I recently posted a graph on Twitter showing the past 100 years of South African agricultural employment, which has of course been declining for some time, in line with the international trend. The feedback from a couple of interactions suggested that the agricultural sector is a nonstarter when it comes to job creation. While that sentiment has some validity, it’s worth noting that many developing and developed countries still have a huge chunk of people working in their agricultural sectors — even though this may have declined significantly as a share of overall employment and in absolute numbers. For instance, Turkey’s agricultural sector employs more than 5.5-million people, the US more than 2.5-million and Mexico more than 6.8-million, according to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis. In SA, we have about 847,000 people working in the agricultural sector, according to the latest data from Statistics SA. The areas planted and agricultural activities in the aforementio...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, Morningstar financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.