The 2019 IFAMA World Conference was hosted in Hangzhou from 22 to 26 June 2019. The conference focused on e-commerce and agri-food value chain transformation. Agbiz CEO Dr John Purchase was invited as panellist in a session on land use tenure, governance and land policies.
The overarching theme of the 2019 Agribusiness Africa Conference hosted by Farmer's Weekly this week, was market access, and one of the key discussion topics was how to secure a better deal for African countries within the global agricultural trade environment.
The effects of the changing climate, which is, of course, a global challenge, have been felt in sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia in the recent past. This has been through erratic rainfalls and more frequent occurrences of droughts and floods. For countries whose economies are largely dependent on agricultural fortunes, the impact of climate change has largely been felt through smaller harvests, poorer grazing conditions for livestock and ultimately food price inflation. However, less discussed but equally important is the impact of climate change on value-chain industries such as agricultural inputs and equipment providers, agricultural financiers, and food processing companies, amongst others. - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz chief economist *Written for and first published on Daily Maverick
Erratic weather conditions and more frequent droughts and floods are exacerbating uncertainty in the agricultural sector. While these have largely been a phenomenon of sub-Saharan Africa and Asian countries, the Americas are also starting to experience these harsh conditions. The hallmark of changing climate in 2019 has been the prolonged excessive wet weather conditions in the US, which led to delayed plantings in a number of areas. By mid-June 2019 there were fears of possible tight global maize supplies, which saw maize prices rally because of slow plantings. - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz chief economist *Written for and first published in Business Day
The Department of Minerals and Energy published a National Industrial Strategy on biofuel production in South Africa as far back as 2007. Sadly, this strategy received widespread opposition from certain groupings based on a misunderstanding of its potential impact on food security. As such, the strategy has still not been finalised. The biofuels industry has the potential to create in excess of 25 000 jobs and contribute indirectly to land reform, rural development, reduce the negative environmental impact of transport fuel, and reducing our reliance on imported fossil fuels. It therefore, ticks the boxes from a social, economic and environmental point of view. With our economy under distress, tough decisions need to be made and it may be time to look critically at the validity of opposing comments in light of empirical data. -Theo Boshoff, Agbiz head of Legal Intelligence
On 31 May 2019 a composite 396-page Government Gazette was published containing dozens of notices and legislative changes from across many different ministries that appears to be an effort to reduce gazetting costs and to dispense with outstanding matters prior to the new cabinet ministers taking over.
Agbiz chief economist Wandile Sihlobo was nominated as one of Mail & Guardian's Top 200 Young South Africans. The names of 200 trailblazing young South Africans was announced at a gala event in Sandton.
The State of the Nation address delivered by President Ramaphosa set out five fundamental goals for South Africa. Three of these goals, namely; eliminating hunger, growing the economy faster than the population growth rate and creating 2 million job opportunities, are partially premised on economic growth in the agricultural and agribusiness subsectors. To enable the private sector to grow and create job opportunities, the President stressed the need to improve the ease and speed of doing business. As a business association, this is music to our ears. To get the ball rolling, a few quick-wins are listed that should be prioritised to improve business conditions for the agribusiness sector. - Theo Boshoff, Agbiz head of Legal Intelligence
“In these tough economic times, it was refreshing to hear President Ramaphosa’s recommitment to placing South Africa’s economic growth at the forefront of the sixth administration's agenda,” an Agbiz spokesperson said. “We were also pleased to hear the president’s re-emphasis of the need to implement the National Development Plan (NDP) and the country’s commitment to vision 2030. In this vision, the agricultural value chain plays a crucial role in the growth and stability of rural economies.” Agbiz has long supported and argued for the implementation of Chapter six of the NDP over the past few years as it is the roadmap to inclusive growth in the sector and will address the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality. - Agbiz media statement issued on 20 June 2019
“Agbiz has noted the appointment of the new Cabinet for the sixth Administration of democratic South Africa by President Cyril Ramaphosa today, and in general, welcomes the appointments to key ministries and congratulates the ministers on their appointment. It is, however, the reduction of 36 ministries to 28 that is especially welcomed in order to cut costs but also to ensure greater government coordination and efficiency,” Dr John Purchase, CEO of Agbiz, said today.