I am generally optimistic that South Africa’s food price inflation might not exceed an average of 5% y/y in 2021. The La Nina rains have boosted agricultural production – across all subsectors. For maize, which is essential and discussed extensively, we expect a harvest of 16,6 million tonnes (from 15,3 million tonnes in 2019/20). This will be the second-largest harvest on record and well above the Crop Estimates Committee’s estimate of 15,8 million tonnes.
South Africa is now ranked 69th most food-secure country out of 113 countries, from 44 (out of 113) in 2019. Technically, South Africa’s scoring dropped by just a point from last year’s position (scoring 57,8 down by 1,4 from 2019 in the Global Food Security Index). Still, other countries improved notably, resulting in a drop in South Africa’s ranking.
This paper proposes a theoretical enterprise development model of a Modified Agricultural Business Incubator (MABI) specifically tailored to South Africa’s agricultural sector’s developmental needs, both for primary producers and agri-processing businesses. This model is specifically designed to provide a supportive business environment for black agricultural business owners where a particular focus is placed on their developmental needs.
It’s a sad period in South Africa’s agriculture. On January 13, 2021, we lost Prof Mohammed Karaan, one of South Africa’s preeminent policy advisors in the fields of agriculture development and land reform. He was also a mentor for the younger generation of agricultural economists like myself. We mourn his passing.