The Agricultural Business Chamber (ABC) was pleased to host a high-level delegation from
the United States (US) on 7 June 2011. The US delegation was led by Mr Jose Fernandez,
Assistant Secretary of State, Economic, Energy, and Business Affairs; US Department of State;
and consisted of Mr Jack Bobo, Foreign Affairs Officer; Mr Ross Kreamer, Minister-Counselor
of US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Services (FAS), and a number of
other US Officials from the US Embassy in Pretoria. The ABC was represented by Mr Schalk
Pienaar, Chairman of the ABC and MD of Suidwes Landbou, Ms Elaine Alexander, CEO of
South African Table Grape Industry (SATGI), Mr Ronald Ramabulana, CEO of the National
Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC), Mr William Malan, Deputy Head of Absa
Agribusiness (all ABC Board members), and Prof Vaughan Hattingh of Citrus Research
International, together with ABC officials.
07.06.2011 / Media Releases» more...
The Agricultural Business Chamber (ABC) has strengthened its existing links with South African
Universities through the introduction of the Centenary Bursary for a student registered for a
Masters or PhD degree in either agricultural economics or agribusiness management at any
recognised SA university.
The Centenary Bursary has been launched in honour of those ABC members who recently
celebrated their Centenary, i.e. NWK, Suidwes Landbou, Senwes and NTK. The bursary is
intended to inspire students to contribute towards a positive agribusiness sector in South Africa,
through the knowledge gained by their studies.
27.05.2011 / Media Releases» more...
The ABC attended the Monetary Policy Forum on Tuesday, 24 May 2011, at the Reserve Bank. Governor
Gill Marcus and the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) members presented the Monetary Policy Review
for May 2011, released on the day.
A lot of speculation regarding the possible increase in interest rates has lately been going on amongst
decision makers and in the media. The MPC presented their views (as per the Review document),
identified some important aspects they base their decisions on and provided just enough to say much, but
reveal nothing – leaving one to “read between the lines” towards expected changes in monetary policy.
The MPC perceive the global economic recovery to be on track, taking in consideration the number of
vulnerabilities continuing to characterise the global economy. Global inflation risks have also increased,
particularly in emerging market economies. Many emerging market economies have recently tightened
their monetary policies (with other words increased their interest rates) in response. The domestic
growth prognosis has also improved, even though growth remains below potential.
27.05.2011 / Media Releases» more...
Agribusinesses in South Africa have had positive business confidence for a year now; peaking since the beginning
of 2011. According to the results from the ABC/IDC Agribusiness Confidence Index, agribusinesses’ confidence
increased to 62.7 index points in the second quarter of 2011. It is a mere 1% higher than the first quarter of 2011
and 12% higher than the same quarter of the previous year.
Last year this time (second quarter of 2010), the ABC/IDC Agribusiness Confidence Index reached 55,7 index
points - it was the first time to be in positive territory (being above the neutral level of 50 basis points) since the
third quarter of 2008.
27.05.2011 / Media Releases» more...
The ABC / IDC Agribusiness Confidence Index reached its highest level in more than three years. The index
measured at 62 basis points in the first quarter of 2011; which is 13% higher than the preceding quarter and
43% higher than the same quarter of the previous year.
The positive confidence is largely due to higher commodity prices, increased international demand, the
recovery of the South African economy from the recession, and a significant improvement of general
agricultural conditions, when compared to last year. Government’s indication to work with the commercial
agriculture sector on the New Growth Path may be a further contributing factor to positive sentiment.
However, some looming constraints, such as cost of capital, infrastructure and service delivery, still inhibit
employment and capital expenditure, while both floods and droughts in certain areas have impacted
negatively on certain industries.
14.03.2011 / Media Releases» more...
The Agricultural Business Chamber (ABC) found the Minister of Finance,
Min Pravin Gordhan’s Budget Speech on 23 February 2011 to be predictable and positive. It is
responsive and reflective towards the challenges faced in South Africa and in consideration of the
global economic changes. This predictability and stability is essential for business and is therefore
welcomed by the ABC.
The Minister’s focus on addressing the slow economic recovery and high unemployment is
encouraging. The mentioned collaborative approach between the Monetary and Fiscal Policy is also
welcomed considering the stimulus effect required from the fiscal policy and the management of price
and financial stability by the monetary policy. Notably, the Minister took cognisance of the risky
inflation outlook, especially considering the increase food inflation.
23.02.2011 / Media Releases» more...
The Agricultural Business Chamber (ABC) is filled with a sense of sanctuary after the Medium Term
Budgetary Policy Statement by the Minister of Finance, Minister Pravin Gordhan, on 27 October
2010. The stated assessment and expectations by the Minister of Finance on both the global and
domestic economic outlook was generally accepted to be fair and realistic. The ABC agrees that SA’s
economy finds itself in a fragile and slow recovery stage and states that the 3% growth projection
throughout the remaining part of the year might be slightly over-optimistic.
28.10.2010 / Media Releases» more...
Agribusiness confidence is measured quarterly by the Agricultural Business Chamber (ABC) and
the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) through their quarterly ABC/IDC Agribusiness
Confidence Index. The confidence level in the third quarter of 2010 is 53% higher than the same
quarter of the previous year, which happened to be the all-time lowest level observed. This
significant increase was expected, considering the low basis it was measured from. The
confidence, however, decreased with 5% since the previous quarter, being the second quarter of
2010. This is of concern and definitely inhibits the excitement of the significant year-on-year
increase. A further decrease is not necessarily expected, however, this small quarter-to-quarter
decrease might indicate that confidence might remain in the low, positive range.
02.09.2010 / Media Releases» more...
The roles of the agribusiness sector and African governments in food security were discussed at a meeting recently held by the Agricultural Business Chamber (ABC) and NEPAD Business Foundation (NBF) in Pretoria.
Through its programme for the revitalisation of the agricultural sector in Africa, the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP), NEPAD has set a target of raising agricultural productivity by at least 6% per year and increasing public investment in agriculture to 10% of national budgets per year, as agreed in the Maputo Declaration. The CAADP’s focus areas for improving Africa’s agriculture fall under 4 pillars, each dealing with key issues, namely land and water management, market access, food supply and hunger, and agricultural research.
13.05.2010 / Media Releases» more...
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