South Africans are a very inquisitive nation. Each time I tweet about South Africa's agricultural fortunes, someone asks about proportions of that particular product in racial terms. This past week, I posted a chart about liquor consumption - 76% of it is accounted for by beer. Almost immediately, the question popped up - what proportion of the barley and sorghum used to make the beer was grown by black farmers? The most recent data we have that comes close to responding to this question deals with the separation of key crops - mainly grains and oilseeds - into commercial and non-commercial. However, it still doesn't provide a clear-cut answer because it would be unreasonable to assume that black farmers are responsible for all non-commercial farming. Granted, a large share might be smallholder black farmers, but there are also black farmers who produce commercially, and white farmers who produce non-commercially.40% The estimated percentage of cattle in SA owned by emerging and com...

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