On 1 December the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) hosted the CEO Forum Meeting, a platform that allows for engagement between CEOs in the agricultural sector and government. Leaders of agricultural companies and organisation such as WRSA, Potatoes, Grain SA, AFMA, SACOTA, Agbiz, Forestry SA and Fish SA, attended.
Overview of 2017
Mooketsa Ramasodi, acting director general of DAFF opened the day by giving an overview of the major aspects that impacted the agricultural industry in 2017. Below is a short summary of the top ten most important aspects as discussed by Ramasodi:
- The first appearance of the fall army worm in South Africa was reported on 3 February 2017 in Limpopo.
- Farm violence and stock theft reached a point of crisis in 2017, severely affecting the agri sector and rural economy, food security and job creation.
- The severe drought, that has persisted for the past two years, cumulated in negative economic growth in the 2016/2017 financial year.
- The poultry has seen its fair, or rather unfair, share of challenges this year, brining regulations, dumping and influenza being the main catalysts. According to SAPA 1 000 jobs are lost in the poultry sector for each 10 000 pounds of chicken dumped in the country.
- Brexit affected our food export prospects with Britain being our second largest importer of food and Europe the fourth largest.