According to Statistics South Africa’s (StatsSA) recently announced GDP figures South Africa’s economic performance in the second quarter of 2023 increased by 0.6% and was driven by growth in nine of the ten industries. Nationally, agriculture (incl. Forestry and Fisheries) increased by 4.2 %, contributing 0.1% to the gross domestic product (GDP).
As highlighted by Agbiz Chief Economist, Wandile Sihlobo, the performance is based on the production conditions of various field crops and horticulture.
StatsSA confirms that the top three identified export horticultural products in value terms were citrus fruit, vegetables, deciduous and other fruits, and subtropical fruit. Whereas, in terms of growth rates on a year-on-year basis, nut’s gross income increased by 43%, followed by vegetables at 31%, and subtropical fruits at 14%”.
This is great news says Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, adding that horticulture is predominantly produced in the Western Cape.
Minister Meyer: “While the gross income of agricultural production is reported at the national level, it is still particularly relevant for the province since the Western Cape, is a major player in the horticultural sector.”
Minister Meyer continues: “The Western Cape agricultural sector is export-oriented and contributes more than 50% on average to South Africa’s national agricultural exports to the world. A calculation was made through research conducted by the WCDoA that a 5% increase in the value of exports of certain competitive products (i.e. deciduous fruit, table grapes, wine, animal fibres, flowers and citrus) would lead to 22 951 new jobs being created especially in the non-agricultural sectors of the province”.
Minister Meyer, however, warns that the Russian war on Ukraine, deteriorating infrastructure, mismanaged municipalities, crime, and continued load-shedding remain significant threats to the sector and the seasonal and permanent agri-workers in the agriculture and horticultural sectors.
“It is for this reason that the Western Cape Government places such a high premium on good financial governance while our Growth for Jobs Strategy seeks to create an enabling infrastructure which is well connected to global markets and creates a favourable business environment and infrastructure system,” concluded Minister Meyer.