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date: 01 July 2022

Abstract and Keywords

South Africa is a semi-arid country with a weak resource base for agriculture which is also threatened by climate change and sporadic droughts. Through the adoption of modern technology, increased productivity growth and new export markets, South African commercial agriculture has shown dramatic growth over the last three decades. At the same time, the sector continues to be characterized by an extreme dualism between predominantly white commercial farmers and mainly black smallholder farmers, and many failed efforts to grow the sector in an inclusive and transformed manner. As a result, the country still has ‘two agricultures’. This chapter unpacks the structural characteristics of South African commercial agriculture based on a freighter-relation of the official statistics. This incomplete picture of the structural and geospatial dimensions of agriculture constrain any sensible policy design and support programmes to bring about a sustainable and transformed sector.

Keywords: agricultural production, economic contribution, farm structure, land reform, agricultural trade, food prices, agricultural policies

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