Categories: SA Valuer Blog530 words3.5 min read

Agri Seminar 2023


Jul 3, 2023


The first day of the 2023 Agri Seminar hosted by the Central Branch of the South African Institute of Valuers (SAIV) in Bloemfontein was a great success as speakers brought their A-game and provided insightful analysis on topical issues, making for an exciting event.

Getting proceedings underway was the newly elected vice president of the Institute, Kobus Nel, who delivered the opening address and welcomed delegates to the event stating, “As we witness rapid advancements in technology and innovation, it becomes imperative for us to understand and embrace these developments to ensure our Valuers don’t get left behind.”

The presenters included Dr Francois Deacon, senior lecturer at the University of Free State’s Department of Animal, Wildlife & Grassland Sciences. He spoke about the importance of good grass in his presentation, titled Land without good grass is worth nothing. His presentation was succeeded by Pieter Pienaar, CEO of Informed Decisions, who, fitting with the seminar’s theme – technical transformation in agriculture- delivered his presentation on Industry 4.0 in Agriculture. He spoke about the multi-faceted use of technology on farms and, amongst the discussion, made a point about how technology cannot replace farmers but can instead add value that aids in the production and management of farms.

Dean Ward, head of valuations for Area North at the City of Cape Town, presented on global warming and agriculture and was followed by Emile du Plessis, senior economist at Standard Bank. Du Plessis provided the 2023/24 economic outlook, starting his presentation with an overview of the budget speech and also discussing topical issues such as global inflation and load shedding, and their impact on the local economy. Nicolaas Jansen, president at Agri Northern Cape, presented on the possible distortions that can have a serious influence on market value on agricultural property – farmers prospective. Andre van Niekerk, candidate legal practitioner at Commercial Practice Group, was the final speaker on day one and engaged the audience as he tackled the topic of the POPI Act. The delegates were later treated to a fun and casual networking dinner before officially closing off the seminar well into the late evening.

The second day of the seminar featured more speakers who continued to discuss important issues related to agriculture. Mammalogist, Marnus Smit and conservationist David Paulse from the Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Rural Development and Land Reform kicked off with their presentations as the first two speakers. Smit spoke about the importance of veld condition and the carrying capacity in determining the production potential of a property, and Paulse discussed the legal requirements for game farming and permitting in the wildlife industry.  The delegates also had the opportunity to be addressed by Corne Louw, applied economics & member service lead at Grain SA, who delivered his presentation on the outlook of the grain and oilseed industry in South Africa.

Dawn Noemdoe, editor at Food for Mzansi and also an apiculturist at HoneyatDawn, highlighted some pertinent challenges found in bee farming.  The seminar wrapped up on a high note with a presentation by Dr Sifiso Ntombela, chief economist at the Agricultural Marketing Council. Dr Ntombela weighed in on the South African agricultural landscape with his presentation on Agricultural technology, regulations and compliance.