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Agriculture shines in a pandemic-stricken economy

Screen Shot 2020-08-24 at 12.59.14 PM

Source: Daily Maverick, 19 August 2020, photo credit: Good Houskeeping

South African agriculture is one of the bright spots of the economy in 2020, but the prospects for the coming year hinge on alignment and unity in the vision of stakeholders, says BFAP’s Dr Ferdi Meyer and Tracy Davids in a recent Business Maverick article.

The high-frequency data across the major economies and the developing world underscore the view that the world will experience one of the sharpest declines in economic activity in history. Covid-19 has caused widespread turmoil and volatility since the start of 2020, and the measures implemented to contain it have sent shockwaves throughout the global economy. The latest projections from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) are bleak, with the global economy projected to contract by 5-6%, with a more gradual recovery than initially suggested. 

For South Africa, the Bureau for Economic Research (BER) expects a contraction in GDP of 9.5% in 2020, with a modest rebound of just 3.1% in 2021. Structural challenges pre-Covid-19 suggest the recovery will be prolonged, with real GDP only projected to exceed 2019 levels by 2026. Limited consumer spending power, rising debt and lagging unemployment are some of the challenges to overcome what will most likely cause a slowdown and reversal in some of the progress made in class mobility over the last two decades. 
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