South Africa: 10 challenges facing multibillion-dollar agriculture sector

By Xolisa Phillip, in Johannesburg

Posted on Tuesday, 21 February 2023 13:19
Workers carry harvested lettuce on the Gorgens Family Trust farm which has been struggling to irrigate the crops due to ongoing power cuts as a result of struggling power utility Eskom's inability to deliver electricity to South Africans, in Cape Town, South Africa, January 24, 2023. REUTERS

Agriculture, forestry and fishing industries grew 19.2% QoQ in the third quarter of last year, contributing 5% to South Africa’s GDP – higher than all other sectors – and pushing the country’s growth to 1.6%, according to official data released in December.

The results of Stats SA’s Agricultural Survey 2021 also show that the sector generated R417bn ($24bn) in total income. According to the results of Stats SA’s third quarter 2022 ‘Quarterly Labour Force Survey’, the sector employed an estimated 873,000 people, but it is facing unprecedented headwinds in the year ahead.