Wandile Sihlobo

Head of Agribusiness Research at Agricultural Business Chamber
Location:South Africa


Wandile Sihlobo is an agricultural economist and head of agribusiness research at the Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) in South Africa. He is a columnist for Business Day and Farmers Weekly magazine.
The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on agricultural employment in South Africa

A key question that consistently arises amid the Covid-19 pandemic's impact on the economy is its effect on employment. We believe there may be some resilience in the agricultural sector compared to other sectors of the economy...

By Wandile Sihlobo 23 Jun 2020

Southern Africa could face another season of poor agricultural output

A recent report from the Group on Earth Observations Global Agricultural Monitoring Initiative indicates a high probability of below-normal rainfall in Southern Africa between December 2019 and February 2020...

By Wandile Sihlobo 9 Dec 2019

Agribusiness Confidence Index declines in Q4 of 2019

The Agbiz/IDC Agribusiness Confidence Index fell slightly from 46 points in the third quarter to 44 in the last quarter of 2019. A level below the neutral 50-point mark implies that agribusinesses are still downbeat about business conditions in South Africa...

By Wandile Sihlobo 5 Dec 2019

Agbiz/IDC Agribusiness Confidence Index weakens in Q2 2019

The survey was conducted between 27 May and 6 June 2019 and comprised agribusinesses operating in all agricultural subsectors across South Africa.

By Wandile Sihlobo 11 Jun 2019

Should South Africa explore the cannabis market?

The growing emphasis that agriculture should be amongst the key sectors driving the South African economy and job creation has mainly leaned on potential expansion in hectares of labour-intensive, and globally sought-after horticulture products...

By Wandile Sihlobo 28 May 2019

Chocolate puts Ivory Coast on top in Africa's agriculture trade

Chocolate can certainly get one some brownie points, and no way is this truer than in Ivory Coast which in 2018 reported the largest agricultural trade balance in value terms in Africa, an amount of $5.1bn...

By Wandile Sihlobo 10 May 2019

SA's lower food price inflation story could soon be over

South Africa's food price inflation numbers continue to surprise us. The figures recently released by Statistics South Africa show that food price inflation remained unchanged in March 2019 at 2.3% for the third consecutive month...

By Wandile Sihlobo 18 Apr 2019

Global grains market developments, and the implications for SA

The March 2019 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report by the United States Department of Agriculture has provided further evidence that the world will have fairly large maize, soybean, and rice supplies in the 2018/19 season. Meanwhile, wheat production...

By Wandile Sihlobo 1 Apr 2019

Agbiz/IDC Agribusiness Confidence Index improves marginally in Q1 2019

The survey was conducted between 28 February and 15 March and comprised agribusinesses operating in all agricultural subsectors across South Africa...

By Wandile Sihlobo 18 Mar 2019

Nigeria surpasses South Africa as sub-Saharan Africa's leading maize producer

Agbiz head of agribusiness research, Wandile Sihlobo compares South Africa's maize yields to a second biggest producer in sub-Saharan Africa - Nigeria...

By Wandile Sihlobo 7 Feb 2019

Good performance in SA agricultural exports despite the drought

Wine is one of South Africa's largest agricultural exports, therefore the growth in its exports contributes positively to the country's agricultural trade balance...

By Wandile Sihlobo 31 Jan 2019

Challenging year ahead for South African beef cattle farmers

One challenge that became apparent by the end of 2018 was environmental related, as grain and oilseed producing areas of the country experienced dryness which led to delays in plantings...

By Wandile Sihlobo 15 Jan 2019

Can South Africa's sorghum industry be revived?

South African farmers planted 28,800 hectares of sorghum in the 2017/18 production season - the smallest area on record in a dataset starting from 1936/37. This is a disappointing picture, given that sorghum was once seen as key to the development of the biofuel industry in South Africa...

By Wandile Sihlobo 2 Jan 2019

South Africa's 2018/19 maize harvest estimate lowered

There are growing concerns that the current dry weather conditions in most parts of South Africa could lead to a lower maize harvest in the 2018/19 production season...

By Wandile Sihlobo 20 Dec 2018

Agbiz/IDC Agribusiness Confidence Index falls to the lowest level in 9 years

Subsequent to a decline from 54 to 48 points in the third quarter of 2018, the Agbiz/IDC Agribusiness Confidence Index weakened further to 42 in the last quarter of the year. This is the lowest point since the fourth quarter of 2009...

By Wandile Sihlobo 5 Dec 2018

A brief history of South Africa's maize production

A recently published research paper by agricultural economists Jan Greyling and Philip Pardey in the Agrekon Journal brings home some key points about South Africa's maize production in terms of commercial and smallholder share contribution...

By Wandile Sihlobo 3 Dec 2018

Achieving sustainable food security in South Africa

South Africa is ranked as the most food-secure country in Africa and is 44th out of 133 countries worldwide...

By Wandile Sihlobo 20 Sep 2018

Growth and jobs in South Africa's agricultural sector

With NEDLAC's Jobs Summit fast-approaching, agriculture is once again back in the spotlight as one of the sectors that could potentially play a role in job creation...

By Wandile Sihlobo 5 Sep 2018

Delays in South Africa's wheat tariff publication not helpful

The delays in the publication of adjustments to the South African wheat import tariff are once again causing an interesting pattern...

By Wandile Sihlobo 20 Aug 2018

South Africa and Zambia's maize supplies are in good shape

The United States Department of Agriculture has just released its World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report, which covers most major grains and oilseeds estimates for the 2018/19 production season...

By Wandile Sihlobo 13 Aug 2018

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