5 May 2016
Agbiz Congress Update - Only 11 days left to register
It is now only 3 weeks to go until the Agbiz Congress!  Those who have not registered yet are encouraged to do so as soon as possible.  Registration closes on 16 May 2016.

We have a few updates to share with you:

Make sure to follow us on Twitter @AgriChamber for updates and feel free to use the hashtag #AGBIZcongress in sharing information about the congress. 

Policy and legislation
Portfolio Committee Report on DRDLR Budget

The Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform, having considered the Strategic Plans (2015 - 2020), the 2016/17 Annual Performance Plans, and budget allocations for the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, the Commission on Restitution of Land Rights and the Ingonyama Trust Board drafted a report that accounts for the work done by the Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform.  Analysis draws on a range of sources such as the 2015 and 2016 State of the Nation Address (SONA) by the President, the National Development Plan (NDP), the New Growth Path (NGP) and the Estimates of National Expenditures (ENE) by the National Treasury, the 2016 Budget Speech by the Minister of Finance, and the Committee's Budget Review Recommendations Reports (BRRR).  Please click on PC Report on DRDLR Budget to peruse.
Reserve Bank releases Financial Stability Review

This week the South African Reserve Bank released the First Edition of the 2016 Financial Stability Review.  The primary objective of the South African Reserve Bank (the Bank) is to protect the value of the currency in the interest of balanced and sustainable economic growth in South Africa. In addition to this, the Bank's role of protecting and enhancing financial stability in the Republic of South Africa is affirmed in the Financial Sector Regulation Bill, 2015 which is expected to be promulgated in 2016. In pursuit of this objective and to promote a stable financial system, the Bank publishes a semi-annual Financial Stability Review. The publication aims to identify and analyse potential risks to financial system stability,communicate such assessments and stimulate debate on pertinent issues. The Bank recognises that it is not the sole custodian of financial system stability, but that it contributes significantly towards and coordinates a larger effort involving government, other regulators, self-regulatory agencies and financial market participants. Please click on 2016 Financial Stability Review to peruse full publication.
Economic and agribusiness intelligence
Agbiz appoints Head: Economic and Agribusiness Intelligence

It is with great pleasure that Agbiz announces the appointment of Wandile Sihlobo to the position of Head: Economic and Agribusiness Intelligence, starting 2nd May 2016. Wandile has previously served as an economist at Grain SA, where he was mainly responsible for macroeconomics, grain market and international trade research. His expertise covers grain and oilseed commodities such as maize (corn), wheat, sorghum, barley, sunflower seed, soybeans, canola and groundnuts (peanuts). During this time, he was involved in drafting the grain industry's export strategy which led to successful openings of a number of export markets.  

"Wandile will contribute greatly towards the value proposition we offer our members and Agbiz looks forward to having him on our dynamic team", said Dr John Purchase, CEO of Agbiz.  Read moreĽ
South African maize imports: Should we prepare for the worse times?
Wandile Sihlobo, Head of Economic and Agribusiness Intelligence at Agbiz and Tinashe Kapuya, Head of International Trade and Investment Intelligence at Agbiz
South Africa is traditionally a net exporter of maize. However the ongoing drought has led to some significant changes - South Africa is now a net importer of maize for the first time since the 2007/08 season. In fact, South Africa's total maize imports for the 2015/16 marketing year, ended 30 April 2016, reached the highest level since the 1991/92 marketing year, reported at 1.96 million tons. Of this total, 95% is yellow maize and 5% is white maize.  Read moreĽ
Agbiz presents at USDA food security seminar

Agbiz earlier this week participated at the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) food security seminar which was held at US embassy, Pretoria. In the linked presentation Wandile Sihlobo, Head Economic and Agribusiness Intelligence at Agbiz, painted a broad picture of regional grain supplies, with specific focus on South Africa.  He said: "On average, Southern African Development Community (SADC) produces 29 million tons of maize. About 42% of that total is produced in South Africa. Moreover, about 70% of SADC (excluding SA) annual maize imports come from South Africa, which means that a decrease in South Africa's maize production could affect the entire region."  Read moreĽ
International trade and investment intelligence
Agbiz meets with EU delegation

CompWorkshop On the 26th April 2016, Agbiz met with senior European Union (EU) officials, which included Mr Francis Fay, Head of Unit - Director General for Agriculture, Mr Dingris Nekrasius and Mr Massimo De Luca, to share views on the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). The EPA is a new trade agreement between the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) and the EU that will expectedly come into force on the 1st October 2016, replacing - for South Africa - the Trade and Development Cooperation Agreement (TDCA).  Read moreĽ
USA Embassy honours Pretoria Food Cooperative

On Wednesday, Agbiz attended a reception hosted by the Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of the USA, Ms Catherine Hill-Herndon, in honour of the Pretoria Food Cooperative.  Hill-Hendorn encouraged the adoption of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in South Africa as another avenue of supporting the country's emerging farmers.  She said the CSA concept of direct marketing of farm goods to consumers is well established in many countries throughout the world and this number grows every year, mostly because consumers are interested in getting fresh products directly from farms. Read moreĽ
Industry news
GM maize in South Africa planted on nearly 20 million ha in 16 years

Presenting at the annual Agricultural Biotechnology Industry (ABI) media conference in Pretoria on Tuesday 3 May 2016, Andrew Bennett, technology development manager at Monsanto, for Africa and Asia, and chairman of the South African Agricultural Biotechnology Industry (ABI), said from 2000 to 2015, in 16 years, nearly 20 million accumulated hectares of GM maize were grown in South Africa, yielding well over 50 million MT of grain.  

"The 1991/92 season was the last drought South Africa experienced before the
adoption of GM crops. In that year the average maize yield was 0.85t/ha. The
2014/15 and 2015/16 seasons have both been drought years. With the adoption of GM maize the average yield today is estimated at 3.72t/ha.  If it were not for GM maize and our yield was still 0.85t/ha, we would have produced only 1.65 million tons of maize. To meet our local requirements we would have had to import 9.4 million tons instead of 3.8 million tons, at an estimated additional cost of R33 billion," he said.  
Read moreĽ
News around the web
Werksmans Legal Werks Newsletter, May 2016
Upcoming Events
Mauritius investment opportunities
The Board of Investment of Mauritius will be leading a series of Breakfast Meetings and  Business Forums themed "Mauritius: Your Strategic Regional Partner", as well as scheduled One to One Meetings, in South Africa from 16 - 20 May 2016.  The interactive Breakfast Meetings and Business Forum will provide key insights on the Mauritius Business Environment and Sectoral Opportunities. More information:   www.investmauritius.com/rsa
Agbiz Pre-congress Workshop
31 May 2016 | Somerset West, Cape Town
"Transforming leadership in agribusiness"
Agbiz Congress 2016
1 - 2 June 2016 | Somerset West, Cape Town
"Fit for the Future"
Potatoes SA Transformation Symposium
9 June 2016 | East London International Convention Centre, Eastern Cape
Infrastructure Africa Business Forum
9 - 10 June 2016 | Sandton Convention Centre | Johannesburg
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
Avi Africa 2016
21-23 June 2016 | Emperors Palace | Gauteng
"The biggest poultry congress and exhibition in Africa"
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
Social Media
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In this newsletter

Thank you to all the Agbiz Congress sponsors, listed below, for your generous support:
















Member logo_Santam Agri


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Thank you to the following Agbiz Congress media partners: