South Africa’s agriculture sector has made significant monetary gains with animal products recording the largest sales. This is according to data from Statistics South Africa (StatsSA).
The data shows that total income earned in the agriculture and related services sector rose by 5.8% to R351.4bn in 2019, compared with R314bn in 2017. Animal products recorded R153.1bn, in 2019, followed by horticultural crops and products at R86.3bn, and field crops at R61.9bn.
The highest annualised percentage increase was recorded for income earned from the sale of animals and animal products, followed by horticultural crops and products, and field crops.
“In 2019, the 100 largest enterprises in the agriculture and related services industry contributed 26.5% of total income. Large enterprises contributed 60.2%, or R211.3bn, of the total income in 2019, followed by small enterprises, with a contribution of 22.4%, or R78.8bn,” said StatsSA.
The agricultural sector is expected to continue making a positive contribution to the economy this year following its impressive 5.9% rise last year, mainly because of the increased production of animal products. The country views agriculture as one of the important sectors in its economic reconstruction and recovery plan, after the economy was severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The plan entails the potential expansion of agricultural production, which will be carried out through master plans that are in the final stages of being drafted. The expected increase in output will require export markets, because South Africa’s agricultural sector is export-orientated.
Last week, the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) released a Trade Policy Statement that seeks to build industrial capacity and drive exports in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
DTIC Minister Ebrahim Patel said there was agreement to change the basket of South Africa’s exports to China, now dominated by minerals, to include a greater portion of higher value-added manufactured and agricultural products.