South Africa: How to Get Agriculture Growing After COVID-19

opinion

Development in the sector will be private-sector driven, but the private sector involvement will require clear policy guidance on land reform and more assurance on property rights.

In the second week of July 2020, the Economic Transformation Committee of the African National Congress (ANC) and Business for South Africa (B4SA), released their respective strategy documents for the post-Covid-19 inclusive economy recovery for South Africa. Both the ANC and B4SA prioritised the agriculture sector, for its transformative potential and aligned their strategies with chapter six of the National Development Plan (NDP), which reflects the commitment of both the government and private sector to the larger development agenda of South Africa.

Both plans highlight that poor infrastructure - both in the former homeland regions and in general logistics to move produce to the ports and processing plants - is a constraint that needs urgent action; that improving agricultural finance is critical to unlocking the sector's growth, particularly through the Land Bank; and that strengthening agriculture value chains is critical for fostering inclusive growth.

However, these ideas on how to strengthen the agriculture sector are not new. They first entered the policy arena in 2012. But in the subsequent eight years, little was...

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