14 April 2016
Agbiz Congress Update
The Agbiz Congress 2016, themed "Fit for the Future" is taking place on 1 - 2 June 2016 in Somerset West, Cape Town. 

On 31 May, Agbiz will be hosting a pre-congress workshop on the implementation of B-BBEE strategies, in line with the new AgriBEE Sector Code, that are imperative for inclusive growth. The workshop, themed transforming leadership in agribusiness, is structured to provide information to executive management and key employees for making informed decisions on BEE implementation.  The focus of the workshop is ownership solutions, skills development, enterprise and supplier development, as well as multi-cultural leadership. Click here for the workshop programme.

Ms Joyene Isaacs, Head of Western Cape Dept of Agriculture will be our motivational speaker at the event.

Policy and legislation
Agbiz meets with Sir David King on climate change

At the invitation of the UK Trade & Investment, Dr John Purchase, CEO of Agbiz, met with Sir David King, on Climate Change and Mission Innovation this past week. The Foreign Secretary appointed Sir David King as the permanent Special Representative for Climate Change in September 2013. Sir David was previously the UK Government's Chief Scientific Advisor from 2000 - 2007, during which time he raised awareness of the need for governments to act on climate change and was instrumental in creating the Energy Technologies Institute. Mission Innovation was launched at COP 21 in Paris in December 2015. Accelerating widespread clean energy innovation is an indispensable part of an effective, long-term global response to our shared climate challenge; necessary to provide affordable and reliable energy for everyone and to promote economic growth; and critical for energy security. While important progress has been made in cost reduction and deployment of clean energy technologies, the pace of innovation and the scale of transformation and dissemination remains significantly short of what is needed. For these reasons, participating countries have come together to launch Mission Innovation to reinvigorate and accelerate public and private global clean energy innovation with the objective to make clean energy widely affordable.  Additional countries are being encouraged to join, including South Africa, and Sir David also met various Government Ministers in this regard this past week. Please click on Mission Innovation  to learn more about this initiative, as well as click on Climate Change Risk Assessment for latest insights on Climate Change and its global effects.
Scope for strategic interventions in support of agro-industrial production by SA government - TIPS report for the dti

Mr Nigel Gwynne-Evans, Chief Director: African Industrial Development and
Acting Chief Director: Agri-processing at the dti presented to the Agbiz Council on agro-processing this past week.  The presentation was based on the DTI/ TIPS report: Agro-processing, wage employment and export revenue: Opportunities for Strategic Intervention, which was released in November 2015. TIPS is an economic research organisation that undertakes research and analysis, and facilitates policy development, dialogue and capacity building.

Research carried out for the report suggests that there is scope for a number of strategic interventions in support of agro-industrial production by the South African government. These interventions could make a significant difference to the country's foreign trade and its domestic employment record. The report outlines the severity of the balance of payments constraint on growth and transformation and of unemployment, particularly in rural areas. It makes a case for agriculture's central role in growth, transformation and empowerment, advancing an argument that the distinction between agriculture and industry, and between processed and unprocessed primary commodities, is misleading.
Developmental systems approach to agro-processing policy - TIPS report

The share of processed food in overall food consumption is increasing. This trend highlights both the opportunities for job creation in food processing as well as the growing importance of agro-processing as a market for smaller agricultural producers. Read more about this in the TIPS Policy Brief 3/2016
SETA Grant Regulations: Labour Court Judgement effective from 1 April 2016 
Law_4 Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) has today informed its members, including Agbiz, that:
1.  Judgement was handed down by the Labour Court in August 2015 in the litigation brought by BUSA to challenge aspects of the 2012 SETA grant regulations.
2. The Court declared Regulations 3(11) and 4(4) of the 2012 Grant Regulations to be invalid, and it set them aside. However, it suspended the effect of that order until 31 March 2016.
3. The Minister initially took steps to appeal against the Labour Court judgement and order. But the appeal was not pursued, and it has lapsed.
4. This means that the Labour Court order can now be enforced. The order has been effective since 1 April 2016.
5. This means that:
5.1 With effect from 1 April 2016 the mandatory grant that may be claimed is again 50% (and not 20%, as provided by the invalid Regulation 4(4) of the 2012 Regulations); and
5.2 The sweeping mechanism introduced by the invalid Regulation 3(11) of the 2012 Regulations is no longer in place.
Please see BUSA letter to this effect. Agbiz Council members are fully aware that Agbiz, together with Agri SA as its partner in this case, is far from happy with the current SETA dispensation, nor with the AgriSETA situation specifically, and  will continue to pursue a fair and just dispensation, together with good governance of the relevant institutions.  
Global business calls for policies supporting a robust global food system

Food_pr "Private sector efforts to strengthen the global food system ultimately hinge on government policies that uphold the virtues of open and competitive markets for agricultural trade, investment, and innovation," commented Mr. Metin Akman, Chair of the BIAC Food and Agriculture Committee, at the OECD Meeting of Agriculture Ministers on 7-8 April in Paris. This meeting occurred at a time where the global food system must serve ever more people, address shifting consumer preferences, cope with unpredictable changes in climate, and compete for limited natural resources. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development  (OECD) is the policy think-tank for the major developed countries in the world and based in Paris, while the  Food and Agricultural Committee of the Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC), of which Agbiz has observer status, advises the OECD on private sector positions. Given calls by certain elements in government and the ruling party to intervene unnecessarily in the by and large open and competitive agro-food system in South Africa, the Global Business position of OECD members is a timely and necessary reminder that South Africa's private sector and government must not compromise its agro-food system through uncalled for intervention, as this will in turn compromise our food security. Please click on BIAC Press Statement to peruse.
Analysis for DRDLR Budget by Treasury and HSRC

This past week National Treasury (NT) and the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) presented their respective analyses of the 2015/16 Budget of the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR) to the Portfolio Committee in Parliament. DRDLR will receive an allocation of R31.7 billion over the remaining 3-year MTSF period of 2016/17 to 2018/19, including around R6.0 billion for Rural Development, R10,1 billion for Restitution, and just over R8,7 billion for Land Reform and R4,6 billion for Administration.
DRDLR will focus on:
  • Recapitalising and redeveloping redistributed farms
  • Establishing Agri-parks (R2 billion per year over 10 years)
  • Extending the lodgement of land claims
  • National Rural Youth Service Corps
  • Implementation of the 2015 Extension of the Security Tenure Amendment Bill
The HSRC concluded that:
  • Public Investment in rural development and land reform fluctuates around 1% of the national budget
  • Fragmented rural interventions persist - roles and contributions of other government departments; ad hoc & weak institutional coordination
  • It is unclear if observed rural socio-economic changes are mainly the result of ad hoc government spending on rural development projects.
  • In practice, policy processes tend to exclude and disempower rural residents - which is in sharp contrast with fashionable rhetoric.
  • Rural development is a complex and dynamic process - there is no one-size-fits all and linear trajectory of rural socio-economic transition.
Please click on NT Analysis of DRDLR Budget and HSRC Analysis of DRDLR Budget to peruse respective presentations. 
DAFF releases trade manuals and SA Food Trade Directory

The Directorate International Trade of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) serves as an inquiry point for trade related matters. The Directorate services both internal and external clients and due to the number of inquiries received by the Directorate, it was deemed necessary to provide readily available solutions to the frequent inquiries received by the Directorate.  Export manuals and the South Africa Food Trade Directory have thus been developed and published by the Directorate and are posted online at:  

Please also click on trade related publications to peruse full list of publications.  
El Niño weakens appreciably

The Climate Prediction Center/NCEP/NWS and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society issued the following El Nino Advisory on 14 April 2016:  
A transition to ENSO-neutral is likely during late Southern Hemisphere (SH) autumn or early winter 2016, with an increasing chance of La Niña during the second half of the year.  Sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies were between 1.0° and 1.5°C across most of the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean during early April, having weakened appreciably over the last month. The latest weekly values for all of the Niño indices dropped to below 1.5°C. The subsurface temperature anomaly in the central and eastern Pacific decreased to negative values in association with a significant expansion of below-average temperatures at depth. Low-level westerly wind anomalies and upper-level easterly wind anomalies weakened compared to February. The equatorial Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) remained negative but weakened, while the traditional SOI was near zero. Enhanced convection continued over the central tropical Pacific but weakened east of the Date Line, and was suppressed over northern Indonesia and the Philippines. Collectively, these anomalies reflect a weakening El Niño. Nearly all models predict further weakening of El Niño, with a transition to ENSO-neutral likely during late autumn or early winter 2016 in the Southern Hemisphere. Then, the chance of La Niña increases during the late winter or early spring of the SH. The official forecast is consistent with the model forecasts, also supported by a historical tendency for La Niña to follow strong El Niño events.  Please click on El Nino Advisory to peruse detail.
Members news
DuPont Pioneer joins Agbiz

DuPont Pioneer have joined Agbiz as member as of 1 April this year.  Agbiz CEO, Dr John Purchase handed over a certificate of membership to Mr Paul E. Schickler, President of DuPont Pioneer.

Paul E. Schickler is president of DuPont Pioneer, the advanced seed genetics business of DuPont. In this role, which he has held since 2007, he has continued to expand Pioneer's global business by remaining focused on innovation that improves local productivity and profitability of farmers in more than 90 countries. Since joining Pioneer in 1974, Schickler has served in a variety of finance and administrative leadership roles throughout the business, including vice president of International Operations from 1999 to 2007. He is a member of the DuPont Operating Team.
From left to right Prabdeep Bajwa (Regional Business Director, DuPont Pioneer & Crop Protection, Africa), Paul E. Schickler (President of DuPont Pioneer), Dr John Purchase (Agbiz CEO) and Tony Esmeraldo (Director: DuPont Pioneer Business Unit, South Africa).
GWK invests R400 million in SA agri-processing

GWK last week unveiled the new GWK Farm Foods factory, one of the most modern and technologically advanced new food production facilities on the African continent. GWK Farm Foods is a subsidiary of GWK, and will initially produce wheat flour, pasta and biscuits under the new Nature's Farms brand in addition to its already established maize meal products.  More than 400 temporary employment opportunities were created during construction with 88 contractors and 48 subcontractors involved at different times, while more than 100 permanent jobs have been created at the new plant.   The new agri-processing plant boasts a capacity of 25 tons per hour for wheat flour, 1.3 tons per hour for biscuits and 1 ton per hour for pasta. The wheat used at the plant is sourced from irrigation farms that produce premium grains and are known for their high quality in the GWK production area. Read more»

More media releases from GWK:
Industry news
Wheat import tariff increase not aimed at lining farmers' pockets

Wine grape quality still good amid drought, says Distell

Why potatoes are so pricey right now

Tractor sales fall sharply in March

Rising food prices have put pressure on all sectors of society. No-one is exempt from having to face the fact that they might have to adjust their lifestyle. More on Carte Blanche this Sunday at 7pm on M-Net. 
News around the web
Upcoming Events
FERTASA Congress 2016
18 - 19 April 2016 | 
Birchwood Hotel, Boksburg
For more information, contact Hermien Wouda 012 349 1450.
Crop Estimates Liaison Committee (CELC) Seminar
21 April 2016 | Centurion Country Club | Pretoria.  
17th Annual Road Transport Legislation Workshop
24 May | Spier, Stellenbosch
26 May | Protea Hotel Edward, Durban
7 June | CSIR, Pretoria
Agbiz Congress 2016
1 - 2 June 2016 | Somerset West, Cape Town
Potatoes SA Transformation Symposium
9 June 2016 | East London International Convention Centre, Eastern Cape
IFAMA 26th Annual World Conference
19 - 23 June 2016 | Denmark
The IFAMA world conference will focus on three major issues crucial to the
food challenge:
People: Flow of Talent in the Food and Agribusiness Sector
Climate: Climate-­Smart Food and Agribusiness Systems
Big data: Better Analytics and Deeper Insight Management
Media release
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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