26 Feb 2018
The Oil and Protein Seed industry applied for an interdict to prevent the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to enforce a levy for breeding and technology on soybeans. The industry applied for such levy in December 2016 to remunerate local and international seed breeders for new cultivars and seed technology. Farmers can expect higher yielding cultivars once this levy is in place. Unfortunately, last week, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries approved the levy, but directed that the Agricultural Research Council (and not seed companies) should be the preferred beneficiary of the entire levy. “This is basically hijacking our funds” Jannie de Villiers, CEO of Grain SA said.
There was no consultation with industry in the process concerning these changes. It negates the whole purpose of the levy, De Villiers added.
The industry would like to engage with the Minister to find a better solution for this application, but need to stop the publication of the Government Gazette on Friday 2 March 2018. This is a very unfortunate situation given the millions of Rands that the Department of Trade and Industry (thedti) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST) have invested in the soy industry the past five years. The levy application was an integral part of the plan to grow the soy industry in South Africa.
Grain SA Communications
Jannie de Villiers, CEO, Grain SA or Corné Louw, Snr Economist: Inputs, Grain SA
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