In the National Development Plan (NDP), South Africa aims to increase exports within the agriculture sector. The NDP further reflects that agriculture as a sector has contributed positively to export-driven growth mainly in the Southern African Development Community.
South Africa generally enjoys food security, but due to consumption of more than one staple food, it has started to become reliant on food imports.
Agriculture is under strain because of high input costs, political uncertainty, global price volatility, climate change and stressed farmers.
South Africa has untapped potential in the form of land, labour and natural resources. The number of jobs created in per unit of investment in agriculture is higher than in other sectors.
Formal agriculture provides employment to 930 000 people, while the smallholder sector provides full or part-time employment to 1.3-million people.
Agriculture also has the potential to positively contribute to the country’s nutrition and this, given the high levels of poverty in South Africa, can have a multiplier effect in contributing to reducing the levels of poverty and inequality. Hi-tech agricultural colleges can help to produce the skills of the future.
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