Finance Minister Tito Mboweni's Budget speech was a watershed for South African agriculture, addressing many of the major concerns of industry players and issues around food security.
Despite unique challenges, including widespread dry spells during the past decade, South African agriculture is the lowest-cost producer of a standard Big Mac burger among 57 countries worldwide. Our productivity and competitiveness are a result of the continuous investment by food producers in the latest technologies and best practices to ensure the surplus production of affordable food for domestic consumption and export.
Food producers thus ensure national food security. I expect that agriculture can, in terms of growth, continue to outperform our southern hemisphere competitors for the foreseeable future.
However, the challenges that South Africa faces are various; at a tipping point; and can impact negatively on the future growth of agriculture and our country's self-sufficiency in food security. The Budget addressed these concerns. As a nation, and through our contributions to agriculture in the Budget speech, we can take care of the future affordability of accessible, safe and quality food. The announcements in the Budget speech addressed the priorities presented in the State of the Nation Address.
During a pre-Budget survey meeting,...