Trends in SA AgricultureCasidra
SA Agriculture has faced multiple challenges over the past decade for various reasons.
Numerous parts of the country experienced drought and continue to combat this challenge, the Rand depreciated significantly, and investor uncertainty grew.
Furthermore, faming technology is changing rapidly, sustainability is a priority and there continues to be a skills shortage in the agricultural sector.
Despite these challenges the trends that have developed in SA agriculture are positive and need to be as the world looks at ways to feed a growing population of seven billion and counting.
SA Agriculture Trends
Sustainable farming practices are a high priority not just in South Africa but as a global issue.
The past decade, and indeed century, has seen the world burn through natural resources at an unprecedented rate.
Couple this with the explosion of the global population and it is easy to see why providing food for people has never been more critical and more challenging than today.
Agriculture remains the biggest water user and the land used for farming still covers the largest area of our environment.
An increased focus on the use of natural resources and technology to optimise agriculture production while reducing the impact on the environment is highly important, with renewable energy to sustain farms and agri-processing a key factor.
Technology continues to play a bigger role in SA agriculture too.
Crop monitoring systems and mobile apps that inform on planting cycles, when and where to plant drought-resistance crops afford farmers far great control over their production and how to improve sustainability.
On a broader scale agribusiness as a whole will benefit from big data and analytics throughout the agriculture supply chain.
Food security is a global concern and in South Africa severe droughts have compounded the challenge, leading to production being affected and food prices increasing.
The maize sector is a staple food source in South Africa and crop failures have forced the agricultural sector to adapt to new coping strategies and seek out methods to increase crop resilience and yields.
Alongside sustainability to improve output and retain healthy soils, consumers too are more interested in where their food comes from and how it is being produced.
With social media and online engagement, farming, agribusiness and retailer transparency has become a commodity as consumers ask where and how their food was produced and are interested in fair business practices.
Skills and the future of SA Agriculture
South Africa is facing a shortage of skills in the agricultural sector.
Simply put, not enough of our youth are interested in pursuing studies and a vocation in farming.
The perception of farming is still largely outdated by the younger generation despite the incredible advances in technology that have created many more opportunities and ways to grow food.
Recruitment and motivating the next generation of emerging farmers should be a priority for the next decade as food security in an ever-increasing global population continues to be a major concern.
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