The proposed agri land ownership Bill and its implications

If the Regulation of Agricultural Land Holdings Bill is enacted in its present form, it will have far-reaching consequences on the agricultural sector, affecting all owners of agricultural land. Foreign nationals and owners of agricultural land holdings determined to be in excess of ceilings for land ownership will be affected, with the excess of land being made available for redistribution, with or without expropriation. Read more…

Farmers Can Prosper By Focusing on What They Can Change Directly

Although the macroeconomic environment is likely to remain uncertain in the short to medium term, primary producers can still prosper if farmers focus on what they can, themselves, change. Read more…

The global land rush 10 years on: Taking stock of commercial pressures on land

by Lorenzo Cotula, Thierry Berger. Paper presented to the Annual World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty, Washington, D.C., March 20-24, 2017.

The 2017 Index of Economic Freedom

Today, we live in the most prosperous time in human history. Poverty, sicknesses, and ignorance are receding throughout the world, due in large part to the advance of economic freedom. In 2017, the principles of economic freedom that have fueled this monumental progress are once again measured in the Index of Economic Freedom, an annual guide published by The Heritage Foundation. Who moved up? Who moved down? And why? Some of the results may surprise you.

Read more…

As 2017 Begins, Brexit’s Impact on Wine Remains Cloudy

The United Kingdom, one of the world’s largest wine markets, faces an uncertain future as it leaves the European Union and negotiates new trade deals. Read more…

South Africa’s struggling agriculture sector

South Africa’s struggling agriculture sector

The agriculture sector contributes about 1.6% to South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP), below the 2.2% contribution that is needed for the sector to remain sustainable, Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) CEO Dr John Purchase said on Friday 25 November.
Addressing delegates at a conference focused on the state of South Africa’s agriculture industry, he noted that per capita output is declining in the country, “which is concerning.”
Purchase highlighted that 2016 had been a challenging and tumultuous year for the agribusiness environment and farmers alike.
He said deep and fundamental political divisions in government and the governing party, the threat of ratings downgrades to subinvestment grade, as well as an uncertain global political and economic environment were negatively affecting the sector.
He further stated that the country’s food security remained at risk.
“The major challenge the sector is currently facing is the downgrade threat by ratings agencies. It will force [South Africa] to raise interest rates, which will make us less competitive,” Purchase pointed out.
He added that “reckless and dangerous” statements by Economic Freedom Fighters’ leaders on land nationalisation without compensation and the encouragement of illegal land grabbing, were also threats to the industry.
Purchase noted that not only did the ongoing drought of the past years continue its devastation over much of the country, but a declining economy and constrained consumers led to dampened demand and declining output.
However, Purchase did note that in the last quarter of 2016, there was evidence of some recovery in the Agbiz/Industrial Development Corporation Agribusiness Confidence Index, and with good rains falling in key production areas, this indicated a potential turnaround situation.

Publication date: 11/28/2016