Find Agriculture expertise in South Africa
Agriculture, forestry and fisheries contributed 2.4% of South Africa’s GDP in 2010. Agriculture employs 5% of people and accounts for 81.7% of land use. South Africa has a dual agricultural economy, consisting of commercial farming and a strong export market, alongside subsistence-based production that supports local communities. The country is self-sufficient in most major agricultural products, both crops and livestock and is a net food exporter. The main crops are corn, wheat, sugarcane, fruits and vegetables and the principal livestock products are beef, poultry, mutton, wool and dairy products. South Africa is counter-seasonal to Europe and the closest major southern hemisphere exporter, which gives it a competitive advantage over most competitors. Farming contributes around 8% of the country’s total exports. The country is among the world’s top five exporters of avocados, grapefruit, tangerines, plums, pears, table grapes (for consumption rather than wine) and ostrich products. In addition, South Africa is one of the world’s main wine exporters, making the country both an important trading partner and a viable investment destination. The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries regulates the industry.
The World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report (2012-2013) ranks South Africa 47th of 144 countries with a score of 4.2 out of 7 in relation to agricultural policy costs, above the world average. The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries sets out a number of goals for the agricultural sector which include sustainable and economic growth and development, increased employment, rural development and food security. The Agricultural Research Council (ARC) runs various research and development programmes in the country amongst which are those focused on crop protection, bee keeping and food processing. South Africa is a regional leader in terms of technical expertise, and in order to manage an increasing demand for technical support and assistance on agricultural matters from other countries in the region the African Agricultural Development Programme (AADP) was established. The programme is considered to play an important role in agricultural development amongst Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) countries and will potentially bring benefits to South Africa in the long-term.