Agriculture: What is waiting in 2020?

The South African agricultural sector remains relatively healthy and a robust agri-food industry, but the sector will remain under huge pressure in the new year, said Dr John Purchase, CEO of Agbiz at a media briefing in Pretoria in December.

“We live in VUCA times (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity). There are many risks and variables, some controllable and others not so. However risk creates opportunity and reward and we need to concentrate on the risks and opportunities we understand and can manage,” he said. 

“Agriculture is still a major contributor to food security, growth and in employment in South Africa and is still a major South African asset.”

Dr Purchase named the following challenges for the agricultural sector: market access, the investment environment, agro logistics, water availability and quality, environmental sustainability, research and development, crime and security, labour relations and legislation, land reform, climate change, droughts, trade agreements, sustainable transformation, plant and animal health and biosecurity.

Opportunities include a growing population, consumer spending trends, new markets, especially in Africa and Asia, new technology and improved productivity.

The South African Pork Producers’ Organisation (SAPPO) coordinates industry interventions and collaboratively manages risks in the value chain to enable the sustainability and profitability of pork producers in South Africa.