South Africa’s agricultural sector is arguably one of the most vibrant on the continent. This has largely been occasioned by technological adaptation, sound knowledge, regional and overseas market access, and logistical efficiency. Hence, the importance of trade and logistics to South Africa’s agricultural sector cannot be over-emphasised.
De Villiers retires as CEO of Grain SA at the end of August after a sterling decade-long career at the organisation’s helm.
After falling to the lowest levels since 2014 in the first quarter of this year, South Africa’s agricultural employment rebounded in the second quarter to 862 000 (up 8% year on year)
Robust production means South Africa’s 2021 agricultural exports are on track to exceed the 2020 level of US$10.2 billion.
Amid an abundant harvest, high agricultural commodity prices have been an ironic windfall for South African farmers, particularly the grain and oilseed growers. However, farmers should manage their portfolios well, as input costs have also been rising, namely: oil, herbicides, and fertilizer. Such higher costs have the potential to erode these price gains when farmers embark on the 2021/22 production campaign, commencing in October this year.
I share some reflections on South Africa’s food supply chains amid the rioting and looting in KwaZulu-Natal province.