29 January 2016
Policy and legislation
From the local government elections to political battles, 2016 promises to be another turbulent year in Parliament. Also high on the agenda are contentious legislation, domestic challenges, the state of the economy and public accountability. Linked is a preview by the Parliamentary Monitoring Group on some of the main issues that will dominate the headlines in 2016.
Agribusiness Intelligence
Land Bank's linked Macro-Economic Insight is shedding light on macro-economic developments both on the international and domestic front for week 1 and 2 of January 2016.  

"The green economy, an ambitious economic approach for a developing nation, such as South Africa, is a tool for achieving sustainable development," says Dr Constansia Musvoto, CSIR agricultural economist. "The philosophy underlying a green economy is reducing the dependence of economic development on the increased consumption of; and damage to natural resources, whilst improving human well-being. Many African countries, including South Africa, have adopted the principle of a green economy." Read more»
International Trade Intelligence
Assistant USTR for Agriculture Sharon Bomer-Lauritsen and Assistant USTR Florie Liser will be visiting Pretoria to discuss the future of US - South Africa trade and investment relations post-AGOA.  The purpose and intent of the visit is to gather views regarding how the South African industry sees its trade and investment relationship with the US.  Agbiz invites its members to a meeting with this delegation on 3 February 2016 at the Grain Building, Lynnwood, Pretoria. More information»
Agbiz and Tutwa Consulting invite Agbiz members to participate on 8 February 2016 in a trade roundtable discussion on South Africa's trade relationship with the EU. The discussion is expected to focus more broadly on the trajectory of the EU's trade policy over the past decade, and more specifically on how global, regional and domestic developments will shape EU trade and investment relations with South Africa in the future. Open invitation here»
World trade has experienced a significant slowdown since the 2008 financial crisis. Over this period, the global ratio of trade expansion to income growth has halved. An effective global trade and investment system is crucial for reinvigorating economic growth and confronting 21st century global challenges. Yet the system - well performing as it is in many of its functions - is out of date and in need of greater coherence. Read more»

AgriBEE Update
Comments submitted
Business meeting
All comments on the Draft Amended AgriBEE Sector Codes have been submitted. To our knowledge the dti is currently considering all comments and will be communicating it with the AgriBEE Charter Council soon.  Agbiz will keep members updated on any developments around the publishing of the final Amended AgriBEE Sector Codes.  Thereafter Agbiz will in collaboration with Signa commence the weekly advisory notes in this AgriBEE column of the newsletter.
Crop statistics
This preliminary area estimate and preliminary production forecast is mainly based on the results of a non-probability survey conducted by the Directorate: Statistics and Economic Analysis of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and reflects the position during the 3rd week of January 2016. More information»
The NAMC's South African supply and demand projection report for grains and oilseeds for January 2016 is linked»

Members' News
The largest grouping of maize processors in South Africa, the Animal Feed Manufacturers' Association (AFMA), welcomes attempts by government's Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) as well as industry role-players, to facilitate maize imports.
According to De Wet Boshoff, executive director of AFMA, government is already considering measures that will impact on the regulatory environment which facilitates maize imports (including GMO maize). Read more»
NWK announces drought aid options for producers
NWK is implementing several actions to try and reduce the impact of the drought and help ensure the sustainability of producers.Possible additional options for supporting producers - like postponing production debt and/or the consolidation of producer debt - are also on the radar.
Click to open media release» 
Turning grapes and wine into profit is a tough business to be in, but by working collectively to get the basics right, the South African wine and brandy industry can overcome its challenges.
This was the message at the annual Nedbank VinPro Information Day, held in Cape Town on 21 January and attended by close to 700 delegates. It was held by the representative organisation for 3 500 South African wine producers and cellars for the 11th consecutive year.  
Click to open media release»
The South African wine grape harvest may be significantly smaller, due to the decreasing effect of searing heat and drought throughout the season. This according to a harvest estimate by the industry in the second week of January.
"Larger crops than in 2015 are expected in the Orange River and Klein Karoo, while the other wine grape producing regions all predict a decrease to a greater or smaller extent," said Francois Viljoen, manager of the VinPro Consultation Service.  Click to open media release»
Picture_ www.iol.co.za
Vinegrowers are assessing the damage caused by a fire that raged in the Simonsberg area for most of
last week.  According to VinPro's viticultural consultant for the Stellenbosch region, Conrad Schutte, damage to
vines varies from those that were completely destroyed to scorched leaves and potential smoke taint. The fire started on 19 January on the south-westerly side of Simonsberg, above the town of Pniel.  
Click to open media release»
News around the web

- www.moneyweb.co.za

- www.moneyweb.co.za

- www.moneyweb.co.za

- www.fooddive.com

Upcoming Events
Global Trade Review's annual GTR Africa Trade Finance Week 2016
2 - 4 March 2016 | The Westin | Cape Town
National Chamber of Milling (NCM) 80th Annual General Meeting
10 - 11 March 2016 | Drakensberg Sun Resort | Central Drakensberg, Winterton, KwaZulu-Natal
2016 GOSA Symposium
16 - 17 March 2016 | Club Mykonos | Langebaan
More information: Karen Greeff on 082 042 3890
Undercover Farming Expo
15 - 16 March 2016 | Saint George Hotel, Irene, Pretoria
Agbiz Congress 2016
1 - 2 June 2016 | Somerset West, Cape Town
IFAMA 26th Annual World Conference
19 - 23 June 2016 | Denmark
Farmbiz Agribusiness Africa Conference 
27 - 28 July 2016 | Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand
Enquiries: Marianna du Plessis,  africa@farmlinkafrica.co.za or 082 337 6127
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