News archive

News archive - April-2018

SA agricultural economy contracted by 24.2% q/q in the first quarter of 2018

The negative effects of the Western Cape drought are evident in the first quarter GDP data, which showed that South Africa’s agricultural economy contracted by 24.2% q/q.1 This far exceeds our expectations of a modest contraction of about 11% q/q. – Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist

09.07.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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SA maize and soybean production forecasts revised upwards

South Africa is in for a fairly good harvest in 2017/18 production season, albeit being less than the record achieved in 2016/17 season. This was confirmed by the fifth production forecasts released by the National Crop Estimate Committee earlier. Most summer crop production forecasts were revised upwards from previous month’s levels, with the exception of sunflower seed, sorghum and dry beans which were left unchanged. – Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist

09.07.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Agbiz gearing up for the President’s proposed jobs summit

At his maiden State of the Nation Address in February, President Ramaphosa announced that a jobs summit would be convened in 2018 to elevate the key challenge of unemployment, with a special emphasis on youth unemployment, to the top of the national agenda. The aim of the summit is not limited to creating formal employment opportunities but rather to creating viable economic opportunities, including the creation of new enterprises and self-employment opportunities. The summit seeks to address the constraints to job creation, affirm targets and commitments from different entities and solicit proposals for specific projects. To this end, government has enlisted the help of social partners at Nedlac where Agbiz will play a leading role through Business Unity South Africa (BUSA). – Theo Boshoff, Head: Legal Intelligence

06.07.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Scope for growth and employment in agricultural sector

I recently posted a graph on Twitter showing the past 100 years of South African agricultural employment, which has of course been declining for some time, in line with the international trend. The feedback from a couple of interactions suggested that the agricultural sector is a nonstarter when it comes to job creation. – Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist *Written for and first published in the Business Day on 21 June 2018.

06.07.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Dryland wheat farming in Eastern Cape needs support

Almost every Sunday afternoon I make a couple of phone calls to a number of farmers across the country to catch up on regional news and agricultural conditions. This past weekend I followed that routine, with a number of farmers briefing me about summer crop harvest progress.Wandile Sihlolo, Agbiz economist *Written for and first appeared on Business Day on 05 July 2018

06.07.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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SA sugar industry appeals for stronger tariff protection

The members of the South African Sugar Association (SASA), which includes sugarcane farmers and millers, have applied to the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) for a 51% increase in the sugar tariff (dollar-based reference price of US$ 856.32/ton) to help the industry against the increasing sugar imports. – Sifiso Ntombela, Head: Trade and Investment Intelligence

06.07.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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