Nico Groenewald, head Agribusiness, Standard Bank
The broader agricultural economic environment is changing, and this would require us to revisit how we determine our success as well.
On the supply side, drought, high temperatures, animal disease and phytosanitary challenges were (and still are) some of the prominent underlying causes of the agricultural economy experiencing a recession.
The latest statistics are not yet available but in the third quarter of 2019 agriculture contracted a further 3.6%, recording a third consecutive quarterly contraction.
Keep in mind that 2018 also recorded a year of negative growth for South Africa agriculture. In 2019 this also played itself out in agricultural exports contracting. There were positive exceptions such as citrus industry who recorded record exports.
At the same time, agriculture’s debt steadily increased by a further 9% to R181bn according to the Department of Agriculture and Land Reform.