For the foreseeable future, South Africans will not have to worry about the country’s food security.
According to a statement issued by the department of agriculture, land reform and rural development, South Africa will have sufficient staple grains supply in the 2020/21 marketing year – which starts in May 2020 and ends in April 2021.
This development is in line with predictions made by experts earlier this year.
The department reports that their data showed that this year’s summer grains harvest could amount to 17.5 million tonnes, which is a 31% increase from 2019 and the second biggest harvest in the history of South Africa.
Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza said: “Amid the unprecedented uncertainty and our collective fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, we are assured of sufficient food supply at reasonable price levels.
“This is a testimony to the hard work and resilience of the South African farming community and investments made in the sector.”
There were also concerns that the country’s farming economy could take a knock in the event of notable declines in global demand, however, Didiza assured that the agricultural sector would continue to export agricultural commodities and products, which are crucial for generating much needed foreign exchange.
To that effect, over 2.5 million tonnes of maize (white and yellow maize combined) had been set aside for exports in the period between May 2020 and April 2021.
“We are committed to support export-led growth and will continue working with the private sector in unblocking bottlenecks to support further space for enterprise development and growth. We do this, while continuously monitoring the food supplies for the country,” concluded Didiza.