25 February 2016
Crop Estimates
Summer crops 2016

The revised area planted estimate and second production forecast for summer crops for 2016 was this morning released.  Click to open CEC media release»
Policy and Legislation
Agbiz response to Minister Pravin Gordhan's 2016 Budget Speech

"Not in the last two decades has there been as much interest in and anticipation of the annual budget speech of the Minister of Finance, as was the case with Minister Pravin Gordhan's 2016 Budget Speech. Against the background of South Africa's poor and declining economic performance, a tight global economic situation, and the threats of downgrades of South Africa to so-called 'junk status' by rating agencies, Minister Gordhan was under considerable pressure to deliver a budget speech that indicated a new economic direction of inclusive growth and a better future for all, but also reined in excessive and wasteful state expenditure," Dr John Purchase, CEO of Agbiz, said today. Read full Agbiz Press Statement. Read full Agbiz press statement»

Share your opinion with Agbiz on our Greenkeeper discussion forum.
Agbiz CEO John Purchase on #Budget2016: New direction, new hope for agriculture
- Alec Hogg, Biznews
With South Africa's agricultural sector having experienced its driest year since records started in 1904, farmers have the backs very much against the wall. Overlay years of anti-business sentiment and the national food security concerns loom large. Dr John Purchase, CEO of Agbiz reckons there were green shoots of hope in Budget 2016 as Pravin Gordhan confirmed the new direction which appears to becoming entrenched. But as with SA business generally, he believes that although what was contained in the speech is a move in the right direction it will take time - 12 to 24 months - and execution of proposed changes for trust to be rebuilt. Listen here»
2016 Budget Speech and Budget Review

Please click on 2016 Budget Speech to peruse the full text of Minister Pravin Gordhan's address to Parliament and South Africa on 24 February 2016. To peruse full detail of government's budget for 2016/17, please click on 2016 Budget Review.
Tax_01 The trend that began three years ago of a reduced number of substantive amendments announced in the Budget continued this year. Contrary to widespread expectations, there was no increase in the VAT rate. Wise as an increase might have been, it would have been politically difficult in an election year. Of concern for commercial agriculture is the sharp increase in Capital Gains Tax (CGT). Please click on Werksmans: Tax Amendments to peruse detail on CGT changes and other relevant tax amendments. 

Although the latest above-inflation hikes in excise duties may add to what is anticipated to be a challenging year ahead, the South African wine and brandy industry welcomed specific concessions on brandy and sparkling wine. Media release»
Update on implementation of Carbon Tax

Carbon_3 While an announcement on the implementation of the controversial Carbon Tax was expected in the 2016 Budget Speech, the Carbon Tax issue was only dealt with in the 2016 Budget Review, and  as follows:
The main aim of the carbon tax is to put a price on the environmental and economic damages caused by excessive emissions of greenhouse gases. A secondary aim is to change the behaviour of firms and consumers, encouraging them to use cleaner technology. Given the economic outlook, the carbon tax has been designed to ensure that its overall impact will be revenue neutral up to 2020. The draft Carbon Tax Bill was published in November 2015, with 90 comments received to date. The draft bill will be revised, taking into account public comments and further consultation.
Agbiz, through BUSA primarily, will continue to engage National Treasury on the matter to ensure that the revenue neutral position is maintained. South Africa cannot afford that an increase in the cost of doing business undermines the global competitiveness of the agribusiness sector and compromises food security as a result.

AgriBEE The Minister of Trade and Industry, Minister Rob Davies, has published the draft Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Regulations in the Government Gazette of 17 February 2016 for comment to be received no later than 18 March 2016. Agbiz members are invited to submit comment to Ms Jennifer Roets at jennifer@agbiz.co.za by 9 March 2016.

The Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research was summoned by the Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation to provide an overview of water resource management in SA, with specific reference to:  Present the water balance (supply and demand) of SA; Comment on efficiency vs equity vs effectiveness vs sustainability; and Interpret the role of water for the NDP 2030 vision.  Please click on CSIR presentation to peruse.
Agribusiness Intelligence

Southern Africa is currently in the grip of an intense drought that has expanded and strengthened since the earliest stages of the 2015-2016 agricultural season, driven by one of the strongest El Niño events of the last 50 years.  Much of southern Africa has consequently experienced significant delays in planting and very poor conditions for early crop development and pasture re-growth. Read more» 

This e-learning course has been designed to support countries and regions in planning all the information needs for monitoring, pilotage and evaluation during the life of their Food and Nutrition Security and Agriculture programmes.  The course offers practical guidance on building a Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) system which is feasible, practical and relevant to the programme's needs. Although the course focuses on large-scale development programmes that address food insecurity, the approaches and methods presented are equally applicable to smaller projects. More information»
International Trade Intelligence
South Africa has in recent years made significant investments in the domestic soybean crushing capacity. These
investments led to increases in the crushing capacity of approximately 2,2 million tons.  Read more»
Members' News
Monsanto Company has been named one of the World's Most Admired Companies by FORTUNE® magazine. Monsanto was honoured as No. 1 in its industry sector on the 2016 list.  Media release»
With all eyes on Minister Pravin Gordhan as he prepares for his Budget Speech next week, one thing that is certain is that 2016 is going to be a tough year for South African consumers. This is according to Old Mutual Investment Group Senior Economist, Johann Els, who says that a looming ratings downgrade, the falling rand and rising inflation means that Treasury will have to hike taxes even more significantly this year than in the previous few years, and much of this burden will land on consumers' shoulders.  Media release»
- www.moneyweb.co.za 

The severe drought affecting vast swathes of land in South Africa is looming over food producing companies large and small.  At its AGM in Malmesbury, management at agricultural products and services company, Kaap Agri, warned that the drought would wipe millions off the company's bottom line. The current wheat crop in the Swartland region is estimated at 40% below average and this will have a direct impact on grain handling and storage revenue. Read more»
News around the web
- www.worldbank.org

- www.moneyweb.co.za

- www.sustainablebrands.com

- www.climaterealityproject.org
Upcoming Events
Regarded as the market's leading pan-African trade finance gathering, GTR Africa Trade Finance Week will return to Cape Town in March 2016.  GTR are giving Agbiz a limited amount of free corporate passes for exporters, importers, traders, manufacturers, distributors and producers of physical goods only. All members thereafter receive a 15% discount with the code AGBIZ15.  More information»
Road Transport Management System workshop
24 February 2016 | Toyota Auditorium | Sandton
78th AGM of the SA Chamber of Baking
25 February 2016 | Misty Hills Hotel | Muldersdrift
Anti-Corruption & Anti-Fraud Workshop
25 February 2016 | Misty Hills Hotel | Muldersdrift
State Visits
1 - 2 March 2016  Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
3 March 2016 Abu Dhabi, United Arab
For more information e-mail nomaza.spelman@busa.org.za
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
17th Annual Road Transport Legislation Workshop
27 May | Spier, Stellenbosch
26 May | Protea Hotel Edward, Durban
7 June | CSIR, 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
Tropentag International Conference on Research in Food Security, Natural Resource Management and Rural Development
18 - 21 September 2016 | Vienna, Austria
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