German Agriculture Minister Julia Kloeckner has welcomed the possibility of looser restrictions on genetically engineered crops as an “overdue modernization” of EU policy. She is right – and it is not only Europe that needs to rethink its approach.
Some thoughts on Zimbabwe’s decision to suspend all maize and maize meal imports with immediate effect. Zimbabwe was the single largest maize export market for South Africa in the 2020/21 marketing year, accounting for 20% of maize exports.
In regular seasons, a sizeable domestic maize harvest would ordinarily lead to a decline in prices. But South Africa’s 2019/20 and 2020/21 maize production seasons have not been ordinary. The second-largest maize harvest on record in the 2019/20 production season didn’t lead to a notable decline in prices as some might have expected. The weaker exchange rate, combined with increasing demand for South Africa’s maize in the Far East and Southern Africa, and generally higher global prices provided support to the domestic maize prices throughout 2020 and into the beginning of 2021.
Minister Didiza’s Budget Vote Speech centered on the themes of private-public-partnership approaches
The Minister’s speech is positive as it centred on the theme of public-private partnerships for development and expansion in the sector and emphasised various programmes that the social partners are already working on in collaboration with the government. I share the minister’s broad view that harnessing the power of public and private sector collaboration is critical to unlocking opportunities for inclusive growth in the sector.
I recently sat down with Ms Mbali Nwoko for wide-ranging conservation about South Africa’s agricultural economy, policy, career, writing and more.
Statistics South Africa reported much higher figures for consumer food price inflation than some had expected. In April 2021, the country’s consumer food prices were at 6,7% year-on-year, the highest level since July 2017.
Agricultural markets cannot function without institutions or the “rules of the game”. The state, therefore, has an important duty to ensure appropriate institutions are in place and functional.