n Farmer’s Weekly - Fragmented ideologies cannot save SA agriculture - by invitation

Volume 2017 Number 17030
  • ISSN : 0041-848X



The South African agricultural and agro-processing industries face a mixed bag in terms of current and future prospects. Following the severe drought of 2015 and 2016, it is clear that despite the all-time record harvests being achieved for maize and soya bean in the current season, the recovery from the drought in the summer rainfall region will take more than one season. This is especially true in the livestock sector, where herd numbers will have to be rebuilt. While the summer rainfall regions are at different stages of recovery, the situation in the Western Cape remains dire, with major long-term impacts due to severe water restrictions for irrigation of high-value export industries. In the informal sector, there has been a general increase in economic activity, with approximately 300 000 more households involved in crop farming on less than 20ha since 2010. This translates to an additional 75 000ha added in rural areas, boosting supplies into informal value chains. However, these households have also been severely affected by the drought, and recovery will take some time.

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