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Growing of Cereals and Other Crops in South Africa 2015

  • March 2015
  • 40 pages
  • Who Owns Whom
Report ID: 2998211

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This report focuses on the farming of maize, wheat, sugar cane, sunflower seeds, cotton and tobacco. South Africa’s agricultural sector contributes about 2.5% to GDP, a figure that has decreased from an average of 10% in the 1960s. The number of commercial farmers in South Africa has declined from 66,000 in 1990 to about 37,000 in 2014, mainly due to dwindling farming profitability, water scarcity and uncertainty regarding land reform. The South African government has within the National Development Plan and New Growth Path identified agriculture as critical for employment and food security. Since April 2012, 200 farms have been recapitalised through government grants and 728 farmers have received training. Government aims to recapitalise a further 867 farms by 2016/17.

Climate change has resulted in more than 65% of the country not receiving adequate rainfall for successful rain-fed crop production. As a result, agriculture in these areas is under irrigation, making the agriculture sector the single largest user of water within South Africa. Experts have warned that water availability is the most important factor limiting agricultural production and that South Africa could run out of water by 2025. This together with the electricity crisis is having a negative impact on the industry and threatening South Africa’s competitiveness.

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