South Africa’s agricultural policy is likely to be a hot topic at ANC’s 2022 elective conference, but good intentions do not always mean success.
SA could have another favourable agricultural season in 2022/2023. However, higher production will require careful planning by farmers and agribusinesses regarding finances and planting times.
The USDA forecasts South Africa’s commercial maize plantings at 2,60 million hectares in the 2022/23 season, broadly aligned with the CEC, whose data points to a possible area of 2,59 million hectares. This area is slightly below the 2021/22 season of 2,62 million hectares. Still, it is well above the long-term average.
I have been closely following South Africa’s monthly tractors sales data, and the results continue to surprise me. Since April 2020, the monthly sales have remained positive, registering an average of 26% y/y growth over the past 31 months.
One of the measures that some often use to evaluate the food security condition of each country relative to the world is The Economist’s Global Food Security Index. This latest Index ranks South Africa at 59 out of 113 countries, an improvement from the 70th position in 2021. This places South Africa as the most food secure in the African continent.
The broad challenges that continue to weigh on agribusiness leaders’ minds in this province are the threat of deteriorating municipal service delivery, corruption in public offices, and failures in the network industries (roads, rail, water, electricity, and ports).
In this week’s episode, I assess what Kenya’s decision to lift the ban on the cultivation and importing of genetically modified (GM) white maize means for the country’s long-term production.