9 November 2018
Minister Mboweni engages with Nedlac Exco on MTBPS

The Minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni, engaged Nedlac Exco on the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) that was recently tabled in Parliament. Minister Mboweni emphasised that South Africa finds itself at a crossroads and that the MTBPS highlights the difficult economic and fiscal choices confronting government over the next several years. Economic growth has been revised down from 1.5% to 0.7% in the current year, and the global environment remains challenging for emerging markets. Government however remains committed to fiscal sustainability, but there has been slippage since the 2018 Budget:

  • Tax revenues have been revised down, partly due to higher value-added tax refunds
  • Despite spending pressures, expenditure ceiling remains intact as the anchor of fiscal policy
  • Gross debt is now projected to stabilise at 59.6% of GDP in 2023/24.
Please click here to peruse a most interesting, but concerning presentation by Minister Mboweni and National Treasury. Nedlac Exco, of which Dr John Purchase of Agbiz is a member as Business Convenor for the Trade and Industry Chamber, expressed its appreciation for the frank and honest discussion and engagement with Minister Mboweni and his delegation.
Minister Rob Davies leads Nedlac TIC strategic session

Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, led the annual strategic session of the Nedlac Trade and Industry Chamber (TIC) this past week. While the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) forms the basis of the discussion, and agro-processing is very much part of IPAP, it was the session on trade developments which drew the most pressing discussion. Given the trade war between the US and China, and the move to greater trade protectionism globally, reviewing the trade environment South Africa operates in, also from an agriculture perspective, was of critical importance. Included are the following presentations for perusal:

Agbiz is making an annual bursary of R35 000.00 available to a South African student registered for a master's or PhD degree in either agricultural economics or agribusiness management related fields, at any recognised South African university.  Terms and conditions apply. Please click here for more information and the application form. The closing date for applications is 7 December 2018.
New Namibian GMO Food Labeling Regulations will affect all future grain exports to Namibia. This was according to the CEO of the National Commission on Research, Science and Technology (NCRST) and GM of Innovation, Technology and Development in Namibia who recently addressed grain value chain role players on the impact of the new legislation and the GMO list that was compiled for maize, soybean, canola, wheat, cotton and rice. The Biosafety Act 2006 of Namibia provides measures to regulate the activities that involve research, development, production, marketing, transportation, applications and other uses of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), as well as specific products derived from these GMOs as they are harnessed safely. 
The South African agricultural industry is in a good place, which often gets overshadowed by broader policy discussions.  Last month, I highlighted the progress South Africa has made in boosting agricultural exports, which exceeded R130bn in 2017, supported by growth in exports of edible fruits, beverages, spirits, vegetables, grains and other agricultural products.  In fact, South Africa's agricultural sector, has, over the years maintained a positive trade balance.  While not amongst the top exported products, the South African beef industry has made some inroads into new export markets over the recent past. Click here for more insights in Agbiz head of Agribusiness Research Wandile Sihlobo's article, written for and first published on Fin24.
The collapse of Zimbabwe's agricultural sector from the early 2000s is well documented, and largely attributed to ill-conceived land reform policies. But as the spirit of political change sweeps across the country, albeit with lingering economic underperformance, it is worth looking at what agricultural products Zimbabwe imports in large quantities and whether import substitution would be a possibility in the near to medium term. Wandile Sihlobo  provides more insight in the linked article, written for and first published in  Business Day .
Weather ex_2
According to the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (Enso) Diagnostic Discussion issued by the Climate Prediction Center/NCEP/NWS
and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society on 8 November 2018, El Niño is expected to form and continue through the Northern Hemisphere winter 2018/19 (~80% chance) and into spring (55-60% chance). Please click here to peruse.

Protek once again received the award as Obaro's Supplier of the Year. Obaro recently thanked their top suppliers for their contribution to assist Obaro in reaching its strategic objectives. Seven of Obaro's suppliers were finalists from various categories including irrigation, mechanisation, hardware, outdoor life, agriculture and horticulture chemicals, seed and fuel. The finalists were  Titan Products, Petrow Agri, Willard Batteries, Bafana Petroleum, RAP Technologies, Voermol and Protek. Press release
Smallholder farmer_01
To better support farmers poised to become the commercial farmers of tomorrow, AFGRI Group Holdings (AGH) and its invested company focused on agriculture, AFGRI, have enhanced on a concept that has made a massive impact over the past five years in farmer development. In support of its vision to contribute to sustainable food security, a full spectrum of investments forms the base of the group, which ensures food producers, farmers and companies involved in agriculture have access to finance, insurance, storage, equipment and inputs, feeds, retail, processing of oils and grains, technology and sustainable farmer development. Press release
SAPPO elects new leadership

Johan van der Walt is the new chairman of the South African Pork Producers' Organisation (SAPPO). He will be in the hot chair the next two years. Van der Walt is no newcomer to the industry and has left deep footprints over the years. He was, among others, a previous chairman of the organisation. He also headed numerous industry committees on pig health and participated in the development of protocols that promote best practice farming methods for pork producers. Stephen Butt is SAPPO's new vice-chairman. Press release
New publications by Prof John Taylor

Prof John Taylor has published two new books -  Sorghum and Millets: Chemistry, Technology, and Nutritional Attributes,Second Edition and  Prof Taylor is a senior research fellow at the University of Pretoria, Department of Consumer and Food Sciences and Institute for Food, Nutrition and Well-being. Prof Taylor is also the honorary president and past president: International Association for Cereal Science and Technology (ICC).

BUSA has issued the 15th edition of the BUSA Bulletin. Please click here to read more.

Please click here for Free State Agriculture's Newsletter for October 2018. It includes information on the Census of Commercial Agriculture, Francois Wilken serving on Agri SA's board, tips on how to prevent fires, losses in the Free State because of crime, a decline in farm attacks in the province and Friends of Agriculture coffee.

Please click here for the November Digests publication for your perusal. Agri-Trust, SA_FANRPAN and Agri-Transformation Digest are monthly reports that are produced by the National Agricultural Marketing Council through the Agricultural Industry Trusts Division.
African Agri Investment Indaba and Agri Trade Congress Africa
27-28 November 2018 | CTICC  | Cape Town

Smart Farming/Precision Agriculture Conference 2018
28-29 November 2018  | Radisson Blu Le Vendome Hotel | Cape Town

2019 DEKALB Create Conferences

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

Global Cherry Summit 2019
25 April 2019  | Monticello Conference Center | San Francisco de Mostazal, Chile

Ensminger Pig Symposium
22-23 May 2019 | Kopanong Hotel and Conference Centre | Benoni
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.

                                      Like us on Facebook            Follow us on Twitter            View our profile on LinkedIn                                    
The Agbiz Newsletter may contain a few links to websites that belong to third parties unrelated to us.  By making these links available, we are not endorsing third-party websites, their content, products, services or their events.  Agbiz seeks to protect the integrity of its newsletter and links used in it, and therefore welcomes any feedback.
In this newsletter