An index tracking confidence in the agriculture industry declined to the lowest level in two years as the governing party presses ahead with plans to change the constitution to expropriate land without compensation. This comes as data from Stats SA last week showed that SA had plunged into a recession, dragged down by a contraction in the agricultural sector. Agriculture output shrank by 29.2% in the second quarter of 2018, after a 24.2% contraction in the first quarter. This dragged economic growth down for the second consecutive quarter. While Stats SA attributed this to a drop in the production of field crops and horticultural products, there has been growing concern over the persistent policy uncertainty around land reform. “The agricultural conditions are fairly favourable across the country. The root of pessimism is thus lingering policy uncertainty and weak economic growth,” said agricultural economist Wandile Sihlobo. The agribusiness confidence index, which gauges sentiment...

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