State of the Nation Address by the South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa

What is in it for agrifood sector?

President Cyril Ramaphosa gave a state of the nation address on 11 February 2021. The address focused mainly on the current response plans to COVID-19; economic recovery; economic reforms; fighting against corruption; and strengthening the state.

The address has asserted agriculture as one of the crucial economic drivers for the country. Agriculture was acknowledged as the most resilient sector during COVID-19. South Africa was the second largest exporter of citrus in the world during this period and experienced strong export growth in wine, maize, nuts, deciduous fruit and sugar cane. Favorable weather conditions for 2020/2021 season show strong possibility of even more growth for the sector in 2021. Agriculture therefore presents opportunities for accelerating land reform and supporting small scale farmers “with market access and …skills across the entire agricultural value chain”. According to Ramaphosa the aim is to increase the number of commercial black farmers.

Currently the government has developed four economic master plans, 2 of which are agricultural related. The first of these two is poultry master plan. “The industry has invested R800 million to upgrade production”. The second agricultural related master plan is “sugar master plan”. The sugar master plan aims to facilitate procurement of “at least 80% of sugar needs from the local growers”. This master plan also aims to increase black small scale farmers.

Efforts within the master plans are made to limit imports, increase local production and strengthen local values chains. To achieve this, supporting programmes including improvement of infrastructure, mobilizing local and foreign investors, providing of stimulus packages to small businesses, reforming management of state owned entities such as Eskom, facilitating production of green energy and fighting against corruption form part of economic recovery and reform.

The links to the two agri-food related master plans will soon be published on this web site.

For more info please contact us at and follow us on twitter @Agri_NLinSA

Vlag Zuid-Afrika
©Adobe Stock