JOHANNESBURG, 13 January 2011 (IRIN) - After a record maize harvest, a bid by South African farmers to form a pool to export the surplus – enough to feed its food insecure neighbours, Swaziland and Lesotho, for several years – has raised questions about the future of the crop and the manufacture of biofuel.
The country’s Competition Commission rejected the bid on 11 January. "We wanted to start a debate in the country. Surpluses of this magnitude are unusual; food prices are going up globally. We have suggested the farmers consider storing the surplus,” the Commission's Oupa Bodipe told IRIN.
13.01.2011 / Agbiz in the news
SA has little to fear from spiralling global food prices in the short term, said John Purchase, chief executive at the Agribusiness Chamber, a sectoral body representing agribusinesses and companies serving primary food producers.
Figures from the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) this week show food prices last month reached their highest levels ever, surpassing those of the 2008 global crisis that sparked unrest in several countries.
09.01.2011 / Agbiz in the news
Shoprite Checkers, Woolworths and Pick n Pay, have expressed concern over speculation that a water crisis is looming in South Africa. The three major retailers say they have put in place rigorous measures to ensure their products are safe for consumption and are free of any potential contamination from polluted water supplies.
A Shoprite spokesman said yesterday that suppliers to the group’s fresh produce procurement division, Freshmark, had to comply with a standard of certification regarding farming practices, which included regulations on irrigation water.
22.12.2010 / Agbiz in the news
Dewald van Rensburg,
’n Vloedgolf van negatiewe reaksie uit die sakewêreld, georganiseerde sakegemeenskap en sommige politieke kringe het gister die regering se langverwagte nuwe groeiplan begroet.
Die meeste skeptisisme was oor die werkskeppingsteikens van 5 miljoen werkgeleenthede teen 2020 wat mnr. Ebrahim Patel, minister van ekonomiese ontwikkeling, Dinsdag as deel van die plan aangekondig het. Dit word onder meer as onhaalbaar en ambisieus beskou en ten beste, as ’n uitdaging.
Die georganiseerde sakegemeenskap het ook by monde van verskeie sakeleiers laat blyk die tydperk vir die private sektor om kommentaar te lewer voordat meer besonderhede in die Februarie-begroting aangekondig word, is heeltemal te kort.
Die voorstel dat daar op “matige” loonverhogings ooreengekom moet word, is ook uit verskeie oorde afgeskiet. Dit is begroet met kommentaar soos onrealisties, onnosel of bloot betekenisloos.
Die groeiplan-raamwerk stel onder meer voor dat werkers wat tussen R3 000 en R20 000 per maand verdien voortaan net “matige reële verhogings” ontvang.
Dit moet bereik word deur ’n “maatskaplike verdrag” tussen vakbonde en werkgewers, stel die regering voor.
25.11.2010 / Agbiz in the news
Suid-Afrika se boere sit met ’n mieliesurplus van 4 miljoen ton wat hulle bitter graag sou uitvoer.
Die antwoord lê egter nie daarin om markte buite Suid-Afrika te vind nie. Die regering moet intree, die mielies teen internasionale pryse koop en dit as voorsorg teen ’n volgende tekort hou.
24.11.2010 / Agbiz in the news
SA FARMERS are sitting on a maize surplus of 4 million tonnes, which they are desperate to export. But the answer doesn’t lie in finding markets outside of SA.
Government should step in and buy the maize at international prices and keep it for when there’s next a shortage.
Of course, government stabilising the maize price hasn’t been policy for some years now, as government believes in a “free market” in agriculture.
23.11.2010 / Agbiz in the news
Farmers, facing rising input costs and falling commodity prices, are forming buying groups to benefit from bulk discounts.
Willie du Plessis, the director of agricultural banking at Standard Bank, said this was an efficient way for farmers to reduce costs.
"Apart from the fact that discounts to a buying group will be better than those made to individuals, using buying groups also saves individual farmers the time of hunting around for reasonable prices," he said.
14.11.2010 / Agbiz in the news
South Africa’s government said the country should change the type of corn it plants to target markets in Asia and suggested setting up an agency to promote exports.
An investigation conducted by a team of officials from the Department of Agriculture and the National Agriculture Marketing Council recommended that South Africa “aggressively” move toward producing more yellow corn to meet demand from Taiwan, Japan and South Korea. South Africa, the biggest producer of the grain in Africa, grows mainly white corn, locally known as maize.
09.11.2010 / Agbiz in the news
The best of luck to new Minister of Public Enterprises Malusi Gigaba - even Superman would not be able to do much about SA's electricity and rail transport challenges, analysts and industry role players said this week.
Gigaba, a former deputy home affairs minister, was appointed to the position previously held by Barbara Hogan.
The lack of permanent leadership at Transnet and the number of acting board members (acting CEO Chris Wells and executive Vuyo Kahla both announced their imminent departures this week) are issues Gigaba will have to address.
07.11.2010 / Agbiz in the news
“But this could result in a trade war where countries will put up barriers.”Gordhan said the rand, which has strengthened consistently behind high foreign investment flows, was in “serious danger of competitive devaluation”.Other emerging markets, such as Brazil, Turkey and China, have moved to weaken their currencies, but South Africa’s Reserve Bank governor Gill Marcus has said South Africa can’t afford to act this aggressively.
03.11.2010 / Agbiz in the news
The Agricultural Business Chamber (ABC) is filled with a sense of sanctuary after the Medium Term
Budgetary Policy Statement by the Minister of Finance, Minister Pravin Gordhan, on 27 October
2010. The stated assessment and expectations by the Minister of Finance on both the global and
domestic economic outlook was generally accepted to be fair and realistic. The ABC agrees that SA’s
economy finds itself in a fragile and slow recovery stage and states that the 3% growth projection
throughout the remaining part of the year might be slightly over-optimistic.
28.10.2010 / Media Releases
Boere en ander landbourolspelers van dwarsoor die land het Dinsdag die Outeniqua Navorsingsplaas by George se jaarlikse inligtingsdag bygewoon.
21.10.2010 / Agbiz in the news
Die Regering is besig om te ondersoek hoe die pryse van monopolistiese semi-staatsinstellings kospryse beïnvloed.
Dít volg nadat dr. John Purchase, uitvoerende hoof van die Landboubesigheidskamer, die Departement van Landbou, Bosbou en Visserye versoek het om die Nasionale Landboubemarkingsraad (NLBR) en die Buro vir Voedsel- en Landboubeleid (BFAP) te betrek by ‘n studie oor die invloed van staatsgeadministrateerde tariewe op voedselpryse.
13.10.2010 / Agbiz in the news
South Africa's business community is having sleepless nights about the continued calls for nationalisation of local companies.
Despite repeated assurances by President Jacob Zuma that nationalisation is not government policy, ANC Youth League president Julius Malema uses every platform to push nationalisation and insist that the ANC's national executive committee is discussing it.
10.10.2010 / Agbiz in the news
Dr John Purchase, CEO of the Agricultural Business Chamber(ABC), shares his insights about changing the Co-Operatives legislation and the importance of agricultural business in the agricultural value chain.
10.10.2010 / Agbiz in the news
Die produksieprysindeks (PPI)-syfer vir die landbou het met 1,2% tussen Julie en Augustus vanjaar gestyg, maar groter stygings is nodig, sê ekonome.
Volgens Statistieke SA het die algemene PPI vir Augustus op 7,8% te staan gekom, terwyl dit 9,4% in Julie was. Die verbruikersprysindeks (VPI)-syfer vir Augustus is 3,5%.
Wat die landbousektor aanbetref is ‘n styging van 1,2% aangeteken ná Julie se syfer van 0,2%, en Augustus op 1,4% te staan gekom het.
05.10.2010 / Agbiz in the news
The parliamentary portfolio committee on agriculture, forestry and fisheries has been holding public hearings on transformation in the agricultural sector.
A variety of organisations have made representations to the committee, including the AgriBEE charter council. The department of agriculture, forestry and fisheries has also reported on the current status of transformation in the sector.
According to director general of the department, Langa Zita, the council is in the process of aligning the AgriBEE transformation charter with the requirements of a section 9 code of good practice as set out in Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) Act 53 of 2003. When the charter was gazetted in March 2008, it was aligned to section 12 of the act and is therefore not binding to enterprises. This has made reporting on the sector’s transformation difficult.
01.10.2010 / Agbiz in the news
The ANC edged towards greater government intervention in the economy at its policy review
conference last week, while business commentators were concerned that mixed signals were
projected to the financial markets.
Key conundrums over policy were not tackled, argued Brait economist Colen Garrow. He said issues
concerning both domestic and foreign investors were not really addressed.
28.09.2010 / Agbiz in the news
Suid-Afrika kan deel wees van die toekoms van die “goue hoofweg” vir die vervoer van landbouprodukte tussen Asië en Suid-Amerika, meen prof. Johan du Plessis van Logistics International.
“Suid-Afrika moet dus sorg dat ons vervoer-infrastruktuur aan die uitdagings voldoen en ons moet ook na moontlikhede in die Suider-Afrikaanse Ontwikkelingsgemeenskap (SAOG),” verduidelik hy.
23.09.2010 / Agbiz in the news
Members serving on Parliament's agriculture committee acknowledged that the agricultural reform
programme was in trouble, with at least half of transferred farms failing.
Ben Cousins, a professor of land and agrarian studies at the University of the Western Cape, said
while he did not believe Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti was right about
90 percent of transferred farms having failed, he believed it was still a high number but probably
nearer 50 percent.
20.09.2010 / Agbiz in the news