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Nation in Conversation discusses the economy and canola industry at nampo cape

  • 14 September 2023
  • 1533

Alan Winde (Premier of the Western Cape), Wolfe Braude (Agbiz), Anthony Clark (Smalltalkdaily Research) and John Hudson (Nedbank) were part of the panel during the first session.

South Africa’s international position was discussed where Hudson said that there should be focused on exports. “It is critical. We cannot afford to lose any markets.” Theo Vorster drove the conversation to South Africa’s role in AGOA. He asked the question whether South Africa actually qualify to participate in AGOA. “AGOA is feeling like a 18 year old playing in a game for 13 year olds,” he opined.
Clark said that being part of AGOA is about sentiment; in a purely economic sense South Africa should not be part of AGOA, but on a moral and economic basis they absolutely should. According to Winde companies that should partake in AGOA are not there yet, where Wolfe felt that there is no fallback to AGOA.  
Winde briefly discussed the effect of Lady R on the rand and concluded that government and business needs to start working better together.

In the discussion about the canola industry, panel members were: Pieter Malan (SSK), Koos Blanckenberg (Canola Specialist Committee), Kellie Becker (SOILL) and Jose de Kock (producer).

Malan explained that canola is a growing industry and an alternative to wheat. Canola is the second largest seed oil in the world which competes against sunflower, peanut, olive, soy and cottonseed oil. De Kock talked from a producer’s point of view: “Canola is playing an increasingly important role in maintaining producers' rotations. The industry has grown over the years because of technology, but also because of conservation farming. There is a large package that contributes to the success of canola.”

Seed availability is one of the biggest challenges the industry experiences. “Our biggest challenge is to use the technology to not only be able to compete internationally, but also to produce profitably and be able to leave something to our children,” De Kock explained. Canola oil is the oil with the lowest saturated fat, has exactly the right ratio between Omega 3 and 6 oils and is now endorsed by CANSA.

De Kock concluded with some advice: “Ensure that your establishment is correct. Plant the right seed according to your main goal. Protect your seedling. Give fertiliser on time and treat diseases. Canola keeps you humble!”

Something that stood out in both sessions today, was the opinion of the panel members that business people and producers in SA are probably of the most resilient in the world. Clark pointed it out: “South Africans need to adapt to ever-changing circumstances; both economically and politically.” Sessions like these make it possible to weigh up different opportunities against each other.

Watch Session 1 and 2 online if you missed it.

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