8 August 2019
First Jobs Summit Report to President Ramaphosa

The first report on the outcomes of the October 2018 Jobs Summit was held last Friday at Nedlac. President Ramaphosa, Deputy President Mabuza and six ministers formed part of the government delegation, while Sipho Pityana, president of BUSA led the business delegation. The CEO of Agbiz, Dr John Purchase, formed part of the business delegation. While there has been some progress with the implementation of the outcomes, there clearly is a lack of progress in a number of critical areas. Please click on Jobs Summit Presentation to peruse. It was however clear to the business delegation that a far more serious economic scenario is currently unfolding and needed to be addressed over and above the Jobs Summit issues. On behalf of business, Pityana addressed the government, labour and community delegations in clear terms on the dire state of the economy and the stark choices that have to be made. Please peruse Pityana's letter to member organisations in this regard.
25 years since democracy: how has South Africa's agricultural sector performed?

"We can have different views about the agricultural policies that the South African government adopted since the dawn of democracy, but the one thing we can all agree on, I hope, is that the sector has grown tremendously. Importantly, this expansion was not driven by a few sectors but has been widespread - livestock, horticulture and field crops.  Of course, the production of some crops has declined over time, most notably; wheat and sorghum. This, however, had a lot do with changes in agroecological conditions, and falling demand in the case of sorghum, not policies." Agbiz chief economist Wandile Sihlobo reviews South Africa's agricultural performance over the past 25 years in the linked blogpost.
Practical steps for a radical but sustainable redistribution of land

In the first part of a series in Business Day on fast-track land reform that is incentivised by the state, but delivered by the private sector, Prof. Johann Kirsten, director of the Bureau for Economic Research at Stellenbosch University,  writes: "Following the release of the much-anticipated report by the presidential advisory panel on land reform and agriculture, it is time to consider a clear plan with specific implementable steps. Such a plan should be simple and straightforward, with everyone playing their part in delivering on the vision of a more equitable distribution of land. The land debate is central to our process of dealing with SA's regrettable history of dispossession, and it is therefore understandable that the solutions will be contested. This conflict is evident in the report, which presents areas of compromise and trade-offs between different schools of thought instead of providing clear advice to the government on implementation and delivery. Nevertheless, the report has provided some key principles (and conclusions) that provide some clarity and certainty as well as a clear direction for action." Please click here to peruse the article, written for and first published in  Business Day .
Agbiz hosts members' workshop for AgriBEE

Agbiz hosted a workshop for its members regarding the AgriBEE sector code last week. The meeting was facilitated by Agbiz CEO Dr John Purchase, who has served on the AgriBEE Charter Council for close to 15 years, and Melcus Nel, an expert from the industry. Please click Dr Purchase presentation and Melcus Nel presentation to peruse. Transformation has always been one of the principle areas on which Agbiz focuses. Aside from redistributive policies such as land and water reform, broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) is the principle instrument aimed at achieving transformation in the sector. B-BBEE applies to businesses across the economy but certain sectors, such as the agricultural and agribusiness sectors, through the AgriBEE Charter Council, has been granted the opportunity to formulate a scorecard that is more suited to the means, priorities and priorities in the sector. Agbiz head of Legal Intelligence Theo Boshoff gives feedback on the workshop in the  linked report.
Weather holds cards for agricultural sector

It is almost certain that SA's agricultural economy will contract in 2019, mainly as a result of the poor summer crop harvest coming after drought. The Western Cape, which typically provides a cushion when there is a drought in summer-rainfall areas, was not in good shape in the 2018/2019 season, particularly the horticulture sector. The case in point is the wine-grape harvest, down 2% from 2018, when it was already 14% lower than the long-term average. But there is cause for hope with SA's 2020 agricultural performance. While it will be months before we have a better sense of whether summer crops will be good, we have some tentative evidence from the Western Cape winter crops, horticulture and wine grapes. On July 30, the SA Weather Service indicated that the winter-rainfall areas, mainly the Western Cape, could get above-normal rain from August to November. Wandile Sihlobo discussed this further in a Business Day column.
Does the African Continental Free Trade Agreement offer opportunities for SA agriculture?

The South African agricultural sector, and specifically the expansion in the sector over the recent past, is heavily reliant on exports. In fact, South Africa exports roughly 49% of its agricultural products in value terms. Hence, the newly launched African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) would potentially open additional avenues for South African products to destinations where the country hasn't largely participated in over the recent past. This would practically mean, an increase in the share of South Africa's agricultural exports to the continent, rather than mainly focusing on growing other well-established markets. Moreover, the AfCFTA is expected to make 90% of trade within the continent duty-free by July 2020, and this is set to increase to 97% over the next decade as more duties on an additional number of products are phased down. While some African countries will be deprived of revenue currently derived from trade tariffs, the expectation is that the benefits will exceed the costs, as countries will eventually benefit from trade creation, production diversification, job creation, industrialisation with increased corporate income tax revenue as a corollary, and higher personal income tax revenue. Wandile Sihlobo explores this subject in the linked article.
'Way too much pork' makes trade war bite US hog markets

Trade concerns are starting to make all other factors in the hog market look obsolete.  Futures have tumbled to the lowest since March. That's as African swine fever decimates China's pig herd in an unprecedented global supply disruption. Even though the Asian nation is importing huge amounts of meat, American producers are losing out to rivals in Brazil and elsewhere because of Donald Trump's trade war. What's more, the US president's threat of additional tariffs is sparking concerns that a deal to end the spat is even further away. In the linked article on Moneyweb, Lydia Mulvany and Michael Hirtzer report that if trade tensions continue to run high, US farmers could be facing a massive domestic glut.
Which reforms might boost growth in emerging-market economies?

According to the OECD's annual Going for Growth report, slow economic growth, high levels of uncertainty and rising inequality should prompt policymakers to take urgent action to achieve stronger, sustainable and more inclusive growth. S hifting taxation from income to property would boost growth, particularly in advanced economies. Better public sector efficiency, rule of law and adequate, accessible infrastructure provision are equally important to save resources, access markets and create conditions for businesses to invest in innovation, in particular - but not only - in emerging-market economies. This report details country-specific structural reforms that can boost long-term growth, improve competitiveness and productivity, create jobs and ensure a cleaner environment and equal opportunities for all. Please click here to peruse.
Pressing matters for SA's wine industry

The wine industry in South Africa is a good example of post-apartheid industrial success, and yet it's coming under more pressure; drought, declining yields, unprofitable estates and most recently huge rises in the cost of bottles have put the industry on the back foot. Yet, industry experts remain hopeful - that's wine people for you. Tim Cohen discusses this subject in the linked article in Daily Maverick.
News from SAPPO

SAPPO Weekly Update is the weekly electronic newsletter of the South African Pork Producers' Organisation. Please click here for the latest edition.
Agbiz Grain 2019 Symposium 
14 August 2019  |  CSIR International Convention Centre | Pretoria

Global Trade Show of Networking and Match-Making South Africa 2019 (GTS 2019)
29 to 31 July 2019 | Gallagher Convention Centre | Midrand
First African Conference on Edible Insects
14-16 August 2019  | Harare | Zimbabwe

Fertasa Soil Fertility & Plant Nutrition Symposium
Theme: "Back to basics for the future"
21 & 22 August 2019  |CSIR International Convention Centre | Pretoria 
Peritum Agri-HR Summit 2019
21-22 August 2019 Bloemfontein

ARC Agri Indaba
29-30 August 2019 | Animal Production Campus Irene | Pretoria

PSA Seed Growers' Forum & PSA Congress
17 & 18 September 2019 | Cape Sun Hotel  | Cape Town

VKB Information Days
Theme: "The future of agriculture in SA"
3 October 2019  | Siesta Guesthouse  | Frankfort
4 October 2019 | Protea Hotel Ranch Resort | Polokwane

Vehicle Telematics and Intelligent Mobility Conference
17-18 October 2019 | Emperors Palace Convention Centre | Kempton Park

2019 AFMA Symposium
29 October 2019  | CSIR International Convention Centre | Pretoria

AFMA Forum 2020
Theme: "Explore today for a better tomorrow"
3-5 March 2020 | Sun City | South Africa

Agritech Africa
17-19  June 2020 | Cape Town International Convention Centre  | Cape Town

Agbiz Congress 2020
Theme: "Building resilient and sustainable agri-food ecosystems".
15 - 17 July 2020 | Sun City | South Africa

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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