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South Africa's Agriculture Policy Review


  • Polcyn, Tania
  • Vojtech, Václav


South Africa has undergone enormous economic, social and political change since its democratization process began in 1994. This policy note provides a preview of key findings of the OECD's agricultural policy review for South Africa. Over the last 15 years, with the abolition of apartheid, South Africa has experienced fundamental change led by dramatic policy reforms aimed at creating a more open and market-oriented economy. As a part of the democratization process, the South African government has directed its macroeconomic policy towards stabilizing the economic environment, attaching high importance to the confidence of domestic entrepreneurs and the international community. South Africa defines its agricultural policy objectives in the context of broad economic reforms. The government's vision for the sector entails sustainable and profitable participation in the South African agricultural economy by all stakeholders. It recognises the importance of maintaining and developing commercial production and strengthening international competitiveness, and at the same time it stresses the need to address the historical legacies and biases of apartheid. Agricultural and rural development play a critical role in contributing to this broad economic growth and macroeconomic stability. Agriculture in South Africa is highly dualistic with a small number of commercial operations run predominately by white farmers and large numbers of subsistence farms run by black farmers. The dismantling of apartheid signified a strong commitment to develop a new class of black farmers and to integrate them into a market economy. Small holder farming, still located mostly in the former homelands, is an impoverished sector, dominated by low-input, labour-intensive production.

Suggested Citation

  • Polcyn, Tania & Vojtech, Václav, 2006. "South Africa's Agriculture Policy Review," Economic and Market Information 52065, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaacem:52065
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.52065

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