Agri SA notes that the latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey results demonstrate yet again the outsized contribution of the agricultural sector to the country’s economy and underscore the urgent need to protect the sector from the job-killing impact of loadshedding.

The agricultural sector continues to punch above its weight in terms of job creation. While employment decreased by 0.2% nationally, employment in the sector increased by 3,2%. And though the sector represents 1,5 % of nominal GDP, it makes up 5,4% of the jobs in the country.

These figures highlight the centrality of the agricultural sector to the South African economy and underscore the need to provide targeted relief to the sector from the scourge of loadshedding that threatens both jobs and food security in the country.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the sector has endured substantial increases in the cost of agricultural inputs. This inflationary pressure alone threatens the financial viability of farming operations across the country. Compounding this hardship has been the escalation of loadshedding, which has added an extraordinary increase in the cost of energy for irrigation, cold storage and other agricultural and agro-processing systems.

As the country continues to battle a protracted crisis of unemployment, we must recognise and support the labour-intensive sectors that underpin job creation in South Africa. Agri SA will therefore continue to work to ensure that the agricultural sector receives the relief it needs to maintain vital livelihoods and protect the country’s food security.

Source: Agri SA