WANDILE SIHLOBO: Farmers grasp the logic of logistics
Efforts are bearing fruit but more needs to be done to boost port and rail capacity
Logistics has always been the backbone of SA’s export-orientated agricultural sector, though it does not always get the level of attention it has received recently due to various disruptions.
SA’s agricultural exports, valued at $10.2bn in 2020, the second-largest value on record, were supported by functional logistical systems from the farm gate up to the shipping ports. However, since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, disruptions to global shipping lines, growing shipping container shortages and costs, theft of Transnet infrastructure and cyberattacks have put the challenges of this vital sector on the front burner. For SA’s agricultural sector, especially export-focused subsectors such as the fruit, wine and grain industries, smooth logistical operations are crucial...