Despite challenges, South African agriculture seeks new markets as exports reach record levels

Despite a potent mix of internal and external pressures on the agriculture sector, leading agricultural economist – Wandile Sihlobo – highlights South Africa’s strong export performance in 2022. While the EU lags behind Africa and Asia as an export destination for South African produce, it remains an important one.

As a result of this positive performance, the country may begin to explore alternative markets to absorb the additional produce, thereby reducing its dependence on traditional markets such as the EU. On the other hand, the BFAP report of the sector’s 2022 Q4 performance paints a more sobering picture, with the sector contracting 3.3% from the 3rd quarter to the fourth. This is mostly attributed to rolling power outages (loadshedding) and higher input costs that have cut into the sector’s profits.

South Africa is exporting more food. But it needs to find new growth frontiers (

GDPBrief2022Q4.pdf (