News archive

News archive - April-2019

South Africa cannot afford to ignore economic benefits of cannabis legalisation

Cannabis has now been decriminalised in over 50 countries in the world, with others joining the bandwagon.
Canada has been one of the leading countries in developing the sector, with stocks such as Canopy Growth, Aurora Cannabis, and Aphria attracting attention. Many Canadian entrepreneurs and investors have been streaming into Lesotho and some are waiting for the floodgates of this new wealth to open across the continent. Green Fund estimates that the global cannabis market is worth $150bn and the forecast by Barclays places the value of the sector at $272bn by 2028.  Please click here to listen to a 702 radio interview with Wandile Sihlobo on this topic. - Agbiz chief economist Wandile Sihlobo and Prof. Mzukisi Qobo, associate professor at Wits Business School *Written for and first published in Business Day.

19.07.2019 / Agbiz in the news

More

Minister Thoko Didiza tables budget vote in Parliament

The Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Reform, Thoko Didiza, together with the deputy ministers, Mcebisi Skwatsha and Sdumo Dlamini, tabled the department's programmes implementation plans for the 2019/20 financial year during the budget vote speech on 16 July 2019. 

16.07.2019 / Agbiz in the news

More

Biosecurity is key for export-led growth

Disease management remains a key aspect of South African agriculture, especially when it comes to livestock, as this industry is the greatest contributor to the sector, accounting for 51% of total production, Agbiz chief economist Wandile Sihlobo told agricultural journalists at the National Animal Health Forum (NAHF) and Agricultural Writers South Africa liaison workshop earlier this week. "For export activity to take off, biosecurity is key, considering the recent incidents of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) that resulted in a ban on beef as well as wool exports." 

16.07.2019 / Agbiz in the news

More

What to make of the latest USDA report?

If the US maize crop was at an advanced stage of growth, the latest US Department of Agriculture (USDA) report would have convinced us that the supplies will be in better shape than initially feared. Last week, the agency lifted its estimate for US maize production by 1% from June 2019 to 352 million tonnes. This improvement, coupled with an uptick of the Black Sea's production estimates led to a 1% increase in the 2019/20 global maize production estimate to 1.1 billion tonnes. This would, however, still be 2% less than the 2018/19 harvest. - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz chief economist

15.07.2019 / Agbiz in the news

More

IFAMA Conference focuses on e-commerce and agri-food value chain transformation

The 2019 IFAMA World Conference was hosted in Hangzhou from 22 to 26 June 2019. The conference focused on e-commerce and agri-food value chain transformation. Agbiz CEO Dr John Purchase was invited as panellist in a session on land use tenure, governance and land policies.

12.07.2019 / Agbiz in the news

More

Conference puts the spotlight on a better agri trade deal for Africa

The overarching theme of  the 2019 Agribusiness Africa Conference hosted by Farmer's Weekly this week, was market access, and one of the key discussion topics was how to secure a better deal for African countries within the global agricultural trade environment. 

12.07.2019 / Agbiz in the news

More

The agricultural value chain and the climate crisis

The effects of the changing climate, which is, of course, a global challenge, have been felt in sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia in the recent past. This has been through erratic rainfalls and more frequent occurrences of droughts and floods. For countries whose economies are largely dependent on agricultural fortunes, the impact of climate change has largely been felt through smaller harvests, poorer grazing conditions for livestock and ultimately food price inflation. However, less discussed but equally important is the impact of climate change on value-chain industries such as agricultural inputs and equipment providers, agricultural financiers, and food processing companies, amongst others. - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz chief economist *Written for and first published on Daily Maverick

11.07.2019 / Agbiz in the news

More

Climate change adds to uncertainty over global maize supplies

Erratic weather conditions and more frequent droughts and floods are exacerbating uncertainty in the agricultural sector. While these have largely been a phenomenon of sub-Saharan Africa and Asian countries, the Americas are also starting to experience these harsh conditions. The hallmark of changing climate in 2019 has been the prolonged excessive wet weather conditions in the US, which led to delayed plantings in a number of areas. By mid-June 2019 there were fears of possible tight global maize supplies, which saw maize prices rally because of slow plantings. - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz chief economist *Written for and first published in Business Day

10.07.2019 / Agbiz in the news

More

Biofuels - a quick win that ticks all the right boxes

The Department of Minerals and Energy published a National Industrial Strategy on biofuel production in South Africa as far back as 2007. Sadly, this strategy received widespread opposition from certain groupings based on a misunderstanding of its potential impact on food security. As such, the strategy has still not been finalised. The biofuels industry has the potential to create in excess of 25 000 jobs and contribute indirectly to land reform, rural development, reduce the negative environmental impact of transport fuel, and reducing our reliance on imported fossil fuels. It therefore, ticks the boxes from a social, economic and environmental point of view. With our economy under distress, tough decisions need to be made and it may be time to look critically at the validity of opposing comments in light of empirical data. -Theo Boshoff, Agbiz head of Legal Intelligence

06.07.2019 / Agbiz in the news

More

Changes to Amended COGP Gazette 42496

On 31 May 2019 a composite 396-page Government Gazette was published containing dozens of notices and legislative changes from across many different ministries that appears to be an effort to reduce gazetting costs and to dispense with outstanding matters prior to the new cabinet ministers taking over. 

05.07.2019 / Agbiz in the news

More

Agbiz chief economist ranked amongst Top 200 Young South Africans

Agbiz chief economist Wandile Sihlobo was nominated as one of Mail & Guardian's Top 200 Young South Africans. The names of 200 trailblazing young South Africans was announced at a gala event in Sandton.

05.07.2019 / Agbiz in the news

More

Practical steps to make the SONA vision a reality

The State of the Nation address delivered by President Ramaphosa set out five fundamental goals for South Africa. Three of these goals, namely; eliminating hunger, growing the economy faster than the population growth rate and creating 2 million job opportunities, are partially premised on economic growth in the agricultural and agribusiness subsectors. To enable the private sector to grow and create job opportunities, the President stressed the need to improve the ease and speed of doing business. As a business association, this is music to our ears. To get the ball rolling, a few quick-wins are listed that should be prioritised to improve business conditions for the agribusiness sector. - Theo Boshoff, Agbiz head of Legal Intelligence

28.06.2019 / Agbiz in the news

More

Agbiz’s reaction on the SONA

“In these tough economic times, it was refreshing to hear President Ramaphosa’s recommitment to placing South Africa’s economic growth at the forefront of the sixth administration's agenda,” an Agbiz spokesperson said. “We were also pleased to hear the president’s re-emphasis of the need to implement the National Development Plan (NDP) and the country’s commitment to vision 2030. In this vision, the agricultural value chain plays a crucial role in the growth and stability of rural economies.” Agbiz has long supported and argued for the implementation of Chapter six of the NDP over the past few years as it is the roadmap to inclusive growth in the sector and will address the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality. - Agbiz media statement issued on 20 June 2019

21.06.2019 / Media Releases

More

Agbiz responds to the appointment of the Cabinet by President Cyril Ramaphosa

“Agbiz has noted the appointment of the new Cabinet for the sixth Administration of democratic South Africa by President Cyril Ramaphosa today, and in general, welcomes the appointments to key ministries and congratulates the ministers on their appointment. It is, however, the reduction of 36 ministries to 28 that is especially welcomed in order to cut costs but also to ensure greater government coordination and efficiency,” Dr John Purchase, CEO of Agbiz, said today.

30.05.2019 / Agbiz in the news

More

Finally, some good news for the SA wool industry

The South Africa-China wool trade story is back in the headlines, but this time around in a good way. Nearly two months since the Chinese authorities temporarily suspended wool imports from South Africa because of the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak earlier in the year, the country's authorities issued a notification on 8 May stating that the ban will be lifted that same day. This news was warmly welcomed by Cape Wools SA, stating that the lifting of the ban implies that any scoured wool or mohair could be exported to China, but that the conditions under which greasy wool could be exported, will be subject to World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) "Safe Commodities" regulations. - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz chief economist

17.05.2019 / Agbiz in the news

More

Land reform talks also on the agenda at agri trade fair

Aside from the robust policy discussions at Nampo, the agricultural machinery role players are likely to be downbeat at this year's event. The drought earlier this year in the central and western parts of South Africa led to reduced plantings, and now expectations are for a lower summer grains harvest. This is likely to weigh on farmers' finances, and thus agricultural machinery sales. In fact, tractor and combine harvester sales figures for the first four months of 2019 were already lower compared with the previous year's performance. - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz chief economist *Written for and first published in Business Day

17.05.2019 / Agbiz in the news

More

Public-private partnerships the key to economic growth

Agbiz CEO Dr John Purchase participated in a live Nation in Conversation panel discussion at Nampo on the importance of public-private partnerships for sustainable economic growth. 

17.05.2019 / Agbiz in the news

More

What happens after the elections?

What happens after the 2019 elections? Political commentator, Theo Venter discussed the build-up to the elections as well as possible scenarios that could unfold with Agbiz CEO Dr John Purchase. 

17.05.2019 / Agbiz in the news

More

Where does SA agriculture stand in the world?

There are multiple new opportunities for local producers to enter the world with their agricultural products, but South African farmers are not always sufficiently equipped to maximise those opportunities. How can this be overcome, and new markets be secured for the South African farming community? 

17.05.2019 / Agbiz in the news

More

The SA fruit industry's protection lies in visibility

There is a tendency to treat social transformation and economic growth as two distinct matters, but Stephanie van der Walt believes that the two are inseparable, both are non-negotiable, and that the South African fruit industry is proof of that. As the first general manager of the newly created Fruit Desk, her mandate is to share her holistic understanding of trade, economics, development and agriculture in radial ways, through representing the fruit industry in debates on policy at government level, through communicating the complexities of international trade and treaties with the farming sector. - Article written for and first published on Fresh Plaza.

17.05.2019 / Agbiz in the news

More

Copyright © 2018 by Agricultural Business Chamber