The South Africa-China wool trade story is back in the headlines, but this time around in a good way. Nearly two months since the Chinese authorities temporarily suspended wool imports from South Africa because of the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak earlier in the year, the country's authorities issued a notification on 8 May stating that the ban will be lifted that same day. This news was warmly welcomed by Cape Wools SA, stating that the lifting of the ban implies that any scoured wool or mohair could be exported to China, but that the conditions under which greasy wool could be exported, will be subject to World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) "Safe Commodities" regulations. - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz chief economist
Aside from the robust policy discussions at Nampo, the agricultural machinery role players are likely to be downbeat at this year's event. The drought earlier this year in the central and western parts of South Africa led to reduced plantings, and now expectations are for a lower summer grains harvest. This is likely to weigh on farmers' finances, and thus agricultural machinery sales. In fact, tractor and combine harvester sales figures for the first four months of 2019 were already lower compared with the previous year's performance. - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz chief economist *Written for and first published in Business Day
Agbiz CEO Dr John Purchase participated in a live Nation in Conversation panel discussion at Nampo on the importance of public-private partnerships for sustainable economic growth.
There are multiple new opportunities for local producers to enter the world with their agricultural products, but South African farmers are not always sufficiently equipped to maximise those opportunities. How can this be overcome, and new markets be secured for the South African farming community?
There is a tendency to treat social transformation and economic growth as two distinct matters, but Stephanie van der Walt believes that the two are inseparable, both are non-negotiable, and that the South African fruit industry is proof of that. As the first general manager of the newly created Fruit Desk, her mandate is to share her holistic understanding of trade, economics, development and agriculture in radial ways, through representing the fruit industry in debates on policy at government level, through communicating the complexities of international trade and treaties with the farming sector. - Article written for and first published on Fresh Plaza.
Mail & Guardian hosted an event last week with various speakers, including Dr Vuyo Mahlati, chairperson of Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Bulelwa Mabasa, also a member of the advisory panel, who discussed the progress on land reform and what to expect in the next few weeks. Agbiz head of Legal Intelligence Theo Boshoff also presented. The event was moderated by Michael Avery, anchor of Classic Business on Classic FM. The event was attended by various stakeholders in the agricucltural industry.
On 25 March, Agbiz and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, jointly hosted a workshop on water use efficiency in agri-processing. Agbiz members and other companies involved in the agricultural, manufacturing, paper and pulp value chains gained insight into the matter through presentations and panel discussions that included representatives from the IFC, private companies, industry associations, academia, government and community cooperatives. - Theo Boshoff, Agbiz head of Legal Intelligence
The situation in Mozambique is devastating. Tropical Cyclone Idai, which hit the coastline of Mozambique on March 14, has caused a heavy loss of lives and affected more than 600,000 people, according to some estimates. The number will most likely rise after on-ground assessments. Amid continuing efforts to find survivors, one of the key concerns in the next days will be food insecurity due to damage to crop fields and port infrastructure. - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz chief economist *Written for and first published in Business Day
South Africa’s Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) lifted its estimates for the country’s 2018/19 grains and oilseeds production by 0.4% from last month to 12.7 million tonnes. There were no adjustments in most commodities’ production estimates with the exception of sorghum which was lowered by 3% from last month, while the maize estimate was lifted marginally, and thus overshowed the decline in sorghum, resulting into an overall increase in the grains and oilseeds estimate (see Figure 1). With that said, the overall grains and oilseeds production estimate is still 16% lower than the 2017/18 harvest due to a reduction in area planted, and expectations of relatively lower yields in some areas. - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz chief economist