News archive

News archive - March-2017

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

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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

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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

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Early estimates show a 7% y/y decline in SA’s 2017/18 summer crop plantings

South Africa’s 2017/18 initial estimates for summer crop plantings show a 7% year-on-year decline to 3.70 million hectares. White maize, sunflower seed, groundnuts and sorghum plantings are the key reason for this overall downswing. This, in turn, was driven by dry and warm weather conditions experienced in the western parts of South Africa over the past couple of weeks - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist

30.01.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Americas remain dominant suppliers in SA chicken market

In the first eleven months of 2017, South Africa imported a total of 461 thousand tons of chicken. This is down by 7 percent when compared to the corresponding period in the previous year. During this period the Americas, that is, Brazil and the United States, were the key suppliers accounting for more than two thirds of the imports - Sifiso Ntombela, Agbiz Head: International Trade and Investment Intelligence

25.01.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Wat sê die wet oor grond?

Ten midde van die politieke onsekerheid in die land, moet landbouers heelwat ander uitdagings ook bestuur. Daar is verskeie opinies oor wat vanjaar in terme van grond, water en lone gaan gebeur, maar wat sê die wet? Theo Boshoff van Agbiz gesels hieroor.

25.01.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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SA food producer price inflation ticked up slightly to 1.0% y/y

The headline food producer price inflation for December 2017 edged up slightly to 1.0% y/y from 0.9% y/y in the previous month. Similarly to November, meat and dairy products continued to be the key drivers of the uptick. Meanwhile, producer price inflation for foods such as starches, sugar, fruits and vegetables slowed on a monthly basis. Apart from higher live animals’ prices, agricultural commodity prices are still relatively low, which is keeping the food producer price inflation at lower levels - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist.

25.01.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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SA food price inflation slows to 4.9%

Food inflation for December 2017 was in line with our expectation at 4.9% y/y, from 5.2% in November 2017. This is reflective of the current lower agricultural commodity prices, which in turn, have been pressured by a large harvest from the 2016/17 production season. We expect this trend to persist in the short term cushioned by the relatively large stock from the previous season, despite the fears of dryness in the western parts of the country - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz Head: Agribusiness Intelligence

24.01.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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2018 Agbiz Congress

The Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) of South Africa will be holding its biennial Congress at the Boardwalk Hotel and Conference Centre in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape on 7 to 8 June 2018.  Register now to benefit from the early bird registration fee. More information is available on the 2018 Agbiz Congress website» 

22.01.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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What should be done to kickstart the agricultural economy, instil business confidence and ensure policy certainty, from an agribusiness/agriculture perspective?

In 2017 the agricultural sector provided a significant boost to the national economy and assisted it from falling into a protracted technical recession. This was on the back of exceptionally good rainfall early in 2017 that resulted in record maize (17,4 million metric tons) and soybean (1,3 million metric tons) crops, amongst others, and despite severe drought conditions in the Western Cape. Agriculture GDP is however highly volatile over seasons and largely dependent on favourable agricultural conditions - Dr John Purchase, Agbiz CEO

19.01.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Expropriation without compensation: Much uncertainty, but context still required

As most South Africans are by now aware, the ANC’s elective conference in December resolved to speed up the process of land reform by considering the possibility of amending the Constitution to allow for expropriation without compensation, subject to a ‘sustainability test’. Since that announcement, the media and social media has been awash with statements such as ‘land grabs’ and comparisons to the land seizures that took place in Zimbabwe. Although these comparisons are not unfounded, there are a number of factors which have to be taken into consideration and it is necessary to place the current situation, including all of the variables which are still very unclear, into context - Theo Boshoff, Agbiz Head: Legal Intelligence

18.01.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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UPDATE: SA fuel prices set to decline in February 2018

After a positive start to the year with a marginal decline in fuel prices, February 2018 could bring a further reduction in fuel prices, thanks to the stronger domestic currency. It is still early to be certain about the scale, but the current estimates suggest that prices of petrol and diesel could fall by 3% and 1%, respectively, from January 2018 levels - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist

18.01.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Farming in the carbon-constrain era with disruptive technologies: implications for food security

Farmers and agribusinesses are facing a triple challenge of coping with increasing input costs, adjustment costs to low-carbon economy and adapting to disruptive technologies brought by the fourth industrial revolution. In this think-piece, we explore ways in which farmers and agribusinesses can overcome these challenges and continue to contribute to the food security goal - Sifiso Ntombela, Agbiz Head: International Trade and Investment Intelligence

18.01.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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