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The Growing of Cereals and Other Crops in South Africa
This report focuses on the growing of cereals and other crops in South Africa. These include maize, wheat, sugar cane, sunflower seeds, cotton and tobacco. The country’s agricultural sector contributes about 2.5% to gross domestic product and gross farming income from all agricultural products increased by 10.2% to an estimated R267bn in the year to 30 June 2017. The number of commercial farmers in South Africa continues to decline mainly due to dwindling farming profitability and policy uncertainty regarding expropriation of land without compensation.
South Africa harvested 16.82 million tons of maize in 2017 compared to 7.5 million tons in 2016. Wheat production for 2016/2017 is estimated at 1.88 million tons, 436,000 tons more than the previous season. While production has increased, crop growers are facing a number of threats including cheap imports, higher production than demand and land expropriation. The sugar industry’s annual sales were reported to have declined by 27% as a result of imported sugar and the implementation of the Sugary Beverage Levy, while tobacco farming is under threat due to an increase in the distribution and sale of illegal cigarettes.
This report describes current conditions, commercial production statistics and predictions, and legislative developments. Factors that influence the success of the sector are also covered, including land expropriation and opportunities created by the September 2018 Constitutional Court ruling on the private use of cannabis which could lead to increased opportunities for cannabis growers.