While the primary agricultural sector contributes about 3% to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), it represents about 7% of formal employment. If the entire value chain of agriculture is taken into account, its contribution to GDP reaches about 12%.
Agricultural activities range from intensive crop production and mixed farming to cattle-ranching and sheep-farming. About 12% of South Africa’s surface area can be used for crop production. High-potential arable land comprises only 22% of total arable land. Some 1,3 million hectares (ha) are
As a natural resource, the fisheries sector is also recognised as a potential area for economic growth. The mandate for fisheries management includes fresh water and inland fisheries, as well as aquaculture.
Broadening the scope of aquaculture will provide the opportunity to increase the production of fish and other aquatic food species, thereby decreasing the pressure on natural fish resources.
Through the National Aquaculture Strategic Framework, the department strives to ensure effective stakeholder engagement and management, as well as to advance the transformation agenda in the sector.
The gross value of agricultural production for 2011 was estimated at R147 283 million, compared to R132 136 million the previous year – representing an increase of 11,5%. The gross income of producers by 31 December 2011 amounted to R144 603 million, compared with R129 741 million in 2010
– an increase of 11,5%.
Gross income from field crops increased by 29,8%, to R35 798 million in 2011. Nett farm income amounted to R39 930 million by 31 December 2011, which is 14,6% higher than in the previous 12 months.