9 March 2018

This week the Land Bank, National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) and the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) hosted a debate on the recently adopted principle resolution of Parliament to review Section 25 ("The Property Clause") of the Constitution of South Africa in order to consider "Expropriation without Compensation". Dr David Masondo, an ANC NEC member, introduced the debate and argued why the ANC is set on amending the constitution: In his words: "The debate is not about whether the Constitution should be amended or not, but what modalities should be introduced to effect expropriation without compensation". Agbiz participated in the debate as a panel member and confirmed its position that the Constitution does not require amending to effect accelerated and orderly land reform and land redistribution in particular. Dr John Purchase, Agbiz CEO, says: "It has been the failure of government to implement expropriation, subject to just and equitable compensation as the Constitution currently states, that lies at the heart of this failure. Erosion of property rights will be inevitable in a scenario of expropriation without compensation, no matter what modalities are used, and there will be a negative impact on investment into the sector, and this will consequently lead to a decline in growth and employment."  

When the news broke on the eve of the 27th of February that Parliament had voted in favour of the motion brought by the Economic Freedom Fighters on expropriation without compensation, I, like many colleagues working in the agribusiness sector, found myself wondering what more this shortened month could possibly hold in store for us. Thankfully a new month brings new perspective, and it was only after the dust finally settled on February that I could read the motion in detail and decipher exactly what it entails.  Theo Boshoff, Agbiz Head: Legal Intelligence provides more information in the linked article»

The well-known and respected Team Leader of the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP), Prof Ferdi Meyer, addressed the Agbiz Information Day last week on "Managing Agriculture's Investments in Uncertain Times". In setting context to his presentation, he indicated that real agriculture prices have been steadily declining over decades, and will continue to do so to 2025 at least, as technology and improved management drive greater productivity and efficiency. The South African household disposable income per capita continues to decline, which results in less money being available for food purchases. Primary agriculture GDP growth also remains sluggish and volatile. There are however certain sectors that have been performing well and citrus at 8.7% has the highest SA share of total global exports, while apples & pears, and grapes follow with respectively 5,7% and 5.6% of global export share. Changing patterns in grain and oilseed production are becoming more evident, as declining real price trends impact on the profitability of the industry. In terms of livestock, meat consumption is set to grow, while the beef export potential is creating good and steady demand.  Prof Meyer also addressed African markets and indicated that the rapid population growth in Sub-Sahara Africa (SSA) creates considerable opportunity, also given that SSA now imports agricultural/food products in excess of US$40 billion per annum. There are still bottlenecks that inhibit growth in the agro-food system of South Africa, such as the tariff regime SA has to compete against to get our export fruit onto preferred global markets, the unlocking of natural resource potential in especially communal land areas, and correct farmer-support programmes to ensure competitive and sustainable production. Please click on BFAP Presentation to peruse  full address. 

After an extended contraction in 2015 and 2016, the South African agricultural economy grew by 17.7% in 2017. This was boosted by strong output in almost all the subsectors, such as field crops, livestock and horticulture, amongst others. In fact, this is also clear from trade data, where the country's agricultural exports grew past the US$10 billion mark for the first time.  Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist, provides more information in the linked update»

One of the most eagerly awaited communications in the global agricultural market is the International Grains Council's (IGC) monthly report. In the last week of February 2018, IGC reaffirmed its view that the world has large grain and oilseed supplies, particularly maize, soybeans and wheat, albeit having declined marginally from the 2016/17 production season.
Global maize production is estimated at just over billion tonnes, down by 4% from the 2016/17 production season owing to the anticipation of a lower harvest in the United States, Brazil, Argentina, Ukraine, China, India, Russia and South Africa. In almost all these countries, the expected decline in production is mainly underpinned by unfavourable weather conditions experienced earlier in the season, which then led to a reduction in area planted to maize   Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist, provides more information in the  linked article»

On leadership roles, there has been progress in the past few years in increasing the number of women in management positions within the sector. Several national agricultural associations such as Fruit SA, AFASA, Grain SA's farmer development programme and Agbiz Grain, have prominent women at the helm.  Read Wandile Sihlobo's full  blog post» 

Click here to read the daily market view on commodities and the weekly wrap.  
Agbiz Grain

A South African group of wheat scientists has just returned from a highly successful visit to the UK. The trip led to intense scientific discussions and crucial information exchange. The positive results and fruitful discussions will contribute towards strengthening the ties between UK and SA scientists.  A South African group of wheat scientists has just returned from a highly successful visit to the UK.  The trip led to intense scientific discussions and crucial information exchange. The positive results and fruitful discussions will contribute towards strengthening the ties between UK and SA scientists - Mariana Purnell, General Manager of Agbiz Grain provides feedback in the linked article»
2018 Agbiz Congress | Early-bird registrations close on 10 March 2018

Standard Bank will be the main sponsor for the 2018 Agbiz Congress, which will be held at the Boardwalk International Convention Centre in Port Elizabeth on Thursday, 7 June and Friday, 8 June 2018.
Our   2016 Agbiz Congress was remarkable, but you can expect an even better congress this year .   Click here to see which companies have already registered to attend.
With the agribusiness environment changing constantly, the congress theme "Uncertainty creates Opportunity" will pay attention to the key issues of transformation confronting South Africa and its agriculture system, and the impact technology will have on the competitiveness of South Africa's industries.

This year, we will be adding to our fantastic repertoire of speakers, as well as inviting back some of your favourites, the people that impressed you most over the years - More information
Accommodation at the Boardwalk Hotel in Port Elizabeth where the congress is taking place, is selling out fast but a few rooms are still available - More information

Agbiz Congress: 7-8 June 2018
Welcome Function: 6 June 2018
Gala Dinner: 7 June 2018
Agbiz AGM: 8 June 2018

Glenconnor Agricultural Association Agri Info Day
14 March 2018 | Mayogi Bomas, R75 onroute to Kirkwood
Aimed at promoting information-sharing among farming disciplines in the Eastern Cape region, The Co-op is proud to announce its involvement as main sponsor of this event. The programme lineup of this Agricultural Information Day is extraordinary with inspiring speakers that are synonymous with the global agricultural industry.

Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act (FAIS) the harbinger of things to come - A glimpse of the new world which beckons under Twin Peaks
14 March | Free Market Foundation | Bryanston
-A regulatory state without a regulatory purpose
-Purposeless bureaucracy without cost constraints
-Consumer relationships without contracts
-Legislation without parliament
-A judiciary without the judiciary
-The world we refused to have is the world we now have
More information

Landbouweekblad konferensie
Herlewingslandbou is boere se kostedoeltreffende wapen teen stygende insetkoste en klimaatsverandering
19-20 March 2017 | Reitz

GOSA Symposium 2018
22-23 March 2018 | Mossel Bay
More information

International Sorghum Conference 
9-12 April 2018 | Cape Town
More information

FERTASA Annual Congress
19 April 2018
Premier Hotel OR Tambo | Johannesburg
More information

Farmer's Weekly tour to AgriTech tour to Israel
6-11 May 2018
More information: Marianna du Plessis, email africa@caxton.co.za

15-18 May 2017 | NAMPO Park | Bothaville 
More information

21 to 25 May 2018
The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), The World Academy of Sciences Regional Office for sub-Saharan Africa (TWAS-ROSSA) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) are seeking candidates to participate in the inaugural regional training workshop on science diplomacy to be held in South Africa.  More information

World Potato Congress
27-31 May 2018 | Peru | South America

Vision 2030 Summit
20-21 June 2018 | Emperors Palace | Gauteng
More information

IFAMA World Conference
23-27 June 2018 | Buenos Aires | Argentina
More information

FW Agribusiness Africa Conference
18-19 July 2018 | Emperors Palace
Enquiries: Marianna du Plessis, e-mail  africa@caxton.co.za
Agbiz membership
Being a member of Agbiz provides various benefits and opportunities

- Agbiz is the only organisation that serves the broader and common over-arching business interests of agribusinesses in South Africa.
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- 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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