The Agbiz Congress 2018 was hosted from 7 to 8 June in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape. Almost 350 key leaders and decision makers convened at this premier agribusiness network opportunity to discuss and influence the future of the broader South African agro-food industry.
Delegates included CEOs, senior executives and board members of most of the major South African agribusinesses, such as the major banks, insurance companies, development finance institutions, agribusinesses/co-operatives, input suppliers and agro-processors,
This year’s congress, themed “Uncertainty creates opportunity”, recognised key issues such as the global agro-food environment we operate in, the global and local political economy, and environmental challenges the sectors face. Land and water reform confronting South Africa and its agriculture system, and the impact technology will have on the competitiveness of South Africa’s industries, also formed part of the discussions.
The keynote speech by Mike Mlengana, director general at the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), centred on the need for government to partner with agriculture and agribusiness to take the country forward.
The programme offered presentations by top international and local experts and panel discussions on topical issues, a student promotion programme, and networking opportunities, including a welcome function on the evening of 6 June and a gala dinner the following evening.
The key themes included:
A big thank you to all the industry role players who attended and supported Agbiz, contributing to a very stimulating and successful event. We wish to extend a special thank you to our main sponsors Standard Bank, Nedbank, John Deere Financial and Absa, as well as all other sponsors.
At the conclusion of the Agbiz Congress, the Annual General Meeting was held during which Francois Strydom, managing director of Senwes, was elected as the new chairman of Agbiz, while Sean Walsh, managing director of Kaap Agri, and Dr Langa Simela, agribusiness development manager of Absa, were elected as deputy chairpersons.