31 MARCH 2017
On Friday, 17 March the Regulation of Landholdings Bill was officially published in the Government Gazette for public comment. The Bill seeks to establish upper thresholds for various categories of agricultural landholdings in each district, also known as 'land ceilings', place a prohibition on foreign ownership of agricultural land and create a commission to receive the compulsory disclosures of ownership by all agricultural land owners detailing race, gender and nationality. Theo Boshoff, Manager: Legal intelligence at Agbiz, provides more information in the linked document»
Restitution There is a broad consensus that a Zimbabwe-style land reform process will be grossly counter-productive in South Africa. But after two decades of frustration over the slow pace of land reforms, there are growing fears that the proponents of radicalism are beginning to find a voice, particularly amongst a broad section of the poor, desperate for any respite from their continued suffering.  The pressure has undoubtedly mounted on the government to deliver on the promise of land reform, and experts and observers believe that the next 10 to 15 years may prove crucial to in ultimately determining the fate of the agricultural sector.   
Tinashe Kapuya, Head: International trade and intelligence at Agbiz, explains more in the linked article»
* This article first appeared in the Farmers Weekly magazine, dated 31 March 2017. 

"South Africa will regain its status as a net exporter of maize in the 2017/18 marketing year, starting on the first of May 2017. This follows after two seasons of being a net importer of maize due to lower domestic supplies on the back of an El Niño induced drought," writes Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist, in his Business Day column. Read more»

South Africa is set to harvest the second biggest maize crop on record. This comes after the National Crop Estimate Committee revised up its forecast by 3% from the previous one to 14.32 million tonnes. Thus, making this season's crop the second biggest after the 1980/81 bumper crop of 14.66 million tonnes. This means that South Africa will regain its status as a net exporter of maize this season. Wandile Sihlobo provides more information in the linked article»

Food producers are seeing an easing of price pressures due to relatively low agricultural commodity prices. Data released this morning showed that South Africa's food producer price inflation slowed to 9% y/y in February 2017 from 10.6% in January 2017. This could be transmitted to the consumer over the coming months, as we expect a lag period before it can and be reflected in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) data.  Wandile Sihlobo reveals more on the linked article»

South Africa's annual food and beverages inflation fell below 10% year-on-year for the first time since March 2016. Given the current bearish trends in agricultural commodity prices, this declining path in food inflation is likely to prevail throughout the year. Wandile Sihlobo provides more information in the linked update»

Summer crops In the immediate to short term, South African agricultural commodity markets will generally assume a bearish trend, which is likely to persist at least until July 2017. The expected good harvests and increased supplies will be the fundamental drivers of this downward trend. Tinashe Kapuya and Wandile Sihlobo provides more information in the linked update»
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

South Africa exported 3 619 tons of beef in January 2017, which is 3% lower than December 2016 volumes, but 21% higher than the corresponding month in 2016. Exports of fresh/chilled beef were 2 170 tons in January 2017, which is 5% more than what was exported in December 2016, and 58% more export volumes in the corresponding month in 2016. Tinashe Kapuya and Wandile Sihlobo provides more information in the linked update»
DAFF presents to Parliament on Operation Phakisa

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) presented the outcomes of Operation Phakisa to the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries this past week. Please click on Operation Phakisa to peruse presentation.
DWS presents to Parliament on increases in irrigation water tariffs for 2017/18

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) presented to the Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation on water tariff increases for the 2017/18 financial year. For irrigation, most increases are in the region of a reasonable 7%, except in the Vaal and Orange River systems where the increases are respectively 14% and 17%. Please click on DWS water tariff increases to peruse full submission.
Harbours and handlers hit bullseye with grain imports

In the midst of the worst drought in 100 years in southern Africa, the members of the Grain Handling Organisation (GOSA) ensured under challenging circumstances that South Africa had sufficient food for the nation and for neighbouring countries - Media release
FAO presents to Parliament on climate change in South Africa

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations presented to the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in Parliament this past week. Please click on FAO presentation to peruse.
IFAMA World Conference

The IFAMA 2017 World Conference, taking place on 18-21 June 2017 in Miami, Florida, will provide a strategic and forward thinking platform for new ideas and to connect with people from around the world. Dr  John Purchase, Agbiz CEO who serves on the IFAMA board, will present on t he changing dynamics of world food trade and Sub-Saharan Africa's ability to meet the requirements of enhanced trade regulations -  Click here for more information and to register»
Appointment of GWK Group Managing Director

The GWK Board announced their decision to appoint Llewellyn Brooks as GWK Group Managing Director.   This comes after Pieter Spies, who was the GWK Group Managing Director until end February 2017, accepted a position with Tiger Brands as of March 2017 as the Executive Head of grain operations - Media release»
Elgon Kenya appointed DuPont maize seed distributor in Kenya

PANNAR SEED, a DuPont seed business in Africa, today announced the appointment of a local leading agro input suppliers, Elgon Kenya Limited, as its distributor within Kenya for its maize hybrids. Through this strategic collaboration, Elgon will distribute selected PANNAR maize varieties to farmers beginning in the 2017 sales season  - Media release»
International Federation of Agricultural Journalists World Congress
2-8 April 2017 | Gauteng and Western Cape
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Agbiz Council Meeting
6 April 2017 | Pretoria

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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IFAMA 2017 World Conference
18 - 21 June 2017 | Miami, Florida, USA
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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

Agbiz Grain Mini-Symposium
16 August 2017
Enquiries: lizbe@agbizgrain.co.za 

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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