The Quarterly Labour Force Survey data released by Statistics South Africa today showed that in the third quarter of 2021, agricultural employment increased by 3% y/y to 829 000.
The six-minute discussion focused on South Africa’s agricultural conditions, exports activity and jobs in the sector.
In a year of large crop harvests following good rainfall, a few people probably thought consumer food price inflation would accelerate as we have witnessed in the past ten months, averaging 6,6% y/y (compared with 4,5% y/y in 2020).
As the government pushes to complete its Agriculture and Agro-processing Master Plan process and move towards implementation, it is important that the communication strategy becomes one of the priorities.
The agricultural exports were up by 8% y/y to US$3,4 billion in the third quarter of 2021. This puts South Africa’s agriculture, food and beverage exports for the first three quarters of this year at US$9,6 billion. The top exportable products were citrus, maize, wine, apples and pears, nuts, sugar, fruit juices, and wool, amongst other products. These products will likely continue dominating the export list in the fourth quarter of the year.
Raising of inlet canal wall to Brandvlei Dam is still awaiting the department of water & sanitation approval. The Brandvlei dam is located about 100km from Cape Town as you drive towards Worcester, and is the second-biggest dam in the Western Cape. At present about 26,000ha of fruit and wine grapes are irrigated from the dam, making it a critical resource for the entire district. The dam is unusual in that it is an off-channel dam — it is not built on a river but receives its water through divergence from two small rivers and a feeder canal.
At the start of every agricultural production season, one of the major concerns for farmers is weather conditions over the course of the season and how these will affect yield. But for the 2021/22 season, another important concern that has been on farmers’ radars since the start of the season has been the rising input costs, which is the prices of fertilizers and agrochemicals.