Agbiz in the news

Women’s work on African farms

The World Bank recently released an interesting book titled Agriculture in Africa: Telling Myths from Facts. It covers a wide range of topics from smallholder land access, post-harvest losses, financing of agricultural inputs, agricultural labour productivity and women’s work in agriculture amongst others. Having recently written an article on women’s contribution to the South African agricultural sector, I was quickly drawn in on the chapter that dealt with the subject. The book puts women’s share of labour in crop production at an average 40 percent, with variations across countries. Worth noting, however, is that the data does not cover the entire continent, but selected countries, namely: Ethiopia, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda. With that said, the countries cover a wide array of the continent’s farming zones. - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz head of Agribusiness Research.

09.08.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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The female face of agriculture

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

08.08.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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The subtle art of saying everything and nothing at the same time

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

08.08.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Is expropriation a red herring for traditional leaders?

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

02.08.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Stable global food supply feeds bright inflation outlook

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.  

02.08.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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SA's logistics amongst the best in the world

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

31.07.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Agbiz participates in BRICS Business Forum

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.

27.07.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Why do African countries consume what they don’t produce, and produce what they don’t consume

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. 

26.07.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Expect Western Cape drought to knock farm exports

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

19.07.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Large grain supplies help bring some relief to consumers

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

 

19.07.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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