A 2022 recap and 2023 trends in South Africa's agricultural sector
A recap of 2022 demonstrates the success of South Africa’s agriculture sector in the year. Exceptional growth in the agriculture sector in 2020 and 2021 could blind us to the positive results of the 2022 year. In 2022 the sector boasts an improvement in South Africa's food security rating, increased employment in the sector from the previous year and 19% growth in the third quarter. These metrics indicate the sector’s resilience despite a combination of domestic and international constraints. Higher commodity prices have also helped drive an increase in export revenue. As the country’s largest economic sector, this performance contributed significantly to national economic growth and to South Africa’s better than expected GDP growth, despite the decline in consumer spending.
In light of these development in the previous year, prominent South African economist and agricultural expert, Wandile Sihlobo, provides an account of key developments for the year ahead. As an export-orientated sector, positive growth will lead to exploration of new markets and opportunities for produce. South Africa’s Land Reform discussion is likely to remain an important topic, with the establishment of the Agricultural Development and Land Reform Agency being a prominent development. The failure of municipalities to provide basic service delivery and maintain infrastructure will continue to burden the sector unless interventions are made. Furthermore, there is discussion on the need to update regulations and improve the capacity of the state veterinary services, while agri-finance will remain high on the agenda.
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