11 March 2021 – The South African agricultural sector has shown much resilience over the years, surviving droughts, diseases and sanitation issues. Despite the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown in SA, the agricultural sector has been a star performer shipping about R150 billion worth of produce in 2020 or 3% more than in the previous year.
According to Agribiz, the sector is likely to increase agricultural exports further this year, on the back of another larger maize harvest. Additionally, favourable seasonal production conditions have boosted the prospects for exportable fruit commodities. However, the lack of certainty around constant power supply has had and continues to have a massive impact on the agricultural sector. “Power outages have a negative impact on businesses with warehouses, processing plants, canning factories, cold storages and those reliant on irrigation. Farming operations and seasonal planning have been disrupted by repeated outages,” says Paul Makube, Senior Agricultural Economist at FNB Agri-Business.