.za
Agbiz Grain Steering Committee  

A new Steering Committee for Agbiz Grain was elected in February.  Mr Jacob de Villiers of Afgri was elected as Chairperson and Mr Pieter Malan of Senwes as Vice Chairperson -  More»
NAMC Reports 

Find linked below the latest NAMC research reports:
Old Mutual Wealth budget guide

Old Mutual Wealth's handy Budget guide gives you more insights into the 2017 Budget Speech, what tax changes have been proposed and the implications for you -  Read more»


As the ANC's national policy and elective conferences draw nearer, the politics in the tripartite alliance are looking ugly, and there is a social ferment in the making. So, what exactly are we to expect in the months ahead? Dr Mzukisi Qobo focuses on this question in a  feature political forecast article»

Werksmans Legal Briefs - March 2017

Werksmans Attorneys provide clients and the broader marketplace with insightful commentary on current legal developments and trends across a diversity of key industry sectors - Legal Briefs»
7th Undercover Farming Expo & Conference
7 - 8 March 2017 |CSIR Convention Centre | Pretoria
For more information contact Suzanne Oosthuizen on e-mail: CGA Citrus Summit
8 - 9 March 2017 | Port Elizabeth
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GOSA Symposium and Annual General Meeting
22 - 23 March 2017 | Mosselbay
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Water & Climate Congress
22 - 24 March 2017
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Red Meat Abattoir Association Conference and Congress
17 - 19 May 2017 | Stellenbosch
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Annual Road Transport Legislation Workshop
23 May 2017 - Stellenbosch
25 May 2017 - Durban 
8 June 2017 - Pretoria 
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Fertasa Annual Congress
3 - 4 May 2017 | Durban
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Agri-finance for non-financial managers
30 May - 3 June 2016
Presented by Purdue University in Africa
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Workshop on Bioinformatics and Wheat Genomics
28 June 2017 | Worcester, Western Cape
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11th Agribusiness Africa Conference
4 - 5 July 2017 |  Emperors Palace | Johannesburg

PMA Fresh Connections Southern Africa Conference and Trade Show
16 - 17 August 2017 |  CTICC, Cape Town

Skills Development Summit
31 Aug - 1 September 2017 | CSIR, Pretoria
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International Conference on Global Food Security 
3 - 6 December 2017 | Cape Town  International Convention Centre 
Conference Theme: Food Security: Global challenges, local solutions
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