Today, the Agrekon Journal, a quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal, published my article — a response to a critique of the Presidential Advisory Panel report on South Africa’s Land Reform and Agriculture. I was a member of the Panel.
Despite a vibrant agricultural sector, there are a standard list of challenges that South African agribusinesses commonly cite – land reform policy, droughts and infrastructure are amongst the most frequently cited. However, a growing challenge facing firms – particularly those in beef, wool, fruit and wine – is the need to identify new markets.
Agriculture is one of the sectors in which the South African government aims to increase the participation of black people, and also to ensure that farming of all kinds will assist to revitalise the rural economy and create jobs.
South African agricultural stakeholders want to increase exports to BRIC(S) countries. This message came sharply in a hybrid event the Agricultural Business Chamber of SA (Agbiz) had with its members, commodity organizations and government representatives on March 19.
South Africa’s Crop Estimates Committee mildly lifted its forecast for 2020/21 summer grain and oilseeds production from last month by 1% to 18,7 million tonnes (this compared with 17,6 million tonnes in 2019/20 production season).
Most food-insecure SA provinces have vast tracts of underutilised land, which could be a priority for agricultural expansion
Most food-insecure provinces also have vast tracts of underutilised land. These provinces should be a priority in the agriculture and agro-processing master plan. With a commercial focus where conditions permit, agriculture improvement would help job creation and, ultimately, household food security.