News archive

News archive - September-2017

Recent rainfall good news for maize and food security

Food security remains a topical issue in many African countries, where maize is, by and large, the staple food. Kenya remains a net importer of maize, following a harsh drought in the 2016/17 production season. The thin resources available in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe remain stretched as drought and fall armyworms threaten the 2017/18 maize production season. South Africa also started the 2017/18 production season on a bad footing, as I highlighted in this column the difficulties brought by extreme dryness in the western sections of the Free State and North West provinces at the beginning of the year - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist

15.02.2018 / Agbiz in the news

More

It’s #valentinesday — so, chocolate is on the cards!

Where do these chocolates come from? (Hint: not your significant other) - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist

14.02.2018 / Agbiz in the news

More

Black economic empowerment in agriculture

On RSG Landbou, Dr John Purchase CEO of Agbiz shared with listeners some information about black economic empowerment in agriculture, the new AgriBEE Sector Code, as well as the information sessions that Agbiz will be hosting in this regard.

13.02.2018 / Agbiz in the news

More

SA agricultural employment down by 8% y/y in Q4, 2017

After experiencing a decline in employment in the first three quarters of 2017, South Africa’s agricultural sector recorded a 5% q/q rebound in employment in the fourth quarter to 849 000 jobs. This quarterly increase was mainly in field crops, horticulture and livestock sub-sectors. The provinces driving it were the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal. Overall, while the quarterly uptick is encouraging, agricultural employment is still down when compared to the corresponding period the previous year - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist.

13.02.2018 / Agbiz in the news

More

Agbiz CEO interviewed by Grootplaas ahead of the upcoming 2018 Agbiz Congress

In an interview with Grootplaas, Dr John Purchase CEO of Agbiz sums up what delegates who register for the 2018 Agbiz Congress can expect to learn at this prestigious event. Themed "Uncertainty Creates Opportunity", the topics will focus on factors that create uncertainty in the sector, and how agri leaders and farmers who are integrated in the value chain can form strategies to seize opportunities. 

13.02.2018 / Agbiz in the news

More

SABC News interview: Land expropriation without compensation

The ANC decided at its conference in December that it would propose amendments to the constitution to seize land without compensation to speed up the process of giving black people more land that they were stripped of during white rule. ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa has assured people that the policy on the expropriation of land without compensation will be implemented in a manner that will not cripple the country or destabalise the agricultural sector.  Theo Boshoff, Wandile Sihlobo and Sifiso Ntombela have authored a discussion paper on the land reform debate.  Theo Boshoff joined SABC News live to discuss the paper.

13.02.2018 / Agbiz in the news

More

Redistribution of land: Expropriation without compensation debate

During the ANC's 54th National Elective conference in December 2017, it was announced that a decision has been made to amend the constitution to allow for land expropriation without compensation, provided that it is sustainable and does not harm the financial sector or food security. In the absence of a policy paper or explanatory memorandum, it remains unknown how the party intends to give effect to these seemingly competing interests. In order to stimulate public debate around the issue, researchers from Agbiz have attempted to unpack the possible modalities of the announcement by using a scenario-based approach - Theo Boshoff, Wandile Sihlobo and Sifiso Ntombela of Agbiz

09.02.2018 / Agbiz in the news

More

South Africa remains a net exporter of aggregate food but increasingly loosing competitiveness on strategic tariff lines

South Africa’s agriculture, forestry and fisheries achieved a positive trade balance of R44.3 billion in 2017, largely driven by 1.9 percent growth in aggregate exports as compared to the previous year. Europe and Africa continued to be the largest destination markets for agricultural exports, collectively absorbing 70.5 percent of total exports in 2017, measured in value terms. During the same time, imports slowed by 3.9 percent due to a 24.7 percent decline in imports originating from American countries - Sifiso Ntombela, Trade economist and Agbiz Head: International Trade and Investment 

08.02.2018 / Agbiz in the news

More

South African tractor sales for January 2018 up 10% y/y

After the solid performance of 19% y/y increase in December 2017, the South African tractor sales were again up by 10% y/y in January 2018, with 527 units sold. This was somewhat surprising given that the area planted with summer crops declined in the 2017/18 production year. With that said, we believe that the uptick was due to a fairly stronger domestic currency, as well as late plantings in the western parts of the country - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist

08.02.2018 / Agbiz in the news

More

African farming must plot its own course

Last week, I came across an interesting article by the U.S. agricultural economist, Jason Lusk, highlighting the disruptive trends in food and agriculture. Lusk identified six key trends on the horizon. However, the two most notable ones were: (1) Blockchain – an underlying technology that facilitates bitcoin trades and could be applied to many other industries; and (2) Online food buying – Amazon might do to food what they have done in other industries - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist.

01.02.2018 / Agbiz in the news

More

Western Cape drought weighs on broader economy

When it comes to agriculture, Western Cape is essential – not only because of its production of fine wines, but also for its contribution to South Africa's agricultural labour market and the broader economy.  The province is a leading employer in primary agriculture, commanding a share of 20 percent of the country's total agricultural labour force in the third quarter of 2017. In addition, the province is the second-largest contributor to the agricultural economy in terms of gross domestic product (GDP), with a contribution of 22 percent - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist

01.02.2018 / Agbiz in the news

More

Agbiz presents to the Portfolio Committee on the National Credit Amendment Bill

In the 30th of January 2018, Agbiz delivered a presentation on behalf of its members to the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry on the proposed amendments to the National Credit Act. The National Credit Amendment Bill, 2017, is unique in that it was initiated not by the Department of Trade and Industry, but by the Portfolio Committee itself. The primary aim of the Bill is to assist the most marginalised people in our economy, namely overindebted persons who earn an income of less than R7500 per month with not realisable assets - Theo Boshoff, Agbiz Head: Legal Intelligence

01.02.2018 / Agbiz in the news

More

Copyright © 2017 by Agricultural Business Chamber