Some African countries arguably closely followed the EU’s approach to GMO crop regulations by prohibiting their imports and cultivation. With this new development in the EU and China, it is plausible that some African countries might consider evaluating their current restrictions.
Rain Brings Grain
South Africa’s 2022/23 summer crop production is forecast at 19,3 million tonnes, up 3% from the previous season. If we consider the large crops like maize, soybeans and sunflower seed, production is forecast at 15,6 million tonnes (up 1% y/y), 2,7 million tonnes (up 19% y/y), and 775 260 tonnes (down 8% y/y), respectively.
Agricultural fortunes in 2022
After a solid performance of 8,8% y/y in 2021, we thought South Africa’s agricultural gross value added would contract mildly in 2022. But the data released today by Statistics South Africa paints a slightly positive picture, showing that the sector expanded somewhat by 0,3% y/y.
These robust exports have enabled South Africa to retain its position as a net exporter of agricultural products over time. In 2022, South Africa’s agricultural exports reached US$12.8 billion, up 4% from the previous year.
SA agricultural jobs in 2022
The Quarterly Labour Force Survey data shows that in the last quarter of 2022, there were about 860 000 people employed in South Africa’s primary agriculture, which is well above the long-term agricultural employment of 780 000.
South Africa’s agricultural sector is now ripe for action
Various government programmes could if implemented effectively boost growth, sustain employment and attract new investment.