South Africa’s wheat production estimates are down from the previous month’s figures amid poor yields in parts of the Western Cape, a province that accounts for nearly half of the national wheat harvest.
Scientists warn a transition is likely later this year after four seasons of La Niña-induced above-average rains from 2019/2020 to 2022/2023.
As we start the new year, there is probably no issue more urgent than the worsening energy crisis for South Africa’s agriculture and agribusinesses. Farmers that rely on irrigation have all expressed concerns that persistent loadshedding is negatively affecting production.
South Africa’s agriculture remains an important sector of the economy and holds great potential to reduce poverty. It’s also central to the political economy of the country, as evident in the governing African National Congress’s (ANC) recent policy documents.
The interlinked problems of poverty, unemployment, and weak economic activity continue to plague rural towns and communities in South Africa. However, the two industries that could help ease some of these challenges — agriculture and tourism — face various constraints that limit their growth potential.
On January 11, 2023, I joined Xoli Mngambi of Newzroom Afrika to discuss South Africa’s land reform progress and assess whether black farmers have benefited thus far from the program.