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Promoting the competitiveness of South African agriculture in a dynamic economic and political environment

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  • Ortmann, Gerald F.

Abstract

South African (SA) farmers are faced with a dynamic global economic and trade environment caused by the liberalisation of international markets and rapid advances in information and communication technologies In addition to dealing with the deregulation of domestic agricultural markets in the 1990s, SA farmers also have to adapt to a dynamic political environment and other challenges, including land reform, AgriBEE, new labour legislation and minimum wages, property taxes, skills levies, uncertain water rights, HIV/Aids, a volatile exchange rate, and high transport and communication costs. The main factors that will help promote the competitiveness of SA farmers, and the agricultural sector in general, include good governance at all levels of government and industry, institutional innovations for commercial and small-scale farmers, improving the quality of (school) education (particularly in mathematics and science) and skills training, promoting research in agriculture, and farmers adopting new technologies. Government should focus its relatively scarce resources on providing physical infrastructure (especially improved transport and communication infrastructure) and legal infrastructure (secure property rights and contract enforcement) to reduce transaction costs, including risk, so that markets for products and resources work more efficiently; relax restrictive labour laws; reduce uncertainty regarding land claims, AgriBEE and the rural land tax; improve efficiency in disbursing LRAD grants to approved projects; reduce crime rates; and promote education, agricultural R&D and skills training.

Suggested Citation

  • Ortmann, Gerald F., 2005. "Promoting the competitiveness of South African agriculture in a dynamic economic and political environment," Agrekon, Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA), vol. 44(3), September.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:agreko:31728
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    Cited by:

    1. MacNicol, R. & Ortmann, Gerald F. & Ferrer, Stuart R.D., 2008. "Management decisions on commercial sugarcane farms in KwaZulu-Natal: a focus on choice bracketing behaviour for risk management," Agrekon, Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA), vol. 47(1), March.
    2. MacNicol, R. & Ortmann, Gerald F. & Ferrer, Stuart R.D., 2007. "Perceptions of key business and financial risk by large-scale sugarcane farmers in KwaZulu-Natal in a dynamic socio-political environment," Agrekon, Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA), vol. 46(3), September.
    3. Ortmann, Gerald F. & King, Robert P., 2006. "Small-Scale Farmers in South Africa: Can Agricultural Cooperatives Facilitate Access to Input and Product Markets?," Staff Papers 13930, University of Minnesota, Department of Applied Economics.
    4. Kwamina E. Banson & Nam C. Nguyen & Ockie J. H. Bosch & Thich V. Nguyen, 2015. "A Systems Thinking Approach to Address the Complexity of Agribusiness for Sustainable Development in Africa: A Case Study in Ghana," Systems Research and Behavioral Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(6), pages 672-688, November.
    5. Bienabe, Estelle & Vermeulen, Hester, 2007. "New trends in supermarkets procurement system in South Africa: the case of local procurement schemes from small-scale farmers by rural-based retail chain stores," 103rd Seminar, April 23-25, 2007, Barcelona, Spain 9394, European Association of Agricultural Economists.

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    Keywords

    Agricultural and Food Policy;

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