SA agriculture nail 2021 on optimistic note; Minister

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According to Thoko Didiza, Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform, and Rural Development, South Africa’s agricultural sector will end 2021 on a positive note.

From a production standpoint, the 2020/21 season saw bumper harvests in field crops and horticulture, resulting in higher exports. Analysts estimate that South Africa could set a new record export of R173 billion this year, surpassing the R160 billion set in 2020, which was the second highest on record, and possibly even surpassing the R167 billion set in 2018.

Agriculture employment increased by 3% year over year to 829 000 in the third quarter of 2021, far exceeding the long-term average of 780 000.

The Agbiz/IDC Agribusiness Confidence Index reached 74 in the fourth quarter, the highest level since 2001.The agreement with the Philippines, which has already resulted in the export of 65 471 cartons of citrus this year, and improved market access for Didiza’s exported lemons to China, are among Didiza’s important export success stories.

A protocol on the export of pears to China was also signed on December 13, 2021. Finally, the department is forming a Land Reform and Agriculture Agency, which, according to Didiza, will be crucial in advancing land redistribution and post-transfer farmer support. In the coming year, more information about this agency will be released.

Story by : Norvisi Mawunyegah