Farmer’s Weekly hosted the 12th Agribusiness Africa Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa on 18 and 19 July 2018.
The conference theme ‘Partnerships for equitable trade’. Some of the main discussion points will include fairness in the agricultural supply chain, the dynamics in international agricultural trade and how they relate to the future of the farming sector in Africa, as well as the cost-price squeeze facing medium-sized family farming businesses, and the impact of this on the ability of new players to enter the sector.
Speaker & Panellist: Pieter Geldenhuys
Innovation expert & Futurist Presentation: ‘How consumer demand is changing the food system’
Speaker & Panellist: Dr John Purchase
CEO Agbiz Presentation: ‘The World Trade Organization: A relevant, functioning body?’
The agricultural value chain is large and complex. Perceptions exist that certain players within the value chain, such as supermarkets for example, earn an unfair share of the profits generated throughout the value chain, while taking on less risk than other players.
This session will explore these and other perceptions to uncover the flow of profit in the value chain.
Speaker & Panellist: Chris Potgieter
Head of private client securities, Old Mutual Wealth Chris Potgieter Presentation: ‘The weak links in South Africa and Africa’s agriculture supply chain and value chain: Sharing in the agri value chain through investing.’
Panellist & Speaker: Lindi Stroebel
GM, Produce Marketing Association Southern Africa Presentation: ‘Is there equal distribution of profit in the African food value chain?’
The World Economic Forum’s Missing Middle Initiative described the missing middle as “the gap in capital that is larger than microfinance, yet smaller than traditional institutional financing in emerging and frontier markets”.
This session will not only look at addressing the financing needs of SMEs in the agribusiness and farming sectors, but will also look at the future of family farms in Africa, which could arguably be described as the rapidly disappearing middle of agriculture.
Speaker & Panellist: Dr Theo de Jager
President, World Farmers’ Organisation
Presentation: How can we ensure a future for medium-sized farming businesses
Speaker & Panellist: Mandla Nkomo
Regional MD for Southern Africa, Solidaridad Presentation: Transformation of small and medium-scale agriculture and the role of digital
The global agricultural trading environment is perhaps one of the most competitive economic systems in the world. While certain systems are in place to ensure that business is conducted as freely and fairly as possible, the perception still exists that some countries are, as George Orwell wrote, “more equal than others”.
This session will explore some of the dynamics in international trade, and how they relate to Africa?
Some topics discussed include;
Speaker & Panellist: Dessy Choumelova
Counsellor for agriculture, food safety & climate change, EU delegation to South Africa Presentation: How sustainable food systems can trade fairly, ethically and profitably to curb unfair trade practices that may hurt small farmers throughout the entire value chain.’
Consumer demand for safeguards to raise livestock sustainably and humanely are resulting in rapid changes in the food system. Moreover, from using fertiliser to pesticides, farmers must be mindful of a complex, growing web of regulations.
Meanwhile, countries in which the ethical treatment of workers has been legislated may be at a disadvantage when trading on global markets against countries with weak labour laws.
This session will focus on those actions the sector needs to follow to find a compromise between operating profitably, while considering its ethical responsibilities.
Some topics discussed include;
Speaker: Prof Ruth Hall
Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (Plaas) Presentation: Land in Africa: Who owns it? Who wants it? Who will pay for it?’
Speaker & Panellist: Michelle Adelman
Founder & MD, Accite Holdings Presentation: ‘Technology-led projects to grow markets.’