5 April 2019
Comprehensive Producer Support Policy heading in the right direction

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries hosted a consultation session on the department's draft Comprehensive Producer Support Policy on 4 and 5 April. The policy is aimed at consolidating the support services available to producers from both the department and private sector players. When the policy was originally gazetted for public comments in 2018, Agbiz submitted detailed written comments, many of which have now been incorporated to strengthen the policy. Aside from strengthening the delivery of extension services through public-private partnerships, the policy seeks to introduce a sliding scale for direct financial support. Agbiz head of Legal Intelligence Theo Boshoff attended the event, and gives feedback in the linked report.
M&G brings together stakeholders to discuss progress on land reform

Mail & Guardian hosted an event last week with various prominent speakers, including Dr Vuyo Mahlati, chairperson of Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Bulelwa Mabasa, also a panel member, who discussed the progress on land reform and what to expect in the next few weeks. Agbiz head of Legal Intelligence Theo Boshoff also presented. The event was moderated by Michael Avery, anchor of Classic Business on Classic FM.  Various stakeholders in the agricucltural industry attended the event. The programme and a selection of  the presentations are linked here.
Eskom tariff increases for 2019

On 7 March 2019, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa)
determined Eskom's allowable revenue for Eskom for the Multi-Year Price
Determination (MYPD) 4 for the period of 2019/20 to 2021/22. Please click on the Eskom communique to peruse. The tariffs to the municipalities have been tabled in Parliament on 15 March 2019 as per the MFMA requirements. An electronic version of the Tariff Book is available on the Eskom pricing website.
Revised fee adjustment for cross-border road transport

The Department of Transport and the Cross-border Road Transport Agency have published Notice No. 466 in Government Gazette No. 42332 of 25 March 2019. The notice amends the cross-border fees for permits. The fee adjustments will be effective from 1 May 2019.
Southern Africa's maize supplies will be tight in 2019/20 following Cyclone Idai

While it remains a challenge to get a clear picture of the scale of damage to maize fields in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe after Cyclone Idai, my back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest these countries will collectively have to import more than 1 million tonnes of maize in the 2019/2020 marketing year to meet their domestic needs. Agbiz chief economist Wandile Sihlobo shares his insight in the linked article, written for and first published in Business Day.
Positive prospects for South Africa's winter crops

The countryside of the Western Cape will be awakened again by the end of this month when farmers start to prepare the soils for winter crop plantings as the 2019/20 production season approaches. Meanwhile, other winter crop growing areas such as the Northern Cape, Limpopo, and Free State, amongst others, will commence with plantings around midyear. This means the weather will again be amongst the key drivers of domestic wheat, barley, and canola prices in the coming weeks, and will also influence farmers' planting decisions. Wandile Sihlobo elaborates in the  linked blogpost .
Global grains market developments, and implications for South Africa

March 2019 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provided further evidence that the world will have fairly large maize, soybean, and rice supplies in the 2018/19 season. Meanwhile, wheat production could decline from levels seen in the 2017/18  seaso n. The USDA lifted its estimate for 2018/19 global maize production marginally from last month to 1.1 billion tonnes. This is 2% higher than the previous season. The increases are mainly in South America and the Black Sea region. Wandile Sihlobo elaborates in the linked blogpost and interview on SAFM.
No solution for tiny tree-killing beetle

A tiny tree-killing beetle with the awkwardly long name of polyphagous shot-hole borer, or PSHB  was detected in South Africa for the first time in 2017. It's now attacking and inserting its deadly fungal ally, Fusarium euwallaceae, in a wider array of tree species across a much wider geographical area. The beetle has infested pecan nut orchards in the Northern Cape, and the avocado industry in the north-east of the country is monitoring for a potential outbreak. Macadamias, peaches and grapevines may also be affected, according to the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Please click here for an article written for and published on Moneyweb.
EU lifts ban on ostrich imports from SA

The European Union, which is the largest consumer of South African ostrich meat, has lifted the ban on ostrich imports.  The ban was imposed last year because the national agriculture department's testing procedures did not meet the EU's requirements.  South Africa currently holds around 75% of the global ostrich market share, with 80% of the country's ostrich meat coming from the Western Cape. Please click here for a Farmer's Weekly article and follow this link  to a SABC news insert on the good news for South African ostrich farmers.
New OECD agriculture website now live

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has launched a new agriculture web presence to demystify their research and make it more easily accessible. Start by reading the four key stories on understanding the global food system or dive directly into the key topics that they work on. The OECD has also published a dozen new policy briefs that explore different topics and make recommendations to policymakers.
Stewardship in action

A biannual newsletter, Stewardship in Action, showcases stewardship projects delivered around the world by CropLife International and the global CropLife network. Please click here to peruse.
Aquaponics and Smart Greenhouse Technology Conference 2019
10-11 April 2019  | Lanzerac Hotel & Spa  | Stellenbosch

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.
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