News archive

News archive - July-2011

Outlook and expectations of the environment impacting on agribusinesses

The International economy remains fragile, as the EU’s sovereign debt crisis remains unresolved and

prospects still appear gloomy and risky. Some economists consider the US to be in a “soft patch”, as

their numbers look better. However, the improved prospects are not considered to be sustainable as

some predictions indicate the possibility of the US’ economy moving into recession in 2013 due to

their massive debt levels. As the EU has GDP growth prospects of around or below 1%, it can be

considered to be in a “mild recession”, of which the recovery is expected to be slow and protracted.

As the EU is traditionally South Africa’s most important agricultural export destination, the

agribusiness sector is specifically concerned about the demand for its agricultural exports.

Purchasing power is relatively low, especially for high value goods and world agricultural trade is

expected to be low in 2012. The relatively strong Rand is also limiting foreign earnings, making the

export sector less attractive.

10.01.2012 / Media Releases

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Food price hikes to bite a festive cheer

Festive season consumers will pay higher prices for food, including chicken, meat and vegetables.

The hikes have been fuelled by the increase in diesel and paraffin prices, and a critical maize shortage.

With millions of South Africans already battling poverty and high food prices, this could be a bleak Christmas for many.

12.12.2011 / Agbiz in the news

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ABC opinion on ABSA forecast 2012

Mashudu SilimelaThe ABC agrees, in general, with Absa’s forecast, as it coincides with other projections as well. Absa

Agribusiness did a great job and provided good indication on where the opportunities are expected in

2012. However, the ABC has to be realistic in its view that the numbers seem to be much better than the

sentiment – and that cuts across the economy. Even though pessimists are beginning to gradually soften

their negative projections for the recovery of the South African economy, the situation is not yet as great

as we would like it to be. “We live in very uncertain times”, is what the governor of the Reserve Bank,

Gov. Gill Marcus says, when referring to the fragile global and local economy. Prof Raymond Parsons,

deputy CEO of BUSA said “the margin for error for economic forecasting has increased, thus the margin

for error in policy has narrowed and a mistake in domestic policy could be very costly”. Meaning that we

are likely to be wrong in forecasting the economy, therefore we cannot risk making the smallest policy

mistake – the same applies for the agricultural sector, if we want to realise the opportunities available, as

identified by the Absa forecasting.

06.12.2011 / Media Releases

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Update on the Green Paper consultation process

After the gazetting of the Green Paper on Land Reform, Rural Development and Land Reform Minister

Gugile Nkwinti, invited certain stakeholders to participate in a National Reference Group (NAREG), to play

a constructive and participatory role, which is vital to the consultation process.

The Agricultural Business Chamber (ABC) took up the opportunity to provide constructive, business

oriented and politically neutral input to all 6 working groups within NAREG. The ABC had an internal

workshop to set the general mandate and appointed Prof. Nick Vink, an acknowledged agricultural

economist from University of Stellenbosch, to assist in constructing a well-informed position paper. The

ABC will present this position paper to its Council on 15 November, whereby it will be submitted to the

Minister before the official deadline for comments at the end of November 2011.

03.11.2011 / Media Releases

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Katgevegte dalk oor GM-etikette

Dit lyk of talle katgevegte nog vorentoe kan uitbreek oor die vertolking van die bepalings rakende die etikettering van geneties gemodifiseerde (GM) produkte wat in die nuwe Wet op Verbruikersbeskerming vervat word.

Dié bepalings van die wet het begin vandeesmaand in werking getree.

Op die onlangse internasionale konferensie oor biotegnologie in die landbou wat in Sandton, Johannesburg, gehou is, het dr. John Purchase, uitvoerende direkteur van die Landboubesigheidskamer, gesê daar is groot meningsverskille oor biotegnologie, veral oor GM gewasse, tussen die landboubedryf en anti-GM-stemmingmakers – en selfs in regeringsgeledere. Wat en hoe geëtiketteer moet word, is vaag en onduidelik. Baie van die bepalings is ook nie prakties uitvoerbaar nie.

Daar is onduidelikheid rondom die definisies van “goedere” en “organisme”. Dit is ook onduidelik wat bedoel word met die “drempel van 5%” wat betref die inhoud van produkte. Nog onduideliker is as in die wet verwys word na “wetenskaplik onprakties” of “onuitvoerbaar” om vir GM organismes of GM bestanddele getoets te word.

14.10.2011 / Agbiz in the news

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