7 APRIL  2017
"The dramatic political developments of the past week, and the consequential and expected downgrading of South Africa's investment grade to so-called junk status by the rating agency Standard and Poor's (S&P), is seriously bad news for the agricultural and agribusiness sectors of our country's economy, and for food security," Dr John Purchase, CEO of Agbiz, said today - Press statement / Persverklaring

Land reform in South Africa is not a nice-to-have, it is a fundamental constitutional right that aims to bring about restorative justice and create economic opportunities for those that were historically excluded from that opportunity. In this context, it goes without saying that the needs of the very persons intended to benefit should be at the forefront of the solution design, but sadly the latest policy proposals emanating from the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform seem to negate this crucial component. Theo Boshoff, Agbiz Manager: Legal intelligence, provides more information in the linked document»
South Africa's combine harvester sales continue to show strong growth ahead of a bumper crop this season. Recent agricultural machinery sales data showed that in March 2017, combine harvester sales were up by 21% from the previous month and 64% from the corresponding period last year - with 23 units sold. Worth noting is that the sales have been on the upward trend since the beginning of the year and March was the highest. Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz Head: Economic and agribusiness intelligence, provides more information in the  linked document»

Africa is not a major player in global soybean production yet, with total output averaging 2.4 million tonnes - 90% of which is produced by South Africa, Nigeria, Zambia, Malawi, Benin and Zimbabwe. Africa's total production makes up a mere 1% in global soybean production of 341 million tonnes .   Some of the aforementioned countries particularly South Africa have seen tremendous growth in area and output.  Wandile Sihlobo provides more information in the linked article»
* This article first appeared in the Farmers Weekly magazine, dated 7 April 2017. 
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

The Ghana-South Africa Business Chamber in collaboration with the South African High Commission in Ghana will be embarking on an outward trade & investment mission from 21 to 27 May 2017. The Chamber has chosen Gauteng, Kwa-Zulu Natal and the Western Cape as the provinces that will be visited by the delegation.
The objective of the mission is to promote investment opportunities in Ghana and to expose Ghanaian companies to opportunities available in South Africa.
The Seminar will include topics and discussions of interest for emerging, existing and seasoned business. The delegation will consist of companies representing a selection of sectors such as;
  • infrastructure development
  • agriculture & agro-processing
  • construction
  • tourism and hospitality management
  • the service sector.
Should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact Bruce Yaw Addo of The Ghana South Africa Business Chamber on +233244152543 / +233(0)30 297 6417 / or e-mail: corporate@gsabc.org
The deadline for registration is 30 April 2017.

The Department of Transport has established the National Freight Data Bank to offer a comprehensive and consolidated view on all modes of freight transport in South Africa. Several agencies and organisations have generously shared data for inclusion in the National Freight Databank in order to compare and determine trends and bottlenecks within the freight transport system. The statistical information contained under this platform includes historic data on freight volumes for the following:
  • Three commodity sectors: Agriculture, Manufacturing and Mining
  • Five modes of transport (Road, Rail, Pipeline, Air and Maritime).
  • Sixteen national freight corridors
Mariana Purnell, General Manager of Agbiz Grain,  provides more information»
Public spending priorities for African agriculture productivity growth

Enhancing the productivity of agriculture is vital for Sub-Saharan Africa's economic future and is one of the most important tools to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity in the region. How governments elect to spend public resources has significant development impact in this regard - read more»
2007 Codes of Good Practice - B-BBEE compliance

2017 marks the 10th  anniversary of the introduction of the 2007 Codes of Good Practice. These were the first measurement benchmark for B-BBEE compliance, which outlined the expectations of transformation in corporate South Africa. These Codes were implemented with the best intentions - Read more in the Signa Newsletter»
BUSA calls for accountable leadership and decisive action in the face of the S&P sovereign ratings downgrade

In response to the credit rating downgrade by ratings agency Standard & Poor to below investment grade, Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) is calling for Government to urgently assess whether their current path is serving the broader interests of the country.  "The three social partners of the economy in the form of government, labour and business have been actively engaged to try and prevent such a downgrade. We are deeply disappointed that this has happened. Government has to heed these warnings and decisively act in the best interests of the country and its citizens" said BUSA President, Jabu Mabuza - Media statement»
International Federation Agricultural Journalists

The 2017 world congress of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists was held this week in South Africa.  Presentations are available to
MASDT Newsletter

South Africa hosted the 9th Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) in Johannesburg from 13 to 16 March.  MASDT provides feedback about their involvement in the  linked newsletter»
Red Meat Abattoir Association Conference and Congress
17-19 May 2017 | Stellenbosch
More information 

Annual Road Transport Legislation Workshop
23 May 2017 - Stellenbosch
25 May 2017 - Durban 
8 June 2017 - Pretoria 
More information

Fertasa Annual Congress
3-4 May 2017 | Durban
More information

Agri-finance for non-financial managers
30 May - 3 June 2016
Presented by Purdue University in Africa
More information

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

Workshop on Bioinformatics and Wheat Genomics
28 June 2017 | Worcester, Western Cape
More information

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
More information

International Conference on Global Food Security 
3-6 December 2017 | Cape Town  International Convention Centre 
Conference Theme: Food Security: Global challenges, local solutions
More information
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