The year 2021 has ended positively for South Africa’s agricultural sector. Farmers experienced a unique season characterized by bumper yields, and higher agricultural commodity prices, particularly in the grains and oilseeds industries.
Agricultural productivity growth – the increase in yield per unit (land/animal) – depends largely on technological innovation and the adoption of new seeds, new equipment, new genetics, as well as effective animal medicine.
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.
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.
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.
South Africa is now ranked 70th in the Global Food Security Index out of 113 countries, slipping from position 69 in 2020 and 44 in 2019. At face value, this decline is quite concerning. However, when one looks at the Index scoring’s technical position, it becomes clear that South Africa is not doing as badly as the “headline” ranking suggests.