From the classroom to the farm to the boardroom, women in agriculture not only play an important role in feeding the world, but they are affecting positive change in the agricultural space. Women fill many roles across the agricultural spectrum where they influence the agricultural agenda and decision-making. They are farmers and farmworkers, agricultural researchers, educators, journalists and agri-business people. - Karen Grobler, Agbiz marketing and communications manager
The title of this article may ruffle a few feathers, and perhaps it is a bit mischievous to do so, but it is exactly what is currently happening with statements related to amending the Constitution to allow for expropriation without compensation. - Theo Boshoff, Agbiz head of Legal Intelligence * Written for and first published on Media 24
Traditional leadership and land expropriation are two very thorny issues in their own right, but once the two became conflated it was bound to ruffle some feathers. The issue came to the fore after the recent comments made by King Goodwill Zwelithini regarding the Ingonyama Trust, but are these issues really related? - Theo Boshoff, Agbiz head of Legal Intelligence * Written for and first published in Mail & Guardian
The world is in a far better place in terms of food supply and costs than in the recent past. This is evident in the Food and Agricultural Organisation food price index, which averaged 173.7 index points in June, down 1.3% from May and a percentage point from the same time in 2017. This was underpinned by a decline in global grain, vegetable oil and dairy product prices due to large supplies. - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz head of Agribusiness Research *Written for and first published on Business Day on 2 August 2018.
South Africa’s logistics are comparatively more efficient than most industrialising countries, albeit showing a concerning trend in having regressed from 2016’s ranking. This is according to the World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index which ranked South Africa at number 33 out of 160 countries surveyed, down from number 20 in 2016, with Germany still leading the world. With growing expectations that South Africa could potentially have large agricultural surpluses for export markets, particularly in maize, the logistics services will play a critical role in ensuring the success of the activity. – Wandile Sihlobo, head of Agribusiness Research
The Cairns Group Farm Leaders are deeply concerned by the United States (US) Administration’s announcement that the US Government will provide US$12 billion to support US farmers impacted by tariffs imposed on US agricultural exports.
Against the backdrop of a full-blown trade war between the US and China, and the US also targeting, amongst others the European Union and fellow North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) countries (Canada and Mexico), thus foe and friend alike, the BRICS Business Forum was held at the Sandton Convention Centre on Wednesday, 25July 2018. Dr John Purchase, as board member of Business Unity South Africa (BUSA), attended the forum and shares some perspectives.
One of the most prolific messages from the Nelson Mandela centenary lecture presented by Prof Patrick Lumumba was that Tata Madiba would have asked why do African countries consume what they don’t produce, and produce what they don’t consume. He further made a point about coffee, cocoa, tea and other raw commodities that are exported by African countries, and then import expensive, high-value finished products derived from the same inputs they exported. - Dr Mmatlou Kalaba, a trade economist with the University of Pretoria and the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy and Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz head of agribusiness research.
Agriculture has its fair share of challenges, but I try to find uplifting domestic and regional developments to discuss. This week, agricultural trade was in my cross hairs. For context, I recently reflected on the positive trade performance in calendar 2017, when South Africa's agricultural exports surpassed $10 billion (about R134 billion) for the first time, boosted by growth in exports of edible fruits, beverages, spirits, vegetables, grains and other farm products. The $10.0 billion figure represented a 15% year-on-year increase from $8.7 billion. Africa and Europe were the largest destinations for agricultural exports, collectively absorbing 67% of total exports last year in value terms. Asia was also an important market, taking 24%. The Americas and the rest of the world accounted for 5% and 4%, respectively. In the same period, imports increased by 5% year on year, reaching $6.7 billion, particularly driven by wheat and rice. – Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz Head: Agribusiness Research *Written for and first appeared on Business Times on 16 July 2018
I often use this column to present an update of domestic and regional food and agricultural production conditions. Earlier in 2018 I shared the positive outlook for SA’s summer and winter crop production. Earlier in 2018 I shared the positive outlook for SA’s summer and winter crop production. As farmers wind up the summer crop harvest process and winter crop planting approaches completion in the country, I think it’s appropriate to present an update again. This time around I have good and bad news. – Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz Head: Agribusiness Research *Written for and first appeared on Business Day on 19 July 2018