Agriculture in South Africa - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

The Agriculture in South Africa Report offers Production Analysis (Volume), Consumption Analysis (Value and Volume), Export Analysis (Value and Volume), Import Analysis (Value and Volume), and Price Trend Analysis. The Market is Segmented by Crop Type into Food Crops/Cereals, Fruits, Vegetables, and Oilseeds/Non-food Crops.

Market Snapshot

South Africa Agriculture Market Bar Graph
Study Period: 2016- 2026
Base Year: 2020
CAGR: 4.2 %

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Market Overview

The South Africa agriculture market is projected to register a CAGR of 4.2% during the forecast period, 2021-2026.

South African agriculture is highly diversified and market-oriented. The country's major important crops are grains and cereals such as rice, wheat, barley, and soybeans. According to FAOSTAT, the area under grains and cereals production was 2,660.4 thousand hectares in 2016, which increased by 13.1% and reached 3,062.8 thousand hectares in 2019. The lockdown restrictions, changing consumer choices, and limited buying power of consumers during COVID-19 have resulted in piling up of stocks of commodities such as potatoes which led to a decline in prices of these commodities

In 2019, the farm income of South African farmers increased by 4.3%, and the prices that farmers pay for agricultural inputs increased by 5%. This decline in farm income may refrain farmers from using various modern agricultural technologies, which in turn, affects agriculture production. The increase in the population level of the country has fueled the demand for cereals. Maize is the staple food in the country, consumed in its direct form, and is used for products, such as sweeteners, bread, and cornmeal. Wheat is also another major staple food in the country, which is mostly imported, as it is economical to import rather than produce it domestically.

The major fruits consumed in the country are apples, pears, litchis, mangoes, plums, peaches, apricots, grapefruit, pineapples, avocados, and lemons. There is also an increasing demand for products derived from fruits, such as fruit juices and jams, in the country that drives the market. Also, more than 1.5 million metric ton of grapes were used every year domestically in South Africa's renowned wine industry.

The most demanded vegetables in the country are lettuce, chicory, pumpkins, tomatoes, and carrots. Apart from these, leafy vegetables, like cleome, amaranth, blackjack, and Jew’s mallow, which are locally produced, are also consumed in the country.

Most of the country's oilseed demand is met by domestic production. However, palm oil, a well-in-demand oilseed in the country, is currently imported from Indonesia and Malaysia. In the forecast period, the country is expected to reduce imports to a great extent and become self-sufficient in the production of oilseeds.

Scope of the Report

The report defines agricultural products in terms of the end users. For the purpose of this report, the market scope includes only fresh agricultural products such as food crops/cereals, vegetables, fruits, and oilseed/non-food crops. The production (volume), consumption (value and volume), import (value and volume), export (value and volume), value chain, and pricing analysis have been provided for the South African agriculture market (henceforth, referred to as the market studied). The scope does not include agriculture products processed in any form, such as frozen, freeze-dried, cooked, canned, etc.

Crop Type (Production Analysis, Consumption Analysis by Value and Volume, Import Analysis by Value and Volume, Export Analysis by Value and Volume, and Price Trend Analysis)
Food Crops/Cereals
Oilseeds/Non-food Crops

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Key Market Trends

Growing Demand For Fruits and Vegetables

Improved awareness across various social media platforms related to health and well-being has boosted the demand for various food products and, in particular, fresh fruits and vegetables. People in the country are discovering the link between healthy food and their well-being and switching their alternatives to fruits and vegetables.

In addition to this, with the rising health consciousness, there is also an increasing consumption trend toward varieties of off-season fruits, which are usually met by rising imports. For vegetables, like potatoes, there is a recent trend of growing consumption, especially among the middle-income group in South Africa. Potatoes, tomatoes, onions, sweet corns, beetroots, apples, citrus, grapes, bananas, litchis, peaches, pineapples, and avocados are some of the significant fruit and vegetable crops identified with great market growth potential in South Africa during the forecast period. An increase in demand for fruits and vegetables was reflected by the rise in the imports of fruits and vegetables.

agriculture in South Africa

Food Crops Dominate the Market

South African food crops dominate the agricultural market in the region. Maize is the most important food crop, followed by wheat and barley. South Africa reported a total of 10.51 million metric ton of maize production in 2018/2019, with a free state province accounting for 38.7% of the total maize production in South Africa. In January 2017, the area of cultivation for maize increased by 33%, owing to good rainfall. Climatic conditions, coupled with a lack of knowledge about transfer activities, are the major limitation to the agriculture sector in South Africa. Government initiatives like the creation of Agri-parks and the introduction of projects like project Khulisa are expected to promote the cultivation of food crops in the country.

Favorable climatic conditions and supportive government policies are expected to drive the South African agriculture market. Maize accounts for more than 80% of the local food crop production in South Africa. The South African food crop market has matured considerably since the deregulation of marketing. Producers, traders, and other intermediaries interact freely in the marketing of their produce. The government of South Africa also gives the freedom to the farmers to choose the market where they want to trade their products, and hence, if the farmers do not get desirable prices for their production, then they can trade their commodities in the international market.

Agriculture Market

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions and Market Definition

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study




    1. 4.1 Market Overview

    2. 4.2 Market Drivers

    3. 4.3 Market Restraints


    1. 5.1 Crop Type (Production Analysis, Consumption Analysis by Value and Volume, Import Analysis by Value and Volume, Export Analysis by Value and Volume, and Price Trend Analysis)

      1. 5.1.1 Food Crops/Cereals

      2. 5.1.2 Fruits

      3. 5.1.3 Vegetables

      4. 5.1.4 Oilseeds/Non-food Crops


    1. 6.1 PESTLE Analysis

    2. 6.2 Supply Chain Analysis

    3. 6.3 Government Policies



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Frequently Asked Questions

The Agriculture in South Africa market is studied from 2016 - 2026.

The Agriculture in South Africa is growing at a CAGR of 4.2% over the next 5 years.

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