Agriculture in South Africa: Major Crops and Cereals with Production, Trade, and Consumption Analysis, Trends and Forecasts (2017 - 2022)
The South African agriculture sector contributes to only 10% of formal employment. Drought is a severe problem in the country and due to aridity, around 13.5% of the land can be used for crop production, among which only 3% is considered as high potential land. Over the last few decades, food consumption pattern in South Africa has shifted towards a western-oriented diet and is expected to record robust growth during the forecast period.
South Africa is one of the world’s largest producers of chicory root, grapes, maize, castor oil seed, pear, fiber crops, and sisal. Maize contributes to 36% of gross value of the South African field crops.
The major markets for South African agricultural product exports are - United Kingdom, Netherlands, Zimbabwe, Japan, and the United States. Edible fruits and nuts dominate the South African export market, accounting to around 32%.
South Africa supplements local agricultural production with imports, important among these being consumer-oriented products, forestry products, and intermediate products. Among cereals, two major crops are rice and wheat. Rice is generally imported from Asia-Pacific, whereas, Germany, United States, Canada, Brazil, Australia, and Argentina are the key suppliers of wheat.
The South African agriculture sector is one of the mainstays of the country’s economy and offers several opportunities for both large commercial and emerging farmers in areas, such as capital investment, training, and supply of equipment and services.
The factors that are driving the growth of the South African agricultural market are:
The South African population is expected to reach 82 million by 2035. Food production or imports must double to feed the expanding population, and production needs to increase using the same or fewer natural resources. Naturally, there is a huge demand for food crops from the consumer side.
Introduction of applied technologies like hydro-seeding
Farms are becoming larger, more commercial and more specialized in higher valued crops
Driving economic transformation: During the 2000–2013 period, per capita GDP increased by an average of 2.3% annually in Africa, compared to the global average of 2.5%
Initiation of land redistribution program, enhancing efficiency in irrigation, promoting sustainable resource use, and other measures by the government
The factors restraining the growth of South African agricultural market are:
Inadequate financing of agriculture has been a major impediment to the sector, especially for smallholder farmers, their organizations, and small and medium agro-enterprises which lack basic financial services
Gap between changing needs of farmers and required R&D
Fruit and vegetable farmers are particularly prone to crops being affected by pests and diseases
Rising input cost: Currently, farm feeds incur most of the expenditure, followed by fuel and fertilizers. Retail prices of these commodities are linked to oil prices and to the ZAR/USD exchange rate, both of which are out of the farmer’s control.
Adverse climatic conditions like drought
It is expected that surface water supply could decrease by 60% by 2070, in some parts of the Western Cape, and the factors leading to this are expected to harm the agricultural production over the forecast period.
What the Report Offers:
The study identifies the situation of South Africa, and estimates the growth of its agriculture market
The report discusses the major commercial crops, import and export along with prices, market trends, government regulations, etc. in the South African agriculture market
The report contains extensively researched competitive landscape section with profiles of key companies and their market shares, along with an analysis of their current interests, financial information, and strategies adopted to sustain and grow in the market
The study analyzes the major import and export trends related to crops and identifies the key trading partners
The report also covers information pertaining to new products launched by the market leaders, along with recent projects and R&D activities in South Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa uses the world's lowest level of mineral fertilizers. For example, only 8 kg of nutrients are applied per hectare, which represents about 10% of the global average. It is estimated that Sub-Saharan Africa imports more than 90% of its agricultural fertilizers.
Access to water remains a great challenge. Presently, the use of motor pumps remains concentrated only in the northern and southern parts of Africa, which are the most arid regions, but also the most developed.
There are 36,000 commercial farmers in the country. South Africa classifies commercial farmers as those with more than 1,000 hectares of land.
Several crops produced in South Africa could be used to make bio-fuels. Sugarcane, sugar beet, maize, sorghum, and cassava can be used for ethanol production, while peanuts, jatropha, and palm oil can be used to produce bio-diesel.
Food loss and waste: According to the Facts and Futures report edition of Aug 2017, a total of 10 million metric tons of food go to waste in South Africa every year.
According to the country’s 2017 Budget, nearly USD 2.30 billion has been allocated until 2019-2020, to support economic growth in agriculture, rural development, and land reform programs. The largest portion of this has been allocated over the medium-term expenditure framework period.