In Agribook Agriculture Weekly, Blog

A look at some items in the agricultural media the past seven days …



Fresh Plaza‘s weekly global overview was on the global blueberry market.

From the US Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) this week came the following reports:

  1. The world trade in coffee.
  2. Fresh Apples, Grapes, and Pears:  World Markets and Trade
  3. Oilseeds: World Markets and Trade
  4. Cotton: World Markets and Trade
  5. Grain: World Markets and Trade. This covers wheat, rice and coarse grains (corn, barley, sorghum, oats and rye).

The “World faces worst food crisis for at least 50 years, UN warns“, an article in The Guardian.

Covid-19 related

Keep ships moving, ports open and trade flowing, urge UN entities“. This was a call from UNCTAD and the IMO on governments co-operate in facilitating crew changeover and ensuring the easing of maritime transport during and after the COVID-19 crisis.

South Africans Wandile Sihlobo (Agbiz) and Christo van der Rhede (Agri SA) join the CNBC Africa discussion “How the COVID-19 lock-down impacted agricultural ecosystems in Africa”. Watch the YouTube clip here.



The weather that brings cold to all also brings life to farmers. Read the Landbouweekblad (in Afrikaans) and Farmer’s Weekly articles.

The Agricultural Research Council (ARC) is looking to retrench about 1 000 of its employees. The Solidarity trade union is opposing this. See the report here.

Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) CEO Busi Mavuso “laments all-time low in business confidence“, something borne out by the latest Agricultural Business Chamber of South Africa (Agbiz)/Industrial Development Corporation Agribusiness Confidence Index (ACI). Read both stories in Engineering News.

Professor Philippe Burger, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Poverty, Inequality and Economic Development at the University of the Free State (UFS) believes we should look beyond the economic problems facing the country to the opportunities generated by a growing urbanised population. The story is here.

South Africa and Zambia, rather than the bigger growers like Ukraine, US and Brazil,  look set to supply the required grain imports from Southern African states in the 2020/21 marketing year, Wandile Sihlobo (Agbiz) writes.

Covid-19 related

  • Farmer’s Weekly reports that South Africa posted a healthy trade surplus despite the Covid-19 crisis.
  • The Fresh Produce Exporters Forum (FPEF) says that at this stage, the biggest risk is still the ports, especially the situation in the port of Cape Town. Read here.


Further reference:

  1. Horticulture: the fruit pages (berries, table grapes, pears)
  2. Agronomy: the grain and oilseeds pages
  3. Forestry & Industrial Crops: find Coffee and Cotton
  4. Food Security
  5. Weather & Climate
  6. The Urban Question

Top pages:

Our top pages the past week are (1) Finance for new farmers and SMMEs, (2) Vegetables, (3) Poultry, (4) Beef cattle and (5) Abattoirs. Agriculture in the Provinces, Pork and the Business Directory are hot on their heels.


Photo by Benjamin Lehman from Pexels
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