South Africa is starting the 2022/23 summer crop production season this month. The preliminary insights suggest that we could have another good season.
SA’s agricultural sector was one of the bright spots of our economy during the pandemic. This was the only sector that showed robust growth as others were constrained by lockdown restrictions, supply chain disruptions and reduced consumer activity.
While some farmers in the grains and oilseeds industry benefited from the unusually long period of large yields and higher prices, higher input costs since the start of 2020 have limited the benefits. For farmers in the horticulture industry, where commodity prices did not increase as much as in grains, the higher input costs were an even heavier burden
We are about a month away from the start of the 2022/2023 summer crop season. Farmers in SA’s eastern regions, which includes the eastern Free State, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape, will start planting by mid-October. This will primarily be summer grains and oilseeds.
The rough start of the 2021/22 agricultural season has been muted in several sectoral economic indicators. But the GDP data for the second quarter of the year put the picture in perspective. The agricultural gross value added contracted by 7,7% quarter-on-quarter (seasonally adjusted).
We have plans to grow South Africa’s agriculture. But for this agenda to succeed, agricultural finance is crucial. At the heart of it it’s also the revival of the Land Bank, and not undermining of this important organisation that could be instrumental for inclusive growth.
South Africa is now a few months before the start of the 2022/23 agricultural season. The current 2021/22 season is drawing to a close, and farmers are at the tail end of harvesting maize, sunflower seeds and other grains. Thus, the focus is shifting towards the 2022/23 production season, which commences in October. The preliminary insights suggest that South Africa could have another good season.
There are two significant maize-producing countries in Southern Africa: SA and Zambia. These countries face a double-digit harvest decline in 2021/22. Still, this won’t risk causing a shortage in the region.