On 5 October in Paarl, Agbiz hosted a most sucessful half-day session for close to 100 role players and stakeholders in the agribusiness sector. The session focused on current challenges in the policy and legislation environment, as well as developments and opportunities in the agribusiness sector. The event was attend by agribusinesses, financiers, producers and agri-associations.
According to CEO Dr John Purchase, Agbiz has unique insight, through its representation on various structural engagement forums, into the socio-political, policy and legislation environment.
At the event, Theo Boshoff, Agbiz Head Legal Intelligence, offered an in-depth presentation on specific legislation, including land reform, water reform, labour and climate change legislation. He said expropriation without compensation could cost ordinary South African citizens R160 billion. No compensation means no finance for existing and new farming businesses and no compensation will increase the price of food twofold. Fruthermore, expropriation without compensation will short-change communal occupiers who are set to receive ownership of their land.
Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist, shared his knowledge on confidence and growth in the South African agricultural sector. He said apart from policy matters, weather remains a primary driver of agribusiness confidence and growth in agriculture. The drought in the Western Cape could negatively affect the agricultural labour market. Negative impact will most likely be in field crops, horticulture and forestry. This could drift SA away from its goal of creating close to a million jobs in the sector by 2030 (NDP). Sihlobo is of opinion that in the short term, the agricultural sector will remain on a positive growth path. The effects of the WC drought will be clear in 2018’s growth (GDP) numbers.
Interms of the agricultural trade environment, Sifiso Ntombela, Agbiz Head: Interantional Trade and Investment, said structural reforms are required in the sector to unlock new growth and competitiveness has to be boosted to expand agroprocessing capacity. Even though there is a diversification of export markets, deeper regional integration is needed.
Presenting on investment environment and commodties' outlook, Tracy Davids of BFAP said SA has caught up with global commodity cycles. She highlighted the following: Though food price inflation is lower, margins remain under pressure; recovery from the drought will take a few years; lower feed prices offer opportunity for intensive livestock operations to recover; water availability and efficient use are a make or break for high value crops; rural economies are growing but financing and investment in infrastructure required; and land reform has a long way ahead.
The event programme and presentations are linked below.
Welcoming and introduction
Dr John Purchase, Agbiz CEO (email@example.com)
Confidence and growth in the South African agricultural sector
Mr Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz Head: Agribusiness Research (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Land reform, water reform and climate change policy and legislation environment
Mr Theo Boshoff, Agbiz Head: Legal Intelligence (email@example.com)
Agriculture trade environment
Mr Sifiso Ntombela, Agbiz Head: International Trade and Investment (firstname.lastname@example.org)
BFAP 2017 Baseline (Investment environment and commodities’ outlook)
Ms Tracy Davids, Manager: Commodity Markets Division (email@example.com)
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