From the reconstruction and development programme of president Nelson Mandela to the accelerated and shared growth initiative of president Thabo Mbeki, the national development plan of president Jacob Zuma and most recently the economic reconstruction and recovery plan of President Cyril Ramaphosa, agriculture has long been tipped as a key generator of jobs and economic activity in rural SA.

For agriculture to live up to these expectations requires a stable, predictable and conducive policy environment. It has not always been clear that SA agriculture is blessed with this. It is therefore remarkable that the value of the country’s agricultural output has more than doubled in real terms since 1994, though employment has trended downwards slightly. ..

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