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MEC Ivan Meyer on the growth of Western Cape agriculture

The first-quarter GDP results show that agriculture in the Western Cape remains resilient

South Africa’s economy increased by an annualised and adjusted quarterly growth rate of 4.6% in the first quarter of 2021, according to StatsSA’s latest report.

This same report further indicated that the agricultural sector’s performance declined by 3.2% in the first quarter of 2021.

However, the year-on-year quarterly growth rate approach, which compares the first quarter of 2021 to the same quarter in 2020, shows that agricultural economic output increased by 7.5%.

Western Cape MEC of Agriculture, Dr. Ivan Meyer, said the latter was good news.

Said MEC Meyer: “When viewed on an annualised basis, the latest GDP data supports our view that Agriculture Sector will continue to contribute to the economic recovery of the Western Cape.”

Western Cape Department of Agriculture economist, Tshepo Morokong, highlights that an analysis of the data of some of the horticultural products important to the Western Cape shows a year-on-year quarterly increase in the first quarter of 2021.

Said Morokong: “The nominal agricultural gross income from rooibos tea (140%), deciduous and other fruits (16%), vegetables (6%), flowers and bulb (24%) shows an increase when compared to the same quarter in 2020”.

South African export volumes of a few selected agricultural products essential to the Western Cape economy from January to March 2020 and this same period in 2021 also show positive growth.

Export volumes show an increase in prunes and sloes (115%), peaches & nectarines (prepared) (67%), Peaches & Nectarines (Fresh) (34%) and berries (2%).

Morokong continues: “With the continuing good rains, agricultural performance is expected to improve in the quarters to come.

“Agriculture in South Africa is under pressure due to policy uncertainty caused by expropriation without compensation. However, agriculture in the Western Cape remains resilient, as can be seen from our latest export data,” concluded MEC Meyer.

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