South Africa’s agricultural sector has started the 2021/2022 production season positively. The country is in a full swing La Niña, which is evident from the frequent and above-average rainfalls the country has received since the beginning of October. Consequently, soil moisture has improved considerably across the country.
The six-minute discussion focused on South Africa’s agricultural conditions, exports activity and jobs in the sector.
Effective communication of the Agriculture and Agro-processing Master Plan is vital for successful implementation
As the government pushes to complete its Agriculture and Agro-processing Master Plan (Master Plan) process by the end of the year and move towards implementation, it is important that the communication strategy becomes one of the priorities.
The implementation of the Master Plan will primarily depend on the collaboration of provincial governments, farmers and agribusinesses. This means all parties involved should have a shared understanding and buy-in of the Master Plan.
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.
South Africa’s agriculture sector has been the mainstay of economic growth even at the height of Covid-19. Its underbelly, however, is its dualism and lack of inclusiveness. The former homelands are left behind. They occupy the periphery of agricultural progress.
The European Union (EU) is the second most important market for South Africa’s agricultural products, accounting for 27% of the country’s total agricultural exports. Despite South Africa transitioning from the Trade Development Cooperation Agreement (TDCA) to the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) to secure continued and improved market access in the EU, a new set of regulations under the EU Green Deal and its Farm to Fork Strategy are set to impose additional compliance costs that will likely negate the benefits of existing preferential trade arrangements. We present a set of challenges, opportunities, and risks that both government and the private sector need to address if South Africa aims to increase agricultural exports to the EU.