8 March 2019
Agbiz economist presents at RMB SA Investment Summit in London

This week, Agbiz head of Agribusiness Research Wandile Sihlobo, presented at the Rant Merchant Bank (RMB) SA Investment Summit in London. He presented alongside the Chief Justice of South Africa, Mogoeng Mogoeng, Special Investment Envoy to President Ramaphoa, Mcebisi Jonas, Chief Economist of the South African Reserve Bank, Dr Rashad Cassim, Teneo Senior Vice President Anne Frühauf, and Dr Tobias Bischof-Niemz of Enertrag. This was a platform organised by RMB to encourage collaboration and provide clarity for investors about the policy developments in South Africa. The discussions covered a wide range of issues, from political economy, macroeconomic developments, investments, and the role of the judiciary in restoring South Africa's institutional integrity. Sihlobo's presentation to the forum was mainly on the development of land reform policy in South Africa - a subject that most investors, locally and globally, have been following closely. His presentation is available upon request.
Nedlac TIC addresses key matters

This past week, the Trade and Industry Chamber (TIC) of Nedlac met to address a number of matters, including the following related to the agricultural and agribusiness sectors:
1. Sustainability of the poultry industry
The South African poultry industry is faced with many challenges. While a Poultry Masterplan is still being developed by government and role players, Nedlac TIC requested the South African Poultry Association (SAPA) to present their analysis of the industry to the Chamber. The new CEO of SAPA, Mr Izaak Breitenbach, provided an in-depth and insightful analysis of the industry and made recommendations as to interventions that are necessary to ensure the sustainability of the industry. Please click on SAPA presentation to peruse. This past week the dti also released a press statement detailing interventions to ensure the sustainability of the industry. Please click on the dti press statement on the poultry industry to peruse.
2. Preservation and Development of Agricultural Land Bill (PDALB) submitted to Nedlac
The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) presented on the revised PDALB to Nedlac TIC - please click on PDALB presentation to peruse the major aspects of the Bill, including its main objective of preserving high potential agricultural land for agriculture purposes. A Task Team comprising the constituencies of Government, Business (Theo Boshoff will represent Agbiz there), Labour and Community will deliberate on the Bill and submit a report to DAFF and Parliament on areas of agreement and disagreement in three months' time.
3. Research study on agricultural subsidies and their implications for South Africa
In a research study initiated by Agbiz and funded by the dti, DNA Economics has provided a most useful assessment of support and subsidies that distort the agricultural production and trading environment, and thus equips government to at least now level the playing field for South African agricultural and food value chains to be competitive on the local and global markets. Please click on  Agrisubsidies Presentation and the  Agrisubsidies Report to peruse.
Joint Council of the EU-SADC EPA in first critical meeting 

The Joint Council of the EU-SADC (Southern African Development Community) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) met in Cape Town on 19 February 2019, a meeting hosted by South Africa.  Honourable Bogolo Joy Kenewendo, Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry of Botswana and EU Trade Commissioner, Cecilia Malmström co-chaired the meeting. The Joint Council welcomed the inaugural meeting, which took place just over two years after the start of the provisional application of the EU-SADC EPA on 12 October 2016 and took note of its mandate to provide political oversight of the implementation of the agreement. The Joint Council adopted the institutional framework of the EPA containing the following documents: (i) the rules of procedure for the Joint Council, (ii) the rules of procedure for the Trade and Development Committee, (iii) the rules of procedure for Dispute Settlement and Dispute Avoidance and the Code of Conduct of Arbitrators and Mediators. Please click on Joint Communique to peruse full text.
Land Claims Court gives some clarity on the Property Valuation Act

In February, the Land Claims Court handed down judgement in the case of Moloto Community v Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform and Others, effectively confirming that a valuation by the Valuer-General does not exclude the jurisdiction of the courts in determining just and equitable compensation. Although the Property Valuation Act (17 of 2014) does not use the terms 'compensation' or 'expropriation' once in its provisions, the term 'value' was defined in a manner which mirrors the calculation of compensation for expropriation. This in turn sparked fears that the Valuer-General, using a formula promulgated by regulation, would determine the amount of compensation to which a property owner or bond holder would be due if they were to be expropriated for land reform purposes. Agbiz head of Legal Intelligence Theo Boshoff provides more insight in the linked article.
Regulator grants lower tariff increases than Eskom requested

The National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) has awarded Eskom electricity tariff increases over the next three financial years that fall way short of what it says it needs to be financially stable  The increases for 2019/2020 will be 9.41%; 8.1% for 2020/2021; and 5.22% for 2021/2022, Nersa chair Jacob Modise announced on Thursday.
This amounted to allowable revenue of R206.38bn, R221.843bn and R233.078bn over the three periods, respectively. Press release
Four Bills agreed to by National Assembly

Following much input in both Houses of Parliament, the National Assembly agreed to the following four Bills: 
(1) National Health Laboratory Service 
(2) Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Amendment Bill
(3) Protection, Promotion, Development and Management of Indigenous Knowledge Bill
(4) Critical Infrastructure Protection Bill
The four Bills will now be sent to President Cyril Ramaphosa for his signature. Please click here for more detail on the Bills and the process.
Reminder to complete Confidence Index survey

The sector is faced with a wide variety of challenges, ranging from an uncertain policy environment to climate change. Therefore, it is important to analyse and determine the confidence levels in the agribusiness sector. The Agbiz/IDC Agribusiness Confidence Index is set up in such a way to ensure it measures the business confidence, which determines business decisions, and to a lesser extend capture the emotions and emotional influences on the sector. This makes it very unique and valuable. Decision makers from within the agricultural sector, as well as from Stats SA, the South African Reserve Bank, the South African Institute of Race Relations, National Treasury, etc. are close observers of this index. It is also very valuable for agribusinesses to benchmark itself against the industry's trends. Kindly respond to the Agbiz/IDC Agribusiness Confidence Index Survey for the first quarter of 2019 and submit your response by Friday, 08 March 2019 by clicking on this link.
Saudi talks bode well for South Africa's agricultural exports

Last week South Africa's ministry of agriculture, forestry and fisheries published a media statement following a visit to the country by Saudi Arabian agriculture minister Abdulrahman bin Abdulmohsen Al-Fadhli. The statement essentially summarised the objective of the visit, but had one particularly interesting line: "The Saudi delegation expressed a desire to lease land in South Africa to produce a wide range of agricultural commodities, provided they can sign a lease of 99 years or more." Wandile Sihlobo elaborates in the linked article, written for and first published in Business Day.  
Perception that agriculture is dominated by large commercial farms is incorrect

Behind some of the policy proposals and discussions on land redistribution in South Africa  is a persistent notion that the country should establish 'small-scale farms' so there can be more participants and an increase in productivity. This view was shared by some participants at a conference organised by the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies at the University of the Western Cape on February 4-5. Wandile Sihlobo of Agibz and Prof Johann Kirsten from the Bureau for Economic Research at Stellenbosch University provide more insight in the linked article, written for and first published in Business Day.
The budget's impact on agriculture

 In an interview with Lise Roberts on RSG Landbou,  Agbiz CEO Dr John Purchase commented on the impact of Finance Minister Tito Mboweni 's 2019 budget on agriculture. Follow this link to listen to the interview in Afrikaans.
Increasing prosperity through digital trade

During Africa Tech Week, which took place in Cape Town on 4 and 5 March, the United Kingdom and South Africa announced their agreement to co-lead the Commonwealth Digital Connectivity Agenda. This is one of five clusters of activity promoted by the Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda on Trade and Investment, agreed at the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London.
The Digital Connectivity Agenda will facilitate an exchange of experiences, views and best practices on digital connectivity to support inclusive growth and sustainable development in the Commonwealth. Please click here for the full media statement.
International award for innovation in food and agtech

The international award for "Innovative Ideas and Technologies in Agribusiness" is organised by UNIDO ITPO Italy in collaboration with the Future Food Institute. The international contest is aimed at identifying worldwide the most innovative ideas in the foodtech and agtech sectors from startups, think tanks, universities, incubators, research and technology centers, that could lead to social, environmental and economic improvements in developing countries.  Applications must be received by 31 March 2019, at this link. The award ceremony will be held in Rome on 15 May 2019 within the framework of EXCO 2019, the first ever expo in Italy focusing on international development cooperation.
Agriculture is a partnership of many stakeholders, says FSA's Wilken

Free State Agriculture (FSA) views the statements that 20% of producers produce 80% of South Africa's food as irresponsible and dangerous. This is according to Francois Wilken, President of FSA, after such statements were recently made in the media. According to him, agriculture in the Free State is seen as an integrated partnership between everyone involved in the agricultural value chain. Press release.
AFGRI commits R3 million to the establishment of the AFGRI Support Fund 

AFGRI has launched a not-for-profit company to assist those in dire financial need involved in the agricultural sector in South Africa. The fund will operate in the geographic areas of the country where AFGRI operates but won't be limited to AFGRI clients. Tinus Prinsloo, CEO of AFGRI, indicated that, "We want to make a meaningful difference in the areas we operate in, aside from our service and product offerings, as there are times that people just need a partner who cares. We have therefore established this fund into which we have made an initial injection of R3 million." Press release
Scholarships for postgraduate studies available in Mauritius

The Mauritius-Africa Scholarship Scheme invites applications for scholarships for postgraduate students for 2019. Scholarships are available in master's and doctorate studies at three accredited universities to professionals who are South African nationals. The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries would like to invite eligible applicants who wish to further their studies and pursue careers in the identified scarce skills to apply for the scholarships offered by the Mauritius - Africa Scholarship Scheme. Follow this link f or more information. Click here for the application form.
Blockchain for agriculture in the spotlight

The e-Agriculture Newsletter for February 2019 is available. It focuses on the blockchain for agriculture, and specifically highlights three publications that the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and partners have published on the subject.
The newsletter also announces the webinar on "Scaling up satellite-based drought index insurance, successes and lessons learned from Uganda".  Click here to register for the webinar and follow  this link to enjoy your copy of the newsletter. 
BUSA's newsletter focuses on energy

Please click here for the second edition of BUSA's newsletter, The Bottom Line, including a snapshot of salient points from BUSA's submission to the National Energy Regulator (NERSA)-conducted public hearings into Eskom's fourth multi-year price determination (MYPD4) application.
The latest news from FSA

Free State Agriculture's (FSA) Newsletter for February 2019 includes information on how FSA helped to get the Free State declared a disaster area, how problems with poor road conditions are addressed, issues at the Lesotho border, safety workshops for members and meetings about poor cellphone signal. Please click here to peruse.
First Bi-annual International Soy for Human Health Conference 2019
11-13 March 2019 | St George Hotel | Pretoria

CGA Citrus Summit   
1 2-14 March 2019 | Boardwalk Hotel | Port Elizabeth

SAFA Cattlemen's Conference
14 March 2019 

GTR Africa 2019
14-15 March 2019 | Cape Town International Convention Centre  |  Cape Town

Landbouweekblad conferences on regenerative agriculture
Theme: Let nature earn you money
11-12 March 2019  | VKB Showgrounds  | Reitz  | Free State
13-14 March 2019  Ottosdal Showgrounds  | Ottosdal  | North West
19 March 2019 | Morgensrust | 60 Owl Street, Joostenbergvlakte

Agritech Roadshow
The Produce Marketing Association (PMA) with the Israel Trade Office will be showcasing some of the most innovative technologies and solutions in the fresh produce industry.
25 March 2019  | Pretoria
27 March 2019  | Polokwane
28 March 2019  | Stellenbosch
NWU Precision Conference
4 April 2019 | North-West University  | Potchefstroom Campus

Sustainable Agriculture Summit Africa 2019
11-14 April 2019  | Mövenpick 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

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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