Agriculture is going through a revolution, according to Absa Agribusiness head Ernst Janovsky who was speaking at the recent Agricultural Business Chamber’s congress. “Agriculture has changed a lot because commodity prices have risen so substantially,” he said. “We now find ourselves on a new playing field.” Janovsky added that the high commodity prices were unlikely to come down in the near future, and highlighted the fact that world production had increased substantially over the past few years which, in effect, increased the value of agriculture.
“It’s a first to have high production and high commodity prices,” said Janovsky. “actually going very well for agriculture. From a banking and financing perspective, it’s the best I’ve ever seen in agriculture.”
However, he conceded that the increased demand and high commodity prices placed a lot of responsibility on agriculture to carry the economy. “If you look at the consumers, they’re bleeding,” said Janovsky. “This results in the meat and food market taking strain because of the high grain price and the fact that the consumer can’t afford to pay. But it’s going well for the rest of agriculture.” He said opportunities existed for agriculture in the form of carbon credits. “This is creating a new market for agriculture. There are many buyers around the world willing to pay for carbon credits and it’s important for agriculture to start selling them because the sector is carbon-positive.” – David Steynberg