12 May 2016
Agbiz Congress Update - Last chance to register
Registration for the Agbiz Congress 2016 closes on Monday, 16 May 2016. Almost 250 delegates have already registered to attend.  Don't miss out on the latest developments around land reform, transformation, trade environment, consumer/retail space, water security and supply, as well as energy solutions, by clicking the link below to register.


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
DPME releases two policy briefs on land reform

The Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) has released two important Land Reform evaluation policy briefs, viz: 

1.1 Recapitalisation and Development Programme Implementation Evaluation Policy Brief 

1.2 Restitution Programme Implementation Evaluation Policy Brief

DPME makes a number of recommendations to revamp these two key programmes of land reform due to serious shortcomings.
Economic and agribusiness intelligence
Jobs report shows the resilience of South Africa's agricultural sector

Earlier this week, Statistics South Africa indicated that the country's official unemployment rate reached 26.7% in the first quarter of 2016, rising from 24.5% in the previous quarter. This increase in unemployment was on the back of lower production in some sectors of the economy, as weak economic growth continues to negatively affect business confidence. The jobs gains in agricultural sector were, to some extent, a surprise given that the sector is currently battling the adverse impacts of an El Nino induced drought. Read more»
Increased investment in research, not only trade policy, will save South Africa's wheat sector

There are some indications that this drier period of El Nino could soon be over, and South Africa might once again enjoy rainfall. In April 2016, the Australian Board of Meteorology noted that there is a 50% chance that the 2015/16 El Nino event could transit into La Nina. This means that South Africa could receive above normal rainfall in the next few months. The negative side of this weather phenomenon, however, is that it is generally coupled with heavy winds, conditions which are also negative for crop production. Nonetheless, more clarity will be revealed as the season progresses. Click to read more in The Greenkeeper discussion forum for agribusiness and share your opinion on this.
Sharp decline in agricultural machinery sales: Weaker Rand and the drought continue to take their toll

The recent agricultural machinery sales data released by the South African Agricultural Machinery Association (SAAMA) indicated that the April 2016 combined harvester's sales were down by 26% y/y, to 73 units, while tractor sales were down by 10% year-on-year (y/y), to 2 145 units.  The sharp decline is a continuation of a negative trend that started from 2013, where annual tractor sales declined by 5%, and then 1% in 2014 and 10% in 2015.  Agbiz economists takes a closer look at this trend.  Read more»
Agbiz market viewpoints on agri-commodities

South Africa is very much integrated into a dynamic global market, which is characterised by rapid changes.  To support decision makers in this environment, Agbiz members receive daily commentaries on agricultural commodity markets and macro-economic trends via e-mail. All other interested parties can view the links below for the historic and latest commentaries.  This week's reports»
La Niña favoured to develop in latter half of 2016

La Niña is favoured to develop during the Southern Hemisphere 2016, with about a 75% chance of La Nina during the spring and summer of 2016-17, says Climate Prediction Center/NCEP/NWS and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society. During the past month, sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies decreased across the equatorial Pacific Ocean, with near-to-below average SSTs recently emerging in the eastern Pacific. The latest Niño region indices also reflect this decline, with the steepest decreases occurring in the Niño-3 and Niño-1+2 regions. The surface cooling was largely driven by the expansion of below-average subsurface temperatures, which extended to the surface in the eastern Pacific. While oceanic anomalies are clearly trending toward ENSO-neutral, many atmospheric anomalies were still consistent with El Niño, such as the negative equatorial and traditional Southern Oscillation indices. Upper-level easterly winds persisted over the central and eastern Pacific, while low-level winds were near average. Enhanced convection continued over the central tropical Pacific and was suppressed north of Indonesia. Collectively, these anomalies reflect a weakening El Niño and a trend toward ENSO-neutral conditions. Please click on El Nino Advisory to peruse.
International trade and investment intelligence
African Union (AU) Commission releases Communique of 12th Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme's Partnership Platform (CAADP PP) meeting

The 12th CAADP Partnership Platform held in Accra, Ghana from the 12th-14th April 2016 led to the formulation of nine key recommendations. Broadly, these recommendations touched on the funding of the African agricultural investment plans, strengthening partnerships between private sector and other stakeholders in agriculture in developing bankable business plans and the creation of conducive environments in mitigating against market and country risks. Much policy attention was placed on the development of financing models that can effectively lead to the implementation of the commitments that were agreed to in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea in 2014. As a step forward, the delegates advised that governments across the continent start setting up review mechanisms to monitor progress on how far CAADP commitments have been implemented. This includes using legislation and budgetary support to facilitate this process, and adopting some regional and country coordination mechanisms in developing a monitoring and evaluation framework.  Read more»
Europe Day in South Africa

Europe Day is held on 9 May every year to celebrate peace and unity in Europe.  Agbiz shared in the celebrations with diplomatic corps from various embassies and High Commissions who are based in South Africa at an event held in the Botanical Garden of Pretoria.  DAFF Minister, Senzeni Zokwana, said in his presentation that he was pleased in sharing this day with the EU, since it is held under the theme "SA-EU Partnership: Skills and Markets for Sustainable Jobs," which is in conformity with South Africa's National Priorities and the National Development Plan (2030).  "Our Strategic Partnership with the EU is in its 9th year, and the achievements at both an operational as well as a political level have been remarkable," he said. The speech is linked
Members' news
NAMC hosts research symposium

The NAMC hosted its first research symposium on 23 March this year in Pretoria.  Proceedings of the symposium are linked»
Challenging season brings smaller wine grape crop

Challenging conditions led to a reduced wine grape crop for South African producers in 2016, but grapes were healthy and concentrated flavours promise good wines. The total wine grape crop is expected to be 6.7% smaller than in 2015.
Industry news

- www.ee.co.za

- Maize crop quality and import information (Southern African Grain Laboratory)
MASDT Mobile Agri Skills Newsletter - April 2016

The role of women in rural economies
- Timbali Technology Incubator
Upcoming Events
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"
4th Annual Africa Women in Agriculture & Agribusiness Summit
19 - 20 July 2016 | Midrand Conference Centre-Gauteng
"Turning Agricultural Activities into Business"
For more information contact Kelly Siasamba on kelly@amabhubesi.co.za
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
AMT Agri-Outlook Conference
28 September 2016 | CSIR Convention Centre | Pretoria
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


Member logo_Senwes  
















Thank you to the following Agbiz Congress media partners: